Dr. Anthony (Tony) Edward Castro, a resident of the Quail Creek community in Green Valley, Arizona, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, May 24, 2022. Having fought a long battle with Parkinson’s, Tony’s wife and dedicated life partner and caregiver of more than 50 years, Marlene, was by his side.
Born March 4, 1935, in the Manhattan borough of New York City to Julia and Dolores Castro, Tony was one of four children. He grew up in the heart of the Bronx; a second-generation Puerto Rican who had a strong dedication to academics. Overcoming barriers and obstacles along the way, he achieved his BA degree in 1955 and MS degree in 1962 from New York University. Tony also served as Airman First Class in the U.S. Air Force from 1957 to 1961 at the School of Aerospace Medicine. His love of science and medicine advanced a long-held interest in veterinary diagnostic virology. He met his wife Marlene while working at Dow Chemical Company/Pitman-Moore in Indiana. They were married in 1967 and had two children, Catherine and Christopher.
Tony earned his Ph.D. in virology from Purdue University in 1971, then a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the University of Minnesota in 1978. His tenured career included work at the Animal Diagnostic Laboratory at Oklahoma State University, the Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory at University of California Davis, and the Animal Diagnostic Laboratory at Penn State University where he served and ultimately retired as Director. Tony’s professional accomplishments included serving as an author and coauthor of more than 85 publications, 10 book chapters, and as co-author of a book on diagnostic veterinary virology with Dr. Werner Heuschele. His respected knowledge of diagnostics saw him as a frequently requested partner and advisor. Tony assisted colleagues in the fields of electron microscopy, avian virology, and diseases of big horn sheep, as well as with specific conditions including Malignant catarral fever and blue tongue in cattle, marble spleen disease in pheasants and more. He was the recipient of more than $9 million in awarded and completed grants during his career.
Outside of his work, Tony enjoyed spending time with his and Marlene’s extended family, had a love of nature, and boasted a continual curiosity about the wider universe. As a lover of the southwest, he was an avid collector of Native American art. He was a cultural enthusiast and embraced expanding his knowledge and understanding of different societies, backgrounds, traditions, philosophies, and ethnicities. Tony was also a huge fan of American Championship Car Racing (Indy 500) and NASCAR. He will be remembered for not only his expansive professional career, but for his smooth and electrifying moves on the dance floor, a keen ear for the melodic harmony of Latin and jazz music, love of movies old and new, dry and witty sense of humor, and for the delicious pots of his homemade chili and chicken curry (that no one person has been able to replicate).
Tony is survived by his wife Marlene, and children Catherine (Jason) and Christopher (Kathryn) and grandchildren, Izabella, Sofiah, Alexia, and Alicia, and one surviving brother Raymond (Marilee). He was a beloved Uncle to many nieces and nephews, and cherished friend to so many in the communities where he lived and worked. The family wishes to extend a special heartfelt thanks and acknowledge their adopted family member Josie Pennington, whose dedication, love, support, and assistance over these last years of Tony’s illness brought great strength and comfort.
A visitation will be held 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Thursday, June 9, 2022 at Titzer Family Funeral Homes, Simpson Chapel 510 W. Jennings St. Newburgh, IN 47630 (812) 853-8314. A celebration of life will be 1:00 p.m. Thursday, June 9, 2022 at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Maple Grove Cemetery, Boonville, IN.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following organizations: