Memorial Service on Thursday, June 1, 2017 at the United Hispanic Methodist Church at 4:30pm
Hercilia “Chila” Castro, aged 84, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 22, 2017 at home, after a brief struggle with cancer. Chila was born Wednesday, March 8, 1933, in Panama City, Panama, the daughter of Victor Ramirez and Teresa Martinez Ramirez.
Chila enjoyed school, and although a constant battle with asthma hindered her from achieving her dream to become a nurse, she eventually worked as an Executive Secretary for a natural gas company and then as Office Receptionist for the Office of Personnel Management for the Panama Canal Commission. Retiring in 1994, she moved with her family to Orlando, Florida, to keep the family as close as possible.
A loving, kind, and generous soul, Chila or “Mom Chila” as she was affectionately known, lived for her family. In 1968, she welcomed her first child, Maruquel, whom she bravely raised as a single mother until meeting the love of her life Jose D. Castro in 1971, and together welcomed four more children, Jose Jr., Aquiles, Migdalia, and Ruben. They enjoyed 41 wonderful years together as a family until Jose’s unfortunate passing in June 2012.
Chila loved listening to music, dancing, cooking, reading, listening to the radio, watching TV, and writing. Her amazing ability to retain information was legendary. She could and did fill up notebooks with her “notes” on everything from the latest home remedies, to the best arroz con pollo recipe, to the latest celebrity gossip. Nothing was spared from her incredible shorthand talent.
Feisty, funny, loving, and faithful, Mom Chila loved each and every one of her children and grandchildren in her own amazing way. A strong believer in God, Chila prayed daily for them and for all others in need. From the beginning of her diagnosis to her last breath, Mom Chila never doubted or lost her faith. She was both brave and beautiful in the face of adversity and pain. Her peaceful resolve to confront anything that came her way both amazed and inspired her family and friends.
To say she will be missed is an incredible understatement. Every one of us blessed and lucky enough to know her and love and be loved by her know what that feels like. Although small, she was mighty and fierce with her love and advice for us.
Chila is survived by her daughter, Maruquel Ferrer and son-in-law Carlos Samaniego, daughter, Miggy Garcia and son-in-law Jose Luis Garcia, sons: Jose D. Castro, Jr., Aquiles Castro, and Ruben Castro, nephews: Victor Chong and William Kennison, grandchildren: Carlos Andres Samaniego, Ana Lucia Samaniego, Laura Sofia Samaniego, Evan Castro, Madison Castro, and Olivia Garcia and a number of other relatives, and family friends.
“Chila, Mom Chila, Abuela or Abu,” will live on in our hearts forever. She will be greatly missed.