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[Seattle Go Center] In Memoriam - Gordon Castanza, PhD

Hello, Seattle Go enthusiasts,

Many of you knew Gordon Castanza.  I am sad to report that he passed away Sunday.  He was staying with his brother Jan in Florida while he battled lung cancer.  (At this time, I have no indication that his death was related to covid-19.)

Gordon was a prominent Go organizer in the Seattle-Tacoma area.  He served as president of Tacoma Go Club, and Western Region representative to the American Go Association Board of Directors.  He helped organize U.S. Go Congresses and youth tournaments, and he helped get Go included in various historical books.

Gordon authored a Go curriculum for integration with the Washington State EALRs, to make it easier for public school teachers to include Go in, for example, their Math or Social Studies classrooms.  And he wrote a few books on WWII history, and education policy. 

Living in Alaska after his stint in the Air Force, Gordon worked as a school teacher, and later as a district superintendent.  He was an avid fly fisherman, and he was proud of having completed the famous Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska in 1984.  He placed 24th out of 40 racers, finishing in 15 days, when the leaders finished in 12.  (He also placed in the money in the Kuskokwim 300, known as a tough race, in 1983.)

Gordon also lived in China, where he worked for a company that helped open Chinese markets to free trade.  After his retirement, he was sometimes a guest lecturer on Libertarian economic theory at one of the universities in Guangzhou.

Seattle Go Center regulars will probably most remember him for his frequent attendance at the monthly AGA ratings tournaments.  For over a year, I rode with him from Tacoma to most of the tournaments.  If my memory is correct, Roy Hayashi also rode with us sometimes.

A man of strong opinions, Gordon could be difficult sometimes.  He also could be surprisingly generous.  I will miss him.

The Go Center is planning to commemorate Gordon with a tournament near Memorial Day weekend, 2021.  Since Gordon was proud of his military service, and often scheduled Go tournaments near Memorial Day and Veterans Day, this seems fitting.

Gordon will be cremated, and his remains placed in the columbarium at the Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA, when travel from Florida so permits. 

The AGA also has an article about Gordon's passing:  https://www.usgo.org/news/2020/05/in-memoriam-gordon-castanza/

I hope you and those you care for are staying safe.

See you (sometime) at the Go Center,

Mike Malveaux - Programs Manager
Seattle Go Center
700 NE 45th St. (2nd floor), Seattle, WA 98105
Go Center phone: 206-545-1424

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