Ryan Miller
Wednesday, March 1, 2006

LA JUNTA, Colo. (Mennonite Mission Network) — A former mission worker in Chicago and the daughter of Argentina mission pioneers died Feb. 1 in the Arkansas Valley Regional Nursing Care Center in La Junta, Colo.

Elsie Shank Castillo was born June 1, 1911, in La Junta to J.W. and Emma Hershey Shank. With her family and T.K. and Mae Hershey, Castillo moved to Argentina in 1917, where her parents served Mennonite Board of Missions as pioneer mission workers. She left Argentina to attend Goshen College from 1931-1934

Castillo served MBM, a predecessor agency of Mennonite Mission Network, in 1935 at the Chicago Spanish Mission, where her father had started Spanish services during a temporary North American assignment. She returned to Argentina in 1936 until her marriage to David Castillo July 25, 1938. Her husband was pastor at the Chicago Spanish Mission and, according to Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online, the first Hispanic Mennonite pastor in North America.

The couple served at the Chicago Spanish Mission until they moved to La Junta, where her husband pastored a Spanish Mission Church which later became Emmanuel Mennonite Church.

Castillo’s husband died June 7, 1986. Surviving are a daughter, Anita Beadles of Emery, S.D.; two grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; and sister-in-law Joan Shank of Montrose, Colo.

Castillo taught elementary school for 23 years in Colorado.

 

 

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