Susie Anne Casto, of Central Point, Ore., passed away from complications of a recent illness December 23, 2011, at Rogue Valley Medical Center. She was born January 4, 1929, in Thermopolis, Wyo., to Earnest Leland Howard and Hazle Esther (Renner) Howard.

Susie was raised on the Huntley Project near Billings, Mont. She graduated from Project High School and attended Boise Community College in Boise, Idaho.

Susie married Ed Casto on September 23, 1953, in Ashland, Ore. They lived most of their married lives in Lakeview, Ore.

Susie was a homemaker for many years until her daughters were in school. She owned and operated a yarn, fabric and antique shop, the Spool and Spindle, in Lakeview, Ore., from 1972 to 1983. After the Spool and Spindle, she became a realtor in Lakeview. When her husband, Ed, passed away in 1994, she moved to Ashland and worked at Gold n' Gems on the Plaza and enjoyed all that Ashland had to offer as she moved into her retirement years.

Susie was a member of the Bear Creek Handknitters and Rogue Valley Machine Knitters. She loved to handwork and knit as well as crochet, quilt and make beaded gifts for her friends and family.

Susie enjoyed tole painting and acrylics. Her sense of color and style for fashion and "gypsy soul" regarding all things sparkly and bedazzling created a hobby of collecting jewelry that was her signature.

Susie was very active at Twin Creeks Retirement Center in Bible study, bingo, painting classes and book club. She enjoyed the outdoors, arrowhead hunting, gardening, raising African violets, visiting Seven Feathers and spending time with her family.

Susie is survived by daughter Ginger (James Ward) Casto, of Jacksonville, Ore., and Kim (Michael) van der Sleesen, of Lakeville, Mass.; grandchildren, Zak Shaw, of Ashland, Ore., Katy and Sean (Vicky) Hallinan, of Boston, Mass.; ten great-grandchildren; one great great-grandson; numerous nieces and nephews; dear friends, Ron and Connie Barrett; and loyal canine, Buddy.

Susie was preceded in death by her husband, Ed Casto; parents, Earn and Hazle Howard; sister, Clio LaVelle; and brothers, Bill Gibbs, Ed and James Howard.

A memorial service will be 9:30 a.m., Thursday, December 29, 2011, at Twin Creeks Retirement Center, 888 Twin Creeks Crossing, Central Point, Ore. Tom Westendorf will be officiating.

Memorial contributions can be made to support local art organizations such at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Rogue Opera, 33 N. Central #424, Medford, OR 97501, or Rogue Valley Symphony, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland, Ore.

Arrangements handled by Litwiller-Simonsen Funeral Home.