In memory of

Melba M. Castles, age 92 of Helena

August 9, 1926 – December 27, 2018

Helena resident Melba “Mel” Castles, 92, passed away Dec. 27, 2018.

Mel was a longtime resident of Helena and cherished member of her church community, Life Covenant Church. She owned Melo-times antiques and enjoyed volunteering at Golden Girls Antique Mall. Previously, she worked as a secretary at the legislature and Montana university system.

Born to Amy and Wesley Simmons in 1926 in Kentwood, LA, Mel was one of eight children. Reflecting her adventurous spirit and can-do attitude she never shied away from throwing herself fully into whatever came next. Never afraid of a new address she had stints in Los Angeles, Wolf Point, Billings, Palm Springs, Sedona and Phoenix. Her flare for style and interest in people opened many doors for her throughout her storied life.

Mel spent many years as a Sweet Adeline where she made life-long friends and enjoyed good times as a member of her “lunch bunch.” She learned to ski at 50 and volunteered as a member of a bible study group dedicated to consoling inmates. She touched many lives and had a large circle of friends.

She was preceded in her death by: her son, Daniel McKay; daughter, Deborah Feisthamel and ex-husbands, Robert McKay, David McGuinn and Wesley Castles. She is survived by: her sister, Natalie (Joseph) Roumain; son, David (Julie) McKay; grandchildren, Brandee Feisthamel, Sarah McKay, Molly McKay (Jose Martinez), Mathew McKay, Danny McKay and Michael McKay, as well as many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and dear friends.

The family would like to thank her church community and Frontier Hospice of Helena for all of their support. In lieu of flowers please make donations to Life Covenant Church Youth Program.

Family will be receiving friends from 1-3 p.m., Wednesday, January 2nd, at Retz Funeral Home. A funeral Service will be held at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, January 3rd, at Life Covenant Church, 800 N. Hoback St. with a reception to follow in the fellowship hall of the church. A burial to follow the reception at Forestvale Cemetery. Please visit below to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Melba.


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  1. A sweet memory of Mel is when we sang together in Sweet Adelines. I have other good memories of her too. Sue Jackson

  2. Sandy Voytoski says

    I am sure going to miss Mel. She and I have developed a great friendship over the past 15 years. She was a genuine lady with a great personality.

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