Annetta Kastner

November 26, 1959 ~ March 11, 2020 (age 60)

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Annetta Kastner passed away on March 11, 2020. Pursuant to the new state guidelines a limited visitation will be held from 3-6 PM on Saturday March 21, 2020 at Henderson's Highland Park Funeral Home. 


Annetta Miller-Kastner was born on November 26th, 1959 in Richmond, Indiana to Ruth Ann Miller. She grew up in a large family of six    siblings and two nieces. Annetta graduated from Richmond High School in 1978, before attending college at St. Mary of the Woods, near Terra Haute, Indiana, where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology.

Annetta worked her way from a mailroom clerk to a Drug Treatment Educator and Counselor in the Psychology Department at the federal prison in Marion, Illinois, where she worked with some of the country’s most dangerous inmates.

Annetta married James Ernest Kastner, of Newton, Iowa on August 9th, 2003. in the cathedral on the campus of her alma mater. The couple lived in a  long-distance marriage, due to careers and children, with plans of moving  together soon. Those plans changed when Annetta was diagnosed in May 2010 with A.L.S.; which is an illness with no cure and a life expectancy of two to five years. Annetta and James moved in together in Des Moines, Iowa in August 2010. Annetta, with her unquenchable spirit and love of life proved the medical community wrong by living ten years after her diagnosis, the last eight of those years on a ventilator at home, which was almost unheard of!

Annetta loved to spend time with her family and friends, travel, cook, and add to her collection of African American folk art and dishware. She was a woman who left a positive impression on everyone who was fortunate to know her. After she chose to go on a ventilator, she told James, “I want to live as long as I have something to give to others.” W e are grateful for her gifts of wisdom and love.

Annetta passed on March 10th, 2020 after a heroic ten year battle with A.L.S. (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). She was proceeded in death by her mother, Ruth Ann Miller; son, Broderick Wolfgang Amadeus Miller and her siblings, Valerie Ann Payne and Stephon Miller.

Left to cherish her memory are her husband, James Kastner; her daughters, Gwendolyn Millicent Bennett, Constance Octavia Bennett, and a stepson, Dylan James Kastner. She is also survived by siblings, Gerald Miller, Marquita Clemons, Angela Morris, Juan Miller and nieces she grew up with as sisters, Lonnie Demmings and Rochelle Gibson; and two grandsons, Gavin Dibble and Jayce Waters.



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March 21, 2020

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Henderson's Highland Park Funeral Home
3500 6th Ave
Des Moines, IA 50313

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