David  Castillo

Obituary of David Castillo


November 9, 1983 – July 20, 2023

Lifelong Resident of Santa Cruz County

David “Dave” Graham Castillo, affectionately known as “Goat” to many, passed away unexpectedly on July 20th at the age of 39.


Dave was a throwback straight-shooter, an “open book” who cared for his family and friends as fiercely as he fought for them. Serious at times, his laughter was infectious with a sense of humor and a willingness to help those that he cared about most.


Dave grew up in Soquel, the eldest of three sons, and enjoyed nature and the outdoors. Dave was fearless; he spent most of his youth skateboarding, mountain biking and wake boarding and never let the prospect of injury slow him down.


In his late teens and 20s, he developed a passion for fishing. He would look forward to Steelhead season and would spend Wednesdays and weekends working his local fishing holes in Soquel Creek. He made countless fishing trips to Northern California streams with friends and even made a fishing trip to Alaska.


After high school, Dave studied to be an HVAC technician at Wyotech and worked in the field for many years as a member of the Sheet Metal Workers' Local 104, most recently at Val’s in Salinas. Dave was easy to talk to and made friends quickly wherever he went. He was well regarded by friends and colleagues, and he will be missed by many.


For the last several years, Dave could often be found in the gym at the crack of dawn before heading to work. He was happy to lend a hand to “spot” friends and share laughs before getting back to business. Dave was eager to learn from others and share the knowledge he acquired in his own fun, matter-of-fact style.


Dave was proud of his accomplishments within the recovery community and had a deep respect for his sponsor and all of those who are responsible for helping reshape lives.


More than anything, Dave enjoyed the time he spent with the love of his life, Leah. She was a bright light in his life and brought him so much happiness.


He is survived by his mother, Maryanne Elward (Dave Gardner); Brothers, Nick Castillo (Rachel) and Tom Castillo (Lori); stepsiblings, Nicole Gardner, Dave Gardner Jr., and Emily Gardner; his grandmother, Nancy Schmitt; nephews; Logan, Austin, Noah and Nolan; his niece Penelope; Aunt Kathleen Smith (Steve); Uncle Dave Elward (Vicky); and numerous other aunts, uncles, cousins and loving extended family.  Dave also leaves his beloved girlfriend, Leah Van Emmerik. He was preceded in death by his father, Phillip Scott Castillo.

Family and friends are welcome to attend a celebration of life for David at Noon on August 20th, 2023 at Siltanen Park in Scotts Valley. 127 Vine Hill School Rd, Scotts Valley, CA 95066


Celebration of Life Ceremony

12:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Sunday, August 20, 2023
Siltanen Park
127 Vine Hill School Road
Scotts Valley, California, United States