Memorial service for Professor Don Castleman held Saturday, Feb. 7

Photo of Professor Don Castleman

Don Castleman had a long and successful record of teaching and writing about estates and trusts and taxation at Wake Forest.

The Wake Forest Law community is in shock over the recent death of Professor Don Castleman, who began teaching at the law school in 1979. For 36 years, Professor Castleman specialized in estates, trusts, and taxation. His obituary can be found in the Winston-Salem Journal here.

A memorial service was held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, at the First Presbyterian Church, 300 N. Cherry Street, Winston-Salem, N.C., 27101, with Pastor Peter Barnes officiating. There will be a gathering in the church’s Fellowship Hall following the service. Flowers can be sent to the church. Memorial donations may be sent to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Ka., 66675, or at

The University announced on Feb. 3 that Professor Castleman died unexpectedly at his home in Winston-Salem on Jan. 31.

“We grieve Professor Castleman’s death and extend our condolences to his family and friends, as well as those at Wake Forest who had the opportunity to know him,” the announcement stated.
Interim Dean Suzanne Reynolds said, “For a number of us, it is hard to imagine Wake Forest law school without Don Castleman.  He loved teaching Decedents Estates and Trusts and all things tax.  He loved the practice of law and brought it effectively into his classrooms.  He loved playing golf with 3Ls during the 3L picnic. And he was as proud of Tommie (his wife) and his four children as any human could be.”
A 1968 graduate of the University of Tennessee law school, Professor Castleman was a Navy veteran. He practiced law at a firm in Memphis and later as in-house counsel with a large medical construction client before he transitioned to teaching law in 1975 at Drake University in Iowa before moving to Wake Forest University in 1979, where he taught until his passing. In addition to co-founding the Southeastern Association of Law Schools, he served as a visiting professor in Virginia, Hungary, Russia and England. A church elder with a great passion for reading, travel, and golf, he loved any activity with his beloved spouse and family.
“I know you will keep the Castleman family in your thoughts,” Dean Reynolds added. “We not only mourn the loss of Professor Castleman, but we will find our way to celebrate his 36 years of extraordinary service to the law school.”

Wake Forest offers support and counseling services for all students, faculty and staff.  The Counseling Center may be reached at 758-5273, the Chaplain’s Office at 758-5210.  For faculty and staff, there is also the Employee Assistance Program at 716-5493.

The Old Gold and Black also wrote a tribute to Professor Castleman here.