Cover photo for Laura Jean Castle (Appelhanz)'s Obituary
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1975 Laura 2024

Laura Jean Castle (Appelhanz)

September 11, 1975 — March 4, 2024

Lifelong Montrose resident, Laura Jean (Appelhanz) Castle passed away unexpectedly, on Monday, March 4, 2024.  She was born September 11, 1975, to Tony and Marion (Myers) Appelhanz, at St. Mary’s Hospital; in Grand Junction, Colorado.  She was the youngest of four children.  She was named after one of Tony’s favorite Jazz songs “Laura”.

Her grandma Mary Appelhanz was born on the same day. She always laughed after meeting her husband that if she would’ve been born seven minutes later she would have been born on his grandma Thedus’s birthday.

Growing up on the family farm/ranch she was always a helping hand, from irrigating to working cows. She loved riding bikes on the family farm, and learned to tie her shoes early, as her sisters refused to do it for her. Laura showed both horses and market steers in 4-H. She was honored to be named Chapter Sweetheart for the Montrose FFA Chapter in 1992-1993. In 1993 she graduated from Montrose High School, and then attended Mesa State College.

Laura then went to work with her dad, Tony from 1995-2016 at Base Products, as bookkeeper and loader operator. Many truck drivers always said that she could load a truck better than some men.

Laura met the love of her life Jared Castle, and they were married June 23, 2001. A few years later on June 12, 2006, they were blessed with their son Tanner, the second love of her life. They went on many adventures from traveling to AQHA horse shows, hunting trips in Oklahoma, touring old coal mines, and off-roading with friends. Many trips were taken out of state to either visit her brother Matt’s family, attend her niece Doren’s graduation, or nephew Tom’s wedding. Their favorite place to go as a family was the Cabin House up on Big Piney on the Castle’s private property.

Some of her hobbies included antiquing, hunting in Big Piney or on the family farm, and gardening. She enjoyed cooking, and was actually a phenomenal cook, her husband and son were well fed. Tanner and Laura both loved to draw and paint, and watch Bob Ross together, always remember “There are no mistakes, just happy accidents.”

Laura had a passion for horses and loved the show world.  One of her crowning moments was placing 8th in Western Riding at the Level 1 Championships in Las Vegas in 2017 with her mare Martina. She enjoyed showing with her horse show family, like her bonus niece Hayley. This coming spring she was excited to start her show season.

Her heart was made of gold and everyone seemed to know it, including the animals. Any animal that was in need became the new family pet. This included Tanner’s 4-H show animals. She enjoyed helping him with show pigs and horses, but the steers, those were her favorite. Laura enjoyed helping her nephews Kolt and Tyler, as well as members of the Oak Grove Jolley Ranchers 4-H club, and anyone else in the barn that may be in need. She was the go to person for the livestock kids if they needed to show a horse on short notice, a sheep stand was always the perfect stand in for a horse. Laura was a show mom. She enjoyed seeing the kids learn and succeed.

Not a bad thing could be said about Laura, everyone knew that you could rely on her for whatever you may need. She wouldn’t hesitate to be there for her family and friends, even if it meant putting her life on hold for them.

She was an active member of the Uncompahgre Cattlemen’s Association, serving as Secretary and a member of the Uncompahgre Cattlewomen’s Association.

The last few months she spent her time between being a stay at home Mom and a teller at Home Loan State Bank.

Laura was preceded in death by her parents, Tony and Marion Appelhanz, fathers-in-law Richard Castle and Jim Muller, grandparents John and Mary Appelhanz, Robert and Christine Myers, Emmett amd Thedus Castle and Marion & Wanda Linsacum, and cousins Bobby Myers, Yvonne Alves, Jared Stadelmen & Chandra Castle.

Laura is survived by her husband of 22 years Jared Castle and their son Tanner of Montrose, Mother-in-law Dianna Muller also of Montrose, brother Matt Appelhanz and wife Mary of Anchor Point, AK, sisters Amy Vandyke and husband Terry of Clifton, CO, Tracy Reed and husband Bret of Montrose, CO, brother-in-law Shawn Castle of Montrose, CO, her bonus sister Jodi Reed and husband Bryan of Montrose, CO.  Nieces and Nephews Sarah (Dan) Ravin, Thomas (Grace) Appelhanz, Doren VanDyke, Adrianne Appelhanz, Chance VanDyke, Anthony Appelhanz, Lyndsay (David) Craig, Sebastian Appelhanz, Caleb Appelhanz, Katrina (James) Dile, Tyler & Kolt Reed and bonus niece Hayley Reed.  Great Nieces, Gracelynn Craig, Rosslynne and Sienna Dile.  Aunts and Uncles Eleanor Schlauger of Grand Junction, CO, Kathy Appelhanz of Montrose, CO, Eddie Appelhanz of Montrose, CO, Shieley Myers of Mancos, CO, Virginia Stadelmen of Elko, NV, Marvin Hermanns of Cortez, CO and Wes (Renne) Myers of Greeley, CO, Paul (Beverly) Castle, Danny (Brenda) Castle and Randy (Rhonda) Castle both of Montrose, CO.  As well as numerous cousins, other extended family and friends.

A Celebration of Life will be held March 13, 2024 at 10 am at Calvary Chapel at 2201 S Townsend Avenue Montrose, with burial to follow at Grand View Cemetery.  There will be a lunch to follow at the Montrose Elks Lodge at 801 S Hillcrest Dr.  A viewing will be held Tuesday March 12, 2024 from 5-7 pm at Crippin Funeral Home 802 E Main St in Montrose with a Rosary to follow.


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