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Past Grand Prytanis Castner Passes Into The Chapter Eternal

Past Grand Prytanis Castner Passes Into The Chapter Eternal

Per Black Book, Chapter XXII, Sec. 2, Second: Death of a Grand Officer. Upon the death of any of the Grand Officers, or of a Past Grand Prytanis, the members of all collegiate chapters shall wear the black ribbon under their badges for a period of 14 days.

Note: We recommend 1/4" black ribbon cut into 3.5" strips. Ribbon can be purchased at stores such as Walmart and hobby & craft stores.

It is with great sadness that the Offices of the Grand Chapter announces the passing of Past Grand Prytanis Thomas M. Castner. Frater Castner entered the chapter eternal on February 15, 2015.

In his professional life, Frater Castner was an associate examiner/team leader for major local government audits for the Office of the State Comptroller for the State of New York. He was initiated into TKE at Utica College (Lambda-Lambda) in Utica, New York. From the day he graduated, Frater Castner truly embodied the Fraternity for Life. He was an  active volunteer within his chapter, as a district officer, and for the International Fraternity. Frater Castner served on the Grand Council from 1987 through 1997, leading the Fraternity as Grand Prytanis from 1995-97. In 2001, he received the Fraternity's highest award, the Order of the Golden Eagle.

A scholarship fund has been created to continue Frater Castner's legacy. Please consider making a gift to the Thomas M Castner, PGP Leadership Development Award scholarship through the TKE Educational Foundation.

Grand Prytanis, Bob Barr, shared this letter with the Grand Chapter:

When Frater Tom Castner was elected in 1995 by the Grand Chapter to serve a two-year term as our Grand Prytanis, and as he addressed the Conclave Grand Inaugural Banquet, his first words were to thank his Fraters for making his "dream come true." He then spoke of his journey through TKE, and of the great friendships that formed the foundation of his love for the Fraternity for Life. During Frater Castner's tenure as Grand Prytanis and under his leadership, TKE met and overcame the challenges he identified in his inaugural remarks, and laid the foundation for much of the success we in the Fraternity have enjoyed over the past two decades.

Frater Castner could very well have rested on his laurels after his service as Grand Prytanis ended in 1997; and had he done so, his legacy would have been strong indeed. However, true to his commitment as a member of the Fraternity for Life, Frater Castner never broke stride, and in the years since serving as our Grand Prytanis, he continued to remain active and devoted considerable energy and resources to the Fraternity he so loved. He attended Conclave after Conclave (most recently our 2013 Conclave in Washington, DC), served on the TEF Board of Directors, received the Order of the Golden Eagle, became a Life Loyal Teke, and the list of his actions devoted to TKE goes on and on.

Now, we sadly bow our heads in prayer as Frater Castner joins the Chapter Eternal. I officially announce, in accordance with Chapter XXII, Sec. 2 of the Black Book, that all members should wear a black ribbon under their badges for a period of 14 days in honor of Frater Castner. It is important even as we mourn the passing of this great Past Grand Prytanis, that we recognize the light he lit for Tau Kappa Epsilon continues to burn bright and leads the way to excellence for all of us today and into the future; for so long as TKE continues its commitment to build Better Men for a Better World.

As Frater Tom Castner so often said, "Fraters, I love The Fraternity," we now reply from the bottom of our hearts, "Frater Castner, we love you."

Yours in the Bond,

Grand Prytanis
Tau Kappa Epsilon


 Frater Castner was 67. May he rest in peace.

Below is information regarding PGP Castner’s funeral arrangements:

  • Catricala Funeral Home, 1597 Route 9, Clifton Park, NY.   
    • Calling Hours Saturday, February 21, 9 A.M. - 11 A.M. ET
  • St. Pius X Church, 23 Crumitie Rd., Loudonville, NY  
    • Funeral Mass Saturday, February 21, Noon ET, Interment to Follow

The Celebration of Life follows at: 

  • Desmond Inn 60 Albany Shaker Road Albany, NY (518) 869-8100 

Please utilize one of the images below in remembrance of Frater Castner.

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The Grand Council of Tau Kappa Epsilon has released our 2020-2025 Strategic Plan. Looking for a way to contribute to the future of TKE? Make a gift to Life Loyal Teke today.

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