On September 8, 2013, Alvin Benito Castillo heard his ancestors calling and walked into the forest. He was Yanyeidí of the Wolf Clan from Taku and a grandchild of the Teeyeeneidi, the Dog Salmon Clan from Tuxekan. His Tlingit names are L.daan.eeghí, Yanyeitk'í, and Deiskeikháa.
Known by most as Al, he was born in Kechikan in 1953, where he spent his early childhood. With his family, he traveled to Sitka and then on to Hawaii where he graduated from the Waianae High School in 1972 on the island of Oahu.
After graduation, Al served in the National Guard and received an honorable discharge.
Al studied accounting and fine arts at the University of Hawaii Manoa, transferring to the University of Alaska, Juneau, when he returned to his family in Alaska in 1975.
While attending classes, Al worked with the University of Alaska and the Permanent Fund Division.
Al loved being outdoors. He enjoyed playing tennis, football, basketball, fishing, traveling as often as he could, all family gatherings, and watching football games.
Al valued learning his Tlingit heritage, culture, and language. He always acknowledged family, friends and all who he came in contact with. He dedicated his life to taking care of family.
Preceded in death by his parents Benito and Alice Castillo. He is survived by siblings Gloria, Christina (Ray Bradley), Susan (Wes Oliva), Lillian, Joseph, Peter, Teddy (Dale Bontrager), John, and Esther, and many nephews and nieces.
A Celebration of Life and public viewing, will be held at the Tlingit and Haida Indians Bldg. of the CBJ, 3235 Hospital Drive, 5 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, October 3, 2013, followed by a reception. Guests are invited to bring a dish to share. Donations may be made out to Teddy Castillo. Contact Teddy Castillo, 907-957-0342.
Published in The Juneau Empire on Sept. 27, 2013