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Remembering Nabor – Long-standing city employee leaves legacy

By Melissa Wagoner

Nabor Castro’s face was familiar to many Silvertonians, including Barbara Nusbaum Rivoli who, on Aug. 16, 2021, wrote in a Facebook post on Silverton Connections, “For many years I have been coming to the… YMCA building on Water Street in Silverton. There has been one consistently helpful, kind, friendly and hard-working city worker there tending to the maintenance of the building, Nabor Castro. Nabor’s presence is one of the amazing aspects of this Community.”

An employee of the City of Silverton’s Public Works Maintenance Division for 18 years, Nabor was – according to his son, Jaime – known for his friendly and respectful demeanor, greeting those he met with a smile and a handshake.

“My Dad was a hard worker…” Jaime said of his father who was born in San Juan, Texas in July of 1937. He was one of the five children of Silvestre and Isabel Castro.

“My dad followed his brother, Macardio, to Oregon… in the summer of 1969…” Jaime said. “He initially began working for Willamette Egg Farms…”

Employed in several other vocations during the next 35 years, including as a bus driver and custodian for two school districts, Nabor began working for the City of Silverton in April 2004, quickly becoming a familiar face in the community.

“Nabor Castro kept our Community Center and other city buildings tidy…” Hilary Dumitrescu – a former employee of Sheltering Silverton, an organization housed in the Community Center basement – wrote in another Facebook post. 

“During COVID lockdown, he and I were often the only people at the community center, and exchanging pleasantries across a distance with him was sometimes the only human contact I had besides my own family…”

But even those who interacted with Nabor outside of his workday enjoyed their time with him.

“He was a great guy,” Mayor Jason Freilinger said, recalling his interactions with Nabor, first as a business owner, then in his work with Maps Credit Union. “We had a running joke about me owing him a million dollars… He always brought me great joy and a smile on my face. He of course was always smiling… Truly a special man.”

Raised by a single mother after his father died when Nabor was four, he was “a bit rebellious during his early childhood years,” according to Jaime. But eventually he settled down, marrying Irma Aurora Mendoza in 1956, and becoming a hardworking father of five, grandfather of nine and great grandfather of two.

“He was proud of his work,” Jaime said. “He would endeavor to do his best..always… He would go out of his way to help anyone in need, family and friends.”

That was the life he lived for 84 years until, on March 20, 2024, Nabor suffered an unexpected and catastrophic stroke.

“It is with heavy hearts and condolences that we learn of Nabor Castro’s passing…” a representative from the City of Silverton wrote in a Facebook post. “He will always be remembered as a kind member of our team and community.”

That’s what Jaime thinks his father would have wanted most – to leave behind a legacy that can’t be quantified, to “leave people better off than how he found them.”

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