Frederick A. Casto
FREDERICK A. CASTO 1940-2023 Fred Casto passed away in Walnut Creek, Calif., in January after many years of having lived with complications of Parkinson's Disease.
Fred was born and raised in Logan, West Virginia. His parents were R. H. "Bill" Casto, Sr. and Mary Norvill Casto, both deceased. He was also predeceased by his brother Ronald H. Casto, and his sister Elizabeth "Betty" Mathias. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Mánya Helgerson Casto; his first cousin Frank Adams; and nine nieces and nephews who considered him their "favorite Uncle."
Fred was the ultimate gentleman. His cheerful and warm personality was felt by all who knew him. His achievements as a young man included being Logan High School Class President, Key Club member, Eagle Scout and Order of the Arrow, and Commander of his fraternity, Sigma Nu.
Fred graduated from West Virginia University and later earned a Law Degree from Washington & Lee University. After Law School, Fred enlisted in the Navy and served for three years in the Judge Advocate General Corps (JAG). Fred then practiced law with the Oakland law firm of Crosby, Heafey, Roach and May. He later used his legal training to develop various businesses.
Fred was an accomplished hobbyist magician. His lifelong love of magic began as a 9-year-old child in Logan when he spied a magic set in a department store window, which he received for Christmas since it was the ONLY present on his list!
By age 11, Fred performed his magic at many youth, church, charity and civic events. By age 13 he was doing business luncheons and company holiday parties for which he charged a fee of $25 - pretty good money for a kid in the 1950's. He appeared as a featured act in the local Kiwanis Club Show where he presented "The Mutilated Parasol," a newspaper and umbrella trick. His routine started by showing the open paper and saying, "As you can see I have here The Logan Banner." At which point the editor of the newspaper stood up, bowing to the crowd and exclaiming, "Thank you, Freddie, thank you." However, Fred's next line was, "And as you can see there's nothing in it." The editor shook his head and quietly laughed as he returned to his seat while the audience exploded in laughter.
Fred was active in many magic clubs and organizations including the International Brotherhood of Magic (I.B.M.), a worldwide professional and amateur magic fraternal organization having as many as 15,000 members and 300 local chapters (Rings) in 88 countries. Fred served the I.B.M. in several capacities over the years, including serving as its Legal Advisor and also as its International President in 2006-2007. Fred also belonged to the Magic Circle in London, the Magic Castle in Hollywood, the Society of American Magicians (S.A.M.), and the Oakland Magic Circle (OMC), where he served two terms as President and enjoyed performing frequently. Fred had a stage act in which he and Mánya produced their small pet dog from an empty cage.
We are sure that Fred, with his love of magic, is now in Heaven entertaining his fellow magicians with his charm and sleight of hand and learning new routines to share with his friends and loved ones when they join him some day.