Michael  Castro

Michael Christopher Castro

Monday, August 15th, 1966 - Tuesday, May 5th, 2020
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Michael Castro didn't call EVERY person he ever met "the nicest, nicest
guy/girl," but he rarely talked about anyone he couldn't describe that way. He loved
people, and started conversations with nearly every person he encountered. He did a
variety of jobs over the years, but his favorite was driving a truck. He loved to
drive, and it was a constant source of joy to him that he got to spend so much of his
life driving through beautiful scenery. His favorite stretch of road was the I-5 from
Washington to California, especially the mountainous area of southern Oregon and
northern California. When he met the last woman in his life (online and two states
away, naturally), he said "you have to keep in mind: to me, 900 miles is just a number.
I drive 2-3 times that every week." Michael's greatest loves in life were his children,
Ethan and Emily, and his mom. He was very close to his mom until the end of her life, a
couple years before his own, and his happiest childhood memories were of going with her
to visit his aunts. From them, he learned to respect strong women and to love garage
sales and thrift shops, which he could never pass up without stopping for a look. He
was tremendously proud of his kids, and delighted in their company. He read books on
fatherhood in an effort to be the best father he could. He loved Ethan's sweet, quiet
intelligence and incredible gift for working with children. He enjoyed Emily's
athleticism and energy, and loved taking her on father-daughter outings and watching
her play sports. He always said she was in charge of his life, and he had to get her
approval for any major life decisions. A solid majority of the pictures taken of him in
the last few years of his life were of joyful roughhousing with the kids. Michael made
up nicknames for everyone with whom he came into frequent contact, human and animal
alike. In some cases, the nicknames became used more widely than the original names. He
was goofy. He loved going to the movies. He loved sitcoms. He was the first person in
his family to graduate from high school, an accomplishment which he attributed to the
urging of his high school sweetheart, Darlene, for whose influence he remained grateful
to the end of his life. He was the most generously forgiving person I've ever met. For
better or worse, he lived his life on his own terms.

He was born August 15, 1966, in Oakland, California, to Manuel and Maria
Elena (Valenzuela) Castro. He grew up with his brothers, Manny and Tim, and his sister
Melanie, as well as a large and cherished extended family. In late 2017, not long
before the passing of both parents, he was found to have end stage kidney failure,
which he fought for 2-1/2 years, before he succumbed to his illness on May 5, 2020, at
Hospice of the Valley in Tempe, Arizona. He is survived by his children, Ethan and
Emily, and their mother Kim; his siblings Manny, Tim and Melanie; his niece, Angel, and
nephews, Chuy, Javi, Austin and Dylan, as well as their spouses and children; many
friends, and a former girlfriend but forever friend, Dena. He will be (and already is)
greatly missed. The world is a poorer place without his laughter, love ...and
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