Thomas Anthony Castaneda, Sr., 78, of Brighton joined the ranks in heaven on Jan. 3. He was born in Denver on Feb. 13, 1943. He moved to Brighton with his parents Frank and Pauline Castaneda in 1956 where he was raised on a farm north of Brighton and he attended Brighton High School. Tom spent more than 39 years working at the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad--now part of the Union Pacific Railroad--for many years at the North Denver Rail Yard.
He was a member of St. Augustine Catholic Church where he served as an usher for Sunday Mass and a member of Brighton Knights of Columbus Council #3285. He volunteered at the Brighton Care Center for more than 30 years founding the monthly Hispanic socials and dinners, and planting the nursing home garden bringing fresh produce to residents.
In 2006, Tom received the Hispanic Annual Salute Award sponsored by 9News for outstanding volunteer service. Over time he has volunteered his time with Catholic Charities, El Centro Su Teatro, Brighton Food Pantry, Brighton Housing Authority and Bonfils Blood Bank where he organized blood drives for years in Brighton. In 2005, he received a "7 Gallon Milestone" lapel pin from the blood bank to mark that he is one of only four percent in the population who had regularly donated blood to reach that level.
Tom was preceded in death by a daughter Linda Marie and his parents. He is survived by four sons and one daughter: Tom Jr. (Deb) of California; Robert of Phoenix; Kenny (Tonja) of Thornton; David (Michelle) of Phoenix; and DeAnna of Brighton; his sister Pauline Ponce of Denver and nine grandchildren, five great-grandchildren and many nephews and nieces.
A Rosary is scheduled for January 18, at 6:00 p.m. at St. Augustine Catholic Church in Brighton. Funeral Mass will be at 11:00 am on January 19th, also at St. Augustine's Catholic Church. Interment to follow at Fairview Cemetery in Brighton.
Friends are invited to A Celebration of Life to be held at the Brighton Knights of Columbus Hall following the service at the cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Thomas' name to: Bonfils Blood Center of Denver (now named vitalent.) Vitalent.org\donatefunds.
He was truly a servant to all.
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