Betty Moreno Castaneda, lifetime resident of the Miami-Globe area, was born in her family home, in Claypool, on April 4, 1932, and, surrounded by her loving family, entered Heaven’s gates, again at home, on Feb. 6, 2013, after a courageous battle with cancer.
She was the beloved wife and best friend of Robert G. Castaneda, and they were sweethearts for more than 75 years (he told his mother after seeing Betty in the first grade, “That is the girl I’m going to marry!”), and they did just that on Nov. 4, 1951. Contrary to what some thought, our Dad was not actually the “boss;” he almost always followed her desires, and says he “Could never say ‘No’ to her” and eventually saw her viewpoint.
Betty attended Miami schools and after graduating from Miami High with the Class of 1950, she went to Phoenix and received a certificate from the Lamson Business School and begin her long and productive career. Among the companies she worked for were lawyers, a credit bureau, Ryan-Evans drugstore, janitorial company, Yellow Front, the Census Bureau, Gila General Hospital, Copper Hills Motel, co-owner of a local bar, Wal-Mart and co-owner of El Matador Pest Control and unofficial tax consultant for family and close friends. She worked very hard at each job, and her forte was always meeting people and making each day better for customers and co-workers alike.
It has been said that she could talk to kings or peasants the same, and they would love her (an exaggeration of course)! She always told you what she thought — good or bad, she wore her heart on her sleeves.
You always knew Betty’s mood as she expressed happiness or sadness by playing the organ. She loved her hymns and serving as the organist at Claypool Methodist Church for more than 30 years, as well for weddings, funerals and special occasions at churches throughout the area.
Betty loved life and lived it to the fullest. She and Robert had much more of a social life than any of the kids, and they never went to a party or casino they didn’t love. She also enjoyed community service and served such organizations as Boy Scouts, PTA (served as president at George Washington School), Church Youth groups, Sunday School teacher, church league basketball coach, class and high school reunion committees, and so much more.
Robert and Betty had a most magnificent love story and the way he took care of her these last months was amazing. No one could have done it better!
The countless condolences, thoughts and prayers sent to her family is truly a testament to how many people’s lives were touched by Robert and Betty. Their tiny house was always open to anyone who needed a home. This included nephews, nieces, friends and others who experienced the hospitality of the Castaneda home. Although it was only a two-bedroom house, with the use of bunk beds and rollaway beds in other areas, it was always a home to everyone. The kitchen was also open to everyone, and no matter when and how many visitors came, all were welcomed with love, fellowship and somehow, an abundance of food and beverages.
In addition to Robert, she is survived by her children, Robert A. Castaneda, Christine (Hubert) Grigg, Michael (Vicky) Castaneda, Rosemary (Don) Horlacher, Alan (Bill) Lundy-Castaneda, Charlie (Julia) Castaneda-Welcome and Tom (RoseAnn) Castaneda; sisters, Evelyn Rojas and Teresa Ruiz of Phoenix; 17 grandchildren; and 24 great-grandchildren.
Mom loved her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and all her extended family. The one thing she has always told us, is that after she’s gone, we need to continue being a close family and not drift away. That was not a suggestion but an order.
Also, all adult members of the family are to wear dark jackets for her memorial service, which will be held on Saturday, Feb. 16, beginning at 10 a.m. at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Globe, Ariz., with reception following.