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Barbara was born in Chemnitz, Germany on March 16, 1943 to Frederic Rode and Friedel Hietzke, the youngest of three siblings. The family lived in Frankenburg, Germany until 1946 and then moved to Bremen, Germany and in1949 returned to the United States. They were forever thankful for this.
She attended school in Alhambra and graduated from Alhambra High School in 1961. Her life long dream was to be a registered nurse and she fulfilled this wish by attending nursing school at Los Angeles County General Hospital. Upon receiving her R.N. degree she continued to work there for two years, and then worked at Cedars Sinai Hospital until 1968. She next joined Huntington Hospital where she remained until her retirement in 2,010 brought about by her illness. Over the years she worked in various units including orthopedics, intermediate care, and gastro intestinal. She loved nursing and Huntington Hospital and stayed there for forty plus years.
She married Richard Castro Dec., 1966 and they resided in Silver Lake and enjoyed their life there as both were close to their jobs and major attractions. In April 1969 they purchased a home on Linda Vista Ave. in Pasadena and three years later their first son, Richard was born followed two years and eight months later by their second son, Robert. She was very involved in their education.
The entire family enjoyed traveling to Mexico, and throughout the United States and particularly enjoyed their days on the beach in Baja. She visited Peru with Richard and they made several trips to Germany to visit family, and she also did with her two sons. She also went to Africa, and China and Tibet. One of her dreams was to travel to all seven continents. Unfortunately she was not able to visit Australia and Antarctica because of her illness.
One of her biggest joys was when Sophia was born as her first and only grand child. This fulfilled a wish to have a girl in the family.
Barbara was active in two running and social clubs for many years, and was an active reader. She enjoyed the holidays and always invited friends and family members for wonderful meals. Thanksgiving, had a special meaning to her as that was the day they the family arrived in California.
She is survived by her sons, Richard and Robert, granddaughter Sophia, her sister Lilo, cousins Wolfgang and Ingrid Hietzke, ex husband Richard, daughter in law Claudia and cousin Bonnie Melsner in Germany.
Barbara dedicated her life to her family, being a nurse, and taking care of those around her. She was an excellent cook, loved entertaining, enjoyed life, was an exemplary person, and will be missed by those who loved her.
Published in Pasadena Star-News on Oct. 13, 2012