Arnulfo Robert Castillo
November 14, 1951 – October 12, 2021
Arnulfo Robert (Beto) Castillo, 69, of San Antonio, TX went to be with the Lord on October 12, 2021, at 7:00 a.m. surrounded by his family, in Nacogdoches, TX.
Robert was born in San Antonio, TX to Jose Lorenzo Castillo and Dolores Perez Castillo, the oldest of 7 siblings, 5 sisters and 2 brothers. He attended Sam Houston High School and graduated in 1970. He went on to earn a degree in education and kinesiology on a baseball pitching scholarship from The University of Texas – Pan American in Edinburg, TX, and graduated in 1975. After college he went straight into teaching and coaching for a short time at Edcouch-Elsa high school in the Rio Grande Valley, where he was known as “Coach Babe.” Although when he found this out years later, he would shake his head, in dislike, and look down with that humble smile we all knew so well. He then relocated to Houston and began his work in the oil industry for Cummings Oil. From there he went into transportation for big name companies like Ozarka and Frit-o-Lay. Soon he moved up the ladder from route driver, to supervisor, to manager and remained there until he was called back to what he loved most, teaching and coaching. By this time, he was in his early 40’s. Once he returned to teaching, he would soon meet Linda, his beautiful wife of 23 years and gain 4 amazing stepchildren, Maria, Michael, James and Marty, whom he dearly loved. He revamped and improved numerous middle school athletic programs and had much success, many victories and even an all-district championship win with the boys’ football team at Hogg Middle School, who, before his coaching, had not been able to secure any victories on the field. His influence and impact on his students were immeasurable. His strong presence was felt throughout the hallways of any school he worked at, and he was well respected and loved by students and faculty alike. He retired in 2012 after 20 years of service in teaching, coaching, and shaping middle school aged boys and girls into respectable students and athletes that mirrored his style, relentless!
Throughout his entire life Robert was an amazing athlete. To see him on the basketball court and baseball field was something else. He once shared a beautiful memory that, at 4 years old, his father lifted him up onto his shoulders to see a baseball field in action for the first time and he instantly knew that’s what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, and he did. In high school he played, basketball, baseball, and football and he excelled in all. He was even good at playing pool and ping pong. A true athlete he was. He made all city as a high school football player as one of the top 3 linebackers in the city of San Antonio, TX. He also made all state in baseball and his high school summer league team played in and won the 16-18 division 1968 Babe Ruth World series in Morristown, New Jersey. He would always say what an amazing experience that was for him. He got a lot of exposure and was able to travel to many states to play ball while in high school. His senior year the Milwaukee Brewers came knocking at his door wanting to draft him right out of high school, but his mom turned them away understanding the importance of obtaining a college education. Although he would always wonder what if, he was thankful for his mother’s wisdom as he believed he was called to be a coach, teacher, and mentor to his students. During his time in college, he was paid to play baseball in Mexico for the Morella’s Mexican Baseball League. He recalls those games as some of the best and fun times of playing baseball. He tried out for the Houston Astros as a walk on before he graduated college and made the top 50, speed being his only hinderance. In 1980 at the age of 29 he was introduced to the wonderful world of fastpitch softball. It was also at this time that he would experience fatherhood as he became a stepfather to his 6-year-old stepson Ronnie and soon after in 1982 his daughter Lisa was born. Robert, whom many knew as Bobby or Bob, was known as a strong power hitter and a switch hitter and there is no position that he wasn’t good at. When asked his favorite position, he said he loved them all but would name 2nd base as his favorite. He played on numerous Houston fastpitch teams, The Houston 9, The Misfits, The Stars, The Colts, The Apaches to name a few. He even played with the Mayor of Pasadena John Ray on The Pasadena Barristers. As the years passed, he never stopped being active. He picked up basketball games all over the city and continued with fastpitch, playing at Houston’s most well-known parks like Settegast and Memorial. Fastpitch took him all over the state of Texas to San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, etc. and he also traveled to Wichita Falls, TX and to Colorado to play in the fast pitch softball nationals. Ultimately, he was awarded as an All American in the fastpitch softball old-timers league which was such an honor. It was said by former teammates that Robert was a positive force and a role model to many of the players that still play today. His ability, competitiveness and love for the game was made evident every single time he stepped out on that field. He played to win.
In all of Robert’s success and accomplishments in his career and as an athlete, there was one aspect of his life that stood out the most and that was his relationship and great love for Jesus Christ. To know Robert was to know he was a God-fearing Christian man who absolutely loved his family. Once he was saved Jesus took over completely and he served the Lord fully until the day he transitioned into Heaven. Robert was a man of few words but when he spoke, he couldn’t help but plant seeds of wisdom and guidance into the hearts of all he knew. He was a strong protector, provider and covering for his beloved wife Linda. Loving her well and being a good husband was what he strived for and lived out every single day. He was a devoted, prayerful father whose faith and example created a beautiful harvest in the lives of his children. He remained in awe of the goodness of His Heavenly father and grateful for the favor and blessing that he experienced in his life. His heart was always full of the love of Christ, and it overflowed for all to feel. He was a man of great integrity and humility. He will deeply be missed by all who loved him, and the lessons he taught us, simply by the way he lived, will remain with us forever.
He is survived by his wife, Linda Castillo, his daughter Lisa M. Gomez and husband Jesse Gomez, Step-daughter Maria Dunsor and husband Tony Dunsor, Step-sons Michael Wood and wife Melissa Wood, James Wood and wife Kathy Wood, Marty Wood and wife Shelley Wood, Reynaldo Cordova and wife Delcina Cordova, Sisters Gloria Espino and husband Moises Espino, Susan Edwards, Annette Paige and husband Henry Paige, Amy K. Castillo, Brother Steven Castillo and wife Myrna Castillo, Brother in law Michael Valdez. 11 granddaughters, 4 grandsons, 10 great granddaughters and 1 great grandson, along with numerous beloved nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his mother Dolores Perez Castillo, father Jose Lorenzo Castillo, Mother-in-law Dorthey Byers Bobbitt and sister Rachel Valdez.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Robert will be held in Nacogdoches, TX, on Saturday November 13, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. Specific address and details to come. In honor of Linda’s wishes, she has asked for people not to wear all black. This will be a sport themed event, as this was what Robert lived and loved. Wear your favorite Astros attire or your favorite sports team gear. It will be a day of celebration, love, laughter, and fellowship in memory of a life well lived.
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