January 23, 1931 – February 6, 2021
Robert (“Bob”) Castanon died peacefully at his home in Houston, Texas, on February 6, 2021. He had recently marked his 90th birthday. Bob is survived by his son, Paul, his sisters, Delia Perez and Rosie Solis, his sisters-in-laws Jeannette Peterson and Rita Castanon, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by his wife, Judith Lois Roussin-Castanon, their daughter, Michelle, and his brother, Gilbert Castanon, Jr.
Bob was born in San Antonio, Texas. He often spoke of the challenges of losing his father at an early age and growing up during the depression and war years. He credited his mother, Theresa Najera-Sanchez, for her dedication and resourcefulness in raising children during these difficult time. As a young man, Bob was disciplined and hardworking, juggling multiple part time jobs to help support his family. In addition to being a talented student, he was a gifted athlete. Among other achievements, he was a member of the Brackenridge High School football team that in 1947 defeated Highland Park High School 22 – 13 in Texas state finals. He later played football at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, and Trinity University, where he received his college degree.
Following his graduation from college, Bob joined the United States Marine Corp and enrolled in Officer Candidates School in Quantico, Virginia. Bob was commissioned a lieutenant in the Marine Corp, an experience which profoundly shaped his life. Bob believed deeply in the values of duty, honor and country represented by the Corp. In 1951, while stationed at Camp Pendleton, Bob met his future wife, Judith (“Judy”) Castanon, in Laguna Beach, California. They were married at St Andrews Catholic Church in Pasadena, California in April 1954. They would have celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary this year.
After resigning his commission, Bob pursued a career in the private sector. He held various accounting and financial roles with the Bank of America and, later, the Shell Oil Corporation. His career took him from Los Angeles to New York City and ultimately to Houston, Texas, which became his permanent home. He particularly enjoyed working internationally and spent much time in Asia.
After retirement, Bob and Judy travelled extensively, enjoying many cruises, sailboat trips in the Caribbean, trips to Gasparilla Island, Florida, and, in later years, trips to France to visit his wife Judy’s family. He was an avid walker, a reader of sports biographies and active member in neighborhood and community associations.
It is difficult to describe in a brief obituary the totality of a life. Bob, or as I called him, Dad, was a great father, a man of infinite compassion, a gifted writer and a man who approached life with a dry wit and sense of humor. He cared deeply for his wife, his son and family.
The family wishes to thank the compassionate caregivers from At Your Side Home Care, the nursing team at Houston Hospice, the advisers at the Elder Advisory Group, and his physician, Dr. Sarah Selleck, all of whom worked tirelessly to ensure that Bob could spend his final days in his home. The family also wishes to thank Bob’s wonderful and caring neighbors who visited and supported Bob after the loss of his wife.
The family will celebrate Bob’s life in a private committal ceremony at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church on Bainbridge Island, where Bob will be interned next to his beloved wife, Judy.
To honor my father, the family asks that you follow his example: Lead a righteous life, treat people with compassion and respect, and, above, all, do not forget to smile and laugh.
“Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us.” Sirach 44