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Estelle Kastleman December 19, 1929 - May 14, 2018

Estelle R. Kastleman, 88, died Monday May 14, 2018 at her home in Houston.


Estelle leaves behind her husband of 64 years, Lester Kastleman; sons Bryan and Jimmy Kastleman, and daughter, Dr. Lynn Lunceford; grandchildren, Ben, Olivia and Adam Kastleman; daughter-in-law, Zuzana Kastleman and son-in-law, Terry Lunceford, and many close friends and family.


Born and raised in Houston, the daughter of Joseph and Frieda Ratner, she was a lifelong resident of Houston.  Upon graduation from San Jacinto High School, she attended and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, with a Bachelor of Arts degree. During college Estelle met Lester on a blind date.  She told her friends she did not think he was the marrying type. Happily she was wrong and they married in 1953. This December would have marked their 65th wedding anniversary.


Estelle had a long career as a social worker at Depelchin Faith Home where she helped countless families achieve their dreams of adopting children. Many of those families kept in touch with Estelle over the years. After surviving two rounds of cancer, she became a very active volunteer with Reach to Recovery, comforting and guiding women newly diagnosed with breast cancer. Subsequently, she joined M.D. Anderson as an employee and enjoyed a fulfilling career with that team. After retiring from M.D. Anderson, she continued to volunteer at the concierge desk, and found great joy in helping families impacted by cancer in navigating the city when their loved one was there for treatment.

She was an avid bridge player and a voracious reader. Once she discovered OK Bridge online, she played daily and would enjoy online conversations with people from all over the world.


It may have happened later in life than she wanted, but her life changed with the addition of grandchildren – who became her greatest joy. She would beg her sons to leave town so she could babysit, and spoil, the three grandkids who called her Grammy.  She loved people and was loved by many. She will be deeply missed.


In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Kastleman Pediatric Fund at MD Anderson, 713.792.3450. Graveside services are Wednesday, May 16, 11am at Emanu El Memorial Park, 8341 Bissonnet St, Houston.

A graveside service will be held on  Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 11:00 am at Emanu El Memorial Park, 8341 Bissonnet St, Houston.


  1. REPLY
    Sam Pessar says

    I never met Mrs. Estelle Kastleman, but from getting to know her son Bryan, I know what a special person she must have been.
    I hope her memory will be a source of inspiration to the family and community for many years to come.
    With Gratitude,
    Sam Pessar

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