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In Memoriam: George Castile, Ph.D. 1972

George P. Castile (May 7, 1939–May 9, 2020) was born and raised (mainly by his paternal grandparents) in St. Louis, MO. He earned his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Kansas (1962), and his M.A. (1968) and Ph.D. (1972) in Anthropology from the University of Arizona. He taught anthropology at Whitman College from 1972 to 2006, and after his retirement until his death, he was a visiting scholar at the UA.

Castile (a.k.a. Walla Walla) was the author or co-editor of seven books and many articles. He was best known for his work on federal Indian policy in the United States, although his Ph.D. thesis and first book were a study of the community of Cherán, Michoacán (Mexico), completed under the direction of his advisor at Arizona, Edward Spicer.

George belonged to a cohort of male anthropology grad students at Arizona who called themselves “The Bozos,” after a popular album by the Firesign Theatre comedy troupe titled “I Think We’re All Bozos on This Bus” (1971). The cohort included Mike Mauer (M.A., 1970), Fred Gorman, “Baby” Dave Gregory, Ted Hass, Curt Wienker, George Esber, George Castile, George Abrams (the Three Georges), Scott Ryerson, Wayne Kappel, and John Hanson. They were serious students, and equally serious partyers—hence, the Bozos. A Bozo Fund in honor of the group is currently being established through George’s estate to support graduate students in cultural anthropology at the UA.

—submitted by Chas McKhann, Professor of Anthropology, Whitman College

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