David was born in San Antonio, TX to Jesus and Manuela Peralez on October 15, 1952 and was younger by 12 hours, to his twin brother Edward. While in utero, David was deprived of oxygen and was born mentally handicapped. He was one of nine children, was raised in Santa Maria by his mother, and as a child was always in accompaniment of his siblings. He succumbed on December 26, 2020 at 68 years old to ongoing illness, but also tested positive for Covid-19.
In the mid-20th century there were no special schools to support people with mental disabilities, especially if those people came from an impoverished background. David never learned to read or write, he could not distinguish the difference between a $1-dollar bill or a $20-dollar bill, nor could he differentiate the difference between a nickel or a penny, but he did learn to print his name, and he did learn his numbers from 1-10. Even though he had a mental disability, it never stopped David from exploring the vast Santa Maria Valley. He, along with his siblings went fishing, swimming, played on rope swings, walked to Waller Park where he was a “Honorary” Jr Park Ranger. As a child he often went to Waller Park with or without his siblings. The family lived so near the park that all the kids thought the park was their personal backyard, and David always managed to find his way home after exploring the park. He loved scaring his younger siblings, and often did, and he could run as 'fast as the wind could blow.' David competed as a runner at many Special Athletics events, returning with medals or ribbons in hand. As a teenager he often walked across town from one relative's or friend's house to another and visited everyone at the drop of a hat. The one gift David had was remembering everyone's names, faces, and each member of their families...he also had a knack for remembering phone numbers, and often called his friends and family, using the numbers he had memorized. During these teen years he idolized Elvis Presley...was always singing the singer's songs and wore his hair similar to that of the star.
As an adult David developed a rebellious streak to his personality. While as a patient in a San Jose institution David decided he did not like his accommodations, so along with a couple of his fellow co-patients, the trio decided to make their 'get-away.' The three patients tied sheets together, and tried to climb out of an upstairs window...unfortunately on that attempt to run away, David ended up with a broken leg. Sometime later, after he healed...he did in fact make his 'escape' from that San Jose institution, managed to travel all the way up to San Francisco, and then all the way back down to Santa Maria for a trip that was in excess of 300 miles. No one knows how he did it, nor how he was able to communicate because his speech was very hard to understand at best, but he hitched a ride or two all the way home. He lived with his brother Johnny for 11 years and during that time he managed to hitch a ride to the beaches and back, and was also known to take off 'at the drop of a hat' with his sleeping bag whenever he was inclined to 'go camping', and making sure Johnny was off to work before he would sneak off. Each time he disappeared his family was frantically searching everywhere for him. His family is sure David knew he was scaring them...and enjoyed it! There was a time during which he was 'missing,' he walked up to a police officer in Santa Maria and while grinning asked, “Are you looking for me? Hahaha.”
The last few years of his life was spent at the Glenridge ResCare Center in Glendale. David enjoyed being with his friends there. He loved the excursions to Disneyland, Universal Studios, and many other places. He enjoyed having his family visit, and always remembered each of his nieces and nephews and loved them all dearly. Whenever he had visitors he asked about each of his siblings and was always happy to hear news of them.
David is survived by siblings Jesse (Pat), John, Cecilia Castillo, twin Edward of Santa Maria, and Olgie Castillo of Boise, ID. as well as numerous nephews and nieces. As David made his transition from this world to the next, he was greeted with open arms by his mother Manuela, siblings Gabriel, Manuel, Miguel, two nephews Johnny Castillo Sr and Jeff Alexander Castillo, and brother -in-law Steve Castillo who all preceded him in death. Due to Covic-19 restrictions, a private gravesite burial will be held for his immediate family at a later date.