Elizabeth Ann Castillo Kirby – Valencia County News Bulletin

Elizabeth Ann Castillo Kirby


Elizabeth Ann Castillo Kirby

The Elizabeth we knew is no longer with us; She has moved on to everything that awaits her after a fulfilling and good life.

To Pamela Kirby Blackwell (husband, Michael Blackwell) and to Todd William Kirby (wife, Shelley Young Kirby), Elizabeth was their all-encompassing, unconditionally loving, proud mother who was the main reason they are the way they became.

She was a beloved grandmother to Ayla, Porter, Maya, Stratton, Anna and Aaron. To Gloria, Michael and Steve Castillo, she was the model older sister they always loved. To others, she was the beloved daughter, granddaughter, daughter-in-law, aunt, and relative. To her good friends, Elizabeth was the loyal, energetic, and creative friend they loved to talk to and share their lives with.

For me, L. William “Bill” Kirby, Elizabeth Ann was my North Star, the person who pushed me to find balance in my life, the reason for much of my importance, my respite, my safe place and the Love to me life for more than 50 years of marriage.

Elizabeth Ann Castillo was born on September 1, 1946 to Nona Amalia Sanchez Castillo and Jose Inez Castillo. Every day of her adult life, Elizabeth was grateful for the blessing of having a mother who was a constant source of wisdom, encouragement, and love.

Elizabeth grew up in Belen, where she attended St. Mary’s School through eighth grade and graduated from Belen High School in 1964. She then attended both the University of New Mexico and New Mexico Highlands University, where she earned a degree in Education with a major in Home Economics and a minor in Art History.

Elizabeth’s first career position was as a talented housekeeper at the Public Service Company of New Mexico for six years. During these years, our all-too-interrupted courtship ended and our marriage began on November 5, 1971. Soon after, Elizabeth transitioned into teaching and was an incredibly sensitive, dedicated, and effective elementary and middle school teacher, while also being the primary breadwinner.

Six years later, she submitted her lesson plan and transitioned into full-time parenting, schedule coordinator, chauffeur, cook, maid, mother bear, spouse supporter who does everything for everyone — stay at home — mom. In addition, she became the trusted family volunteer representative, Cub Scout or Girl Scout squad leader, attendance office caller, president of the high school parents’ council, Albuquerque Museum docent, Jazzercise fan, and book club enthusiast.

A passion for Elizabeth was the creative arts. She enjoyed and excelled in culinary arts, painting, sculpting, sewing, and making all kinds of crafts. A second passion was international travel and she thoroughly enjoyed the museums, churches, culture and shopping that trips abroad offer.

True, she was a devout Catholic all her life. To the best of her ability, Elizabeth continued to do all of these things until an unrelenting mix of illnesses combined to progressively limit the activities she could physically engage in. Her biggest regret was not being able to be the grandmother she dreamed of being for the last 12 years of her life.

Our family is deeply indebted to the wonderful caregivers who gave generously of their rich, caring cariño during Elizabeth’s recovery: Bertha, María, Leticia, Mary, Valerie, Andrea, Olivia, Darica and Sherrie, thank you.

Elizabeth’s last transition was on November 2, 2022 and she will remain in our hearts forever.

Memorial donations can be made to Elizabeth’s Memories of Catholic Charities in Central New Mexico at ccasfnm.org, 2010 Bridge Blvd. SW, Albuquerque, NM, 87105, 505-724.4670.

On November 14 and 15, a rosary and funeral service were held at the Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Albuquerque, and the internment was at Our Lady of Belen Cemetery.