John Castagna

John Castagna 300
John Castagna had been a hero to many for quite a while. Not only because of his diagnosis in December 2013 of a Grade IV GBM tumor, but also for all his years of experience in being a hero to all those around him. As one of his girls said, “If you don’t believe in heroes, you haven’t met my Dad.”

John was known as “Dommy” (both Dad and Mommy) in raising his four daughters (Jenny, Laurie, Erin, and Katie) on his own as a widower for years. Then he enlarged his family Brady-Bunch style when he married Vicki and her two daughters and son (Ashlie, Lindsay and Brandon). They married off five of those daughters (yes FIVE weddings—that is hero enough!) and inherited five fabulous son-in-laws. Known as Papa John to 9 ½ grandkids, we continue to see him as our hero, our greatest supporter, and our friend.

“Dad always encouraged us to follow our hearts and chase our dreams. While at the same time, he’s waited in the wings and stood by to be there for advice, support, and love. He always took on our burdens or obstacles and faced them along with us, usually trying to fix them! He was the perfect example of a gentleman. He is our everything and we will do everything for him.”

John was highly respected at his workplace, where he had been a Vice President for Chevron for over a decade and worked for them for almost four decades, extensively traveling the globe to oversee Crude Oil Supply and Trading. His ability to run a large key division so important to Chevron’s business was only exceeded by his people skills and abilities. He is a hero for always having the good of his people at heart–balancing their personal needs with corporate needs. His loyalty to his team is surpassed only by their loyalty to him. No matter how complicated or concerning business issues became, John faced them with fairness and compassion. One thing is for certain, if John Castagna was taking care of it, it was done ethically and done right.

“John always had a smile and a light-hearted thought when the stuff was really hitting the fan so to speak, something that was so important during tough times for us. It’s like he would lift the burden off of us and take it on his shoulders.”

John walked this GBM journey with the same fortitude, strength, love, and courage that made him a hero to so many throughout the years. He faced five surgeries since December 2014 and continued to surprise his doctors and those around him. Each day is a gift. We consider John a champion, warrior, and a true hero. John Castanga passed away in May 2015.

Team: Team Castanga