CASTAGNOLA, George Silvio

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CASTAGNOLA, George Silvio, son of Gio Batta Castagnola (1868-1945) and Angela Ghio Castagnola, he was one of eight brothers and three sisters.

In the News~

[SBNP]: “George Castagnola (April 15, 1923 - December 17, 2013) was born into a large family, and was one of eight brothers who became fishermen and ran a family business based around the fishing industry. He attended Santa Barbara High School and served his country during World War II in the US Navy, serving aboard the John Land and Okaloosa troop transport ships. His tour of duty included Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and during D-Day, his ship was at the Marianna Islands. His ships were sometimes strafed by Japanese warplanes, and he witnessed various failed kamikazi attacks. After the war he returned to the family business in Santa Barbara as a commercial fisherman, and later as a property manager of the family business. He had no children of his own, but shared his wisdom and a gruff affection for his nieces and nephews in his capacity as boss and taskmaster of all the summer jobs he oversaw. He variously showed us repairing of gill nets, lobster trap making, and all the minor construction and maintenance jobs that teenagers could be trusted with, even teaching some of us to drive. Opinionated, philosophical, iconoclastic, he was an amusing mentor to many of us lucky enough to work with him. A severe case of shingles in middle age hampered him for the last 30 years of his life, but he showed incredible will to stay active and keep working through it all. One event that especially showcased his toughness was seeing him, as an infirm 75 year old, hobble around and wrench free a troublesome tree stump that two embarrassed 40 year old nephews couldn't get out of the ground. This vibrant spirit, and his lifelong enjoyment of gardening kept him busy working on the family property as it's chief landscaper for years, and he never really retired. The dirt was his canvas, and he enjoyed buying plants and planting, then if he didn't like what he did, he would take it all out and start again. A landscape architecture magazine once wanted to showcase the front yard of his home, but in true iconoclastic form, he strongly discouraged them. In the end, our 90 year old uncle went out with his gardening boots on, planting new Chinese Razzleberry shrubs, getting overheated, and going to sit under the shady umbrella for the last time.

He is pre-deceased by his brothers, Baptisto, Albert, Victor, Dario, Lawrence, and Americo, along with his sisters, Della Malengo, and Mary Acquistapace. He is survived by Betty, his wife of over 60 years, his brother, Italo, his sister Eva Bregante, and many, many nieces and nephews who will miss him greatly! Per his request, there will be no services.”