A longtime resident of Ann Arbor, Walter Andrew Castelli, professor emeritus of anatomy at the University of Michigan, died Feb. 6 at StoryPoint Saline. He was 89.
Castelli was born in Iquique, Chile, on May 5, 1929, to the Late Andrew and Elena (Carmona) Castelli. He grew up in Iquique and later moved to Conception to attend dental school. He met his wife Perla Ramirez (deceased 12-23-18) while both attended dental school; they were married for 67 years.
Walter received his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the University of Concepcion, and a Master of Science degree from U-M.
Castelli, who joined the U-M faculty in 1966, conducted research on periodontal disease, taught medical and dental students gross anatomy, and was director of the Interflex Gross Anatomy course for many years.
He was also active in numerous professional societies, including the American Association of Anatomists, and the International Association of Dental Research, and reviewed articles for the Journal of the American Dental Association and the Cleft Palate Journal.
Castelli was the recipient of many distinguished teaching awards including in June 1988 the Kaiser Permanente Award, given by the U-M Medical School for excellence in teaching, and was granted emeritus status by the U-M Board of Regents in September 1994. Castelli continued to teach for many years post retirement until he became ill.
Castelli loved time with his family and friends. He also was an avid reader, loved history, enjoyed handy-work hobbies at home and listening to the Big Bands.
He will be sadly missed by his children Perla Cristina (Ron) Hatch and Andrew Castelli; his grandsons Christopher Daniel (Christina) Mazzola and Nicholas Francis (Jade) Mazzola; his great-grandchildren Baylor, Eliana, Rose and a baby girl due in May.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Feb. 16 at Muehlig Funeral Chapel, 403 S. Fourth Ave, Ann Arbor. Internment follows at Washtenong Memorial Cemetery, 3771 Whitmore Lake Road, Ann Arbor.
— Written by Perla Cristina Hatch