Home News Local News Roswell will always be ‘home’ for Dr. Castle

Roswell will always be ‘home’ for Dr. Castle


Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

By Amy Lignor
Special to the Daily Record

Dr. James Castle had an interesting path to walk from his birth home in western New York to Roswell. The path became beloved by Castle and his family — and also was a fortunate occurrence for the citizens of Roswell, especially the abundant number of patients he helped over his almost three-decade-long career here in medicine.

Dr. James Castle (Amy Lignor Photo)

Castle was born into a family who were all gifted with musical talent. His father, Anthony “Tony” Castle, was an accomplished musician on the trumpet by the age of only 14. He entertained people across the globe and was in charge of a traveling Army band that entertained U.S. troops in Germany.

Castle’s mother, Angela Spina, was an accomplished singer and music teacher, and his brother, Stephen, also had the musical gift. But Castle chose to take up the piano to express his own creative talents.

Both he and his future wife, Ellen, were born and raised in two small New York towns — Fredonia and Dunkirk — just a few miles away from each other in communities of around 12,000 people.

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After heading off to college, attending Penn State, he earned a degree and moved further along on the path to his career.

Not becoming a doctor right away, however, he worked through other jobs, building life skills that would help him later on.

He eventually found himself in the town of Kirksville, Missouri. At A.T. Still University of Health Sciences/Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine (ATSU-KCOM), students receive a comprehensive medical education that includes access to the latest technology, and that is where Castle took his next step toward running a practice and building a history in Roswell.

Castle was also a member of the United States Air Force. Upon joining the Air Force, Castle was stationed in a variety of locations, such as Myrtle Beach AFB in Myrtle Beach, S.C. A turn occurred in his life upon his re-stationing to Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota. Upon being assigned the role of chief of patients, it came as something of a surprise to him when he learned that he was basically the only one in his department; thus, he was placed in charge of treating all patients and took the lead on thousands of cases.

Two paths merged into one when Dr. Castle met up with Dr. James Boss. An orthopedic surgeon, Boss became a friend of Castle’s and was the “voice” that brought Roswell into Dr. Castle’s life.

After being discharged in 1991, Castle, his wife Ellen, and their three children decided to give Roswell a chance. “We were going to try it for a year,” he said. “But when we got here, Roswell just felt right. It felt like we were home.”

As the children grew up in Roswell, the entire family thoroughly enjoyed the city, the camaraderie of the community, and even the weather — which certainly put the heavy snowstorms and ice-cold temperatures of western New York to shame.

“It was also the people,” Castle said. “They were all so kind, polite, personable. It was, and still remains, an absolute pleasure to be in the company of this community.”

Eventually, Dr. Castle opened up a solo practice in Roswell, building it from the ground up. His wife became the office manager. This was a perfect “match.” The office was not only run like a well-oiled machine, but always having the right schedule set in place made it so Dr. Castle could be a devoted doctor to his patients, and still never miss out on an event, a sporting competition, or anything else the children might be involved in at the time.

His children, who are now grown, may live in other parts of the U.S., because their own life-paths led them there, but the doctor commented: “No matter where they are, they still refer to Roswell as home.”

Two of his children did travel down the medical path like their father. His youngest son, Zachary, practices family medicine, and his daughter, Samantha, is in nursing. The oldest of Dr. Castle’s crew, son Nick, received his MBA and works for the public sector software company Tyler Technologies. He also is the proud father of Dr. Castle’s first grandson.

After his solo practice, Dr. Castle took his orthopedic surgery skills and became an addition to Eastern New Mexico Medical Center.

Looking back over his busy career, Castle said, “I may, at some point, think about working again part-time. You never know.”

But, for now, he is looking at a near future that will be filled with experiences he’s looking forward to — his days on the golf course, where people ask him for his advice about an injury because they’re so comfortable with him and his years of helping.

He is even excited about going back to the piano, brushing up and honing his skills, because of his personal love for the music. Not only that, but with the Castle clan on the verge of expansion — with two of his children welcoming new additions to the family unit, both in the month of May — Dr. Castle is looking forward to many fun-filled days being “grandpa” to the new babies.

When asked what he would like to say when summing up his career, he said, “I am, and will always be so grateful to the people of Roswell. I will always be proud of my accomplishments, and cherish the friendships I’ve made.”

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