Baylor Mourns the Passing of Marion Castleberry, Retired Performing Arts Teacher | Media and public relations

Teacher-researcher Marion Castleberry, Ph.D., taught theater education for 50 years, 21 of them at Baylor until her retirement on June 1. He was a leading authority on the life and work of playwright and screenwriter Horton Foote.

WACO, Texas (July 1, 2022) – Baylor University mourns Marion Castleberry, Ph.D., recently retired theater arts professor and renowned scholar of Horton Foote, who died June 25 at the age of 71. Dr Castleberry taught in the theater arts department at Baylor for 21 years before retiring on June 1.

A celebration of Dr. Castleberry’s life will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, July 1 at First Baptist Church of Waco, 500 Webster Ave.

His obituary reads as follows:

“Marion leaves a legacy of achievement in the theater world, particularly in theater education. He began teaching in 1972 and retired from Baylor University on June 1, 2022. His 50 years of teaching have brought him great joy and many rewards. He was loved and respected by his students and colleagues. Marion cherished his 21 years at Baylor, and he was honored to teach and mentor so many gifted and intelligent graduate students. He was so touched and moved by the beautiful tributes he received from his colleagues at his retirement reception.

“He especially enjoyed writing about his favorite subject, Horton Foote, playwright and screenwriter. He wrote his culminating work on Foote titled, Blessed Assurance, The Life and Faith of Horton Foote, and it is a definitive biography covering all the works of Horton Foote. He has directed more than 100 productions during his career, one of which, “The Traveling Lady” by Horton Foote, was staged at the Ensemble Studio Theater in New York.

“Theater was his third passion in life, but his first was his faith in Jesus Christ, and he firmly believed that his creative gifts came from God and that he was meant to use them to share his faith. His favorite verse comes from Ephesians chapter 2, verse 10, “For we are the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” His second passion was his wife, Terri, whom he taught what it meant to love and recognize God as a father and whom he cherished just as Jesus cherishes his Church, and he loved and prayed for his son, Colin, daily of his life. .

“He grew in his faith every day and he tried to exemplify it in whatever work he was doing. Judging plays in high school was a great joy for him, and he loved his colleagues at the Texas Theater Association of Texas. Marion tried to share wisdom and grace in her service to this organization. The organization chose him to lead TETA as president through a very difficult transition and he did it well. He received the Founder’s Award and the many tributes shared upon his death are cherished by his family. In conclusion, one of his friends, quoted To Kill a Mockingbird, the line given to Atticus as he left the courtroom. Paraphrased, it read, “Theatre World, get up, Marion Castleberry is on.”

“Marion will be greatly missed by his family, students and colleagues, but he is happy with Jesus and all of his family members who came before him. And he is waiting for that day when we will be reunited.

Dr. Castleberry is survived by his wife, Terri, his son Colin and his wife Angel of San Antonio, three grandchildren, Colin Jr., Gabby and Taryn, his brother Byron Castleberry and his wife Cecila of Alba, Texas , his brother-in-law Keith Loter and his wife Michele of Kingsland, Texas, and many nieces and nephews whom he loved dearly.


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked 1 research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 20,000 students by combining interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Established in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continuously operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a wide range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.

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