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Nature 17


Alex Castaneda

June 26, 1933 ~ June 27, 2018 (age 85)

Alex Castaneda passed peacefully on June 27, 2018, at Heartland Nursing Care in Henry after lingering complications from a stroke.  He was born June 26, 1933 in DePue, Illinois to Alexander and Elvira Castaneda.

He was preceded in death by his second wife, Maryanna Baumgartner.  He is survived by three sons: Barry (Diane), Randy (Shelley), and Tony (Marianne). He has five grandchildren and one great grandchild, three step children, Bruce, Lori (Kevin) and Lisa, one step-grandchild and two step great-grandchildren.

His surviving siblings are Delores “Dee” (Eugene) Wisgowski, Felicitas “Licha” Vickers, Frank (Patricia) Castaneda, and Mary Louise Roberts.  His brothers, Frank and Arthur, preceded him in death.  

His friends described him as hardworking, dependable and honest.  He graduated Valedictorian from DePue High School.  He joined the US Navy in 1953, devoting four years to military service.  After his Honorable Discharge he studied Civil Engineering at Illinois Central College and Bradley University.  

For the next 50 years he took increasingly challenging jobs starting as a draftsman and surveyor and finishing as a project manager of several large construction projects including wastewater treatment facilities, retail stores, penitentiaries (including Joliet and Statesville) and hospitals.  

Alex loved bird watching and made annual treks to help identify migrating birds.  He enjoyed playing basketball and was a starter on the DePue High School Regional Championship Basketball teams.  Alex was an avid Michael Jordan fan, and loved watching the Chicago Bulls during the Jordan era.  Alex also enjoyed playing and watching golf and following Tiger Woods.

He believed in the power of education and traveled cross-country to cheer on his children and grandchildren whether they were graduating from college, high school or catechism. 

Visitation will be from 9:30 to 11:00 on Saturday, July 7 at Mason Funeral Home, Germantown Hills, Illinois.  Immediately following at 11:00 will be a funeral service with Father Vien Van Do presiding.  Gifts in Alex’s memory can be made to the Audubon Society. To share a memory with his family, visit


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