Jose S. (Jimmy) Castro of Holtville, California passed away at 91 years of age on Friday, January 8, 2021. He was born February 10, 1929 in Calexico, California to Julia Valdez Montoya and Carlos Martinez Castro. Jose was a great loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He loved his family from his parents and siblings to his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. But his true love was his devotion to God. He dedicated his entire life practicing his faith. He was an active volunteer at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Holtville. There wasn't a day that went by that he didn't say a prayer and thanked God for his blessings. Family was the joy of his life and he was especially proud of his children. He was the best father a child could ask for and he did what he could to provide for his family. During his retired years, he couldn't wait to be a grandfather; for that reason, his life was illuminated once again when God blessed him with his first grandchild. Consequently, he committed the rest of his life to being the best grandfather. Jose was very proud of his military career. He served in the U.S. Army and went to defend our country in the Korean War. He climbed military ranks and became a sergeant through his leadership skills and was recommended for the Bronze and Silver Stars for his bravery and accomplishments during the conflict. He was wounded in combat and was awarded the Purple Heart Medal. He extended his military career by joining the National Guard upon returning from Korea. On April 25, 2005, Jose and his seven brothers were recognized by U.S. Congress with a letter thanking them for their 172 years combined military service. Jose was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) where he became president of the local chapter. He was also a member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) where he volunteered to transport disabled veterans to and from the veteran's hospital in San Diego, California. Jose was also very proud of his career at Holtville Unified School District (HUSD) where he served almost three decades as a school bus driver and mechanic. He enjoyed transporting children to and from school during sporting events and other educational field trips. Jose spent his final years doing what he loved, spending time with his family and enjoyed watching football games, especially his beloved USC Trojans. Jose will be truly missed not just by his immediate family but by everyone that got the privilege to know him personally and was influenced by his kindness. Jose was preceded in death by his parents, Carlos and Julia Castro; brothers, Abundio, Carlos and Erasmo Castro; and sister, Urbana Vasquez. Jose is survived by his wife, Lidia B. Castro; daughters, Lidia (Jignesh) Gandevia and Dora (Raul) Manriquez; sons, Mark (Celia) Castro and James Castro; brothers, Juan (Vicky), Julio (Linda), Basilio (Frances) and Arturo (Martha); sisters, Maria de los Angeles de la Rosa and Rosario (Perfecto) Gurule; sister-in-law Yvonne; 8 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. A viewing, church services, and military burial ceremonies were held privately.
Published in Imperial Valley Press Online on Feb. 17, 2021.