Family celebrates Father's Day at grave

June 20, 2010 (HILLSIDE, Ill.)

Claudio Castro Jr. died almost 15 years ago, but his family honors him every Father's Day. Four generations of the Castro family got together Sunday at Castro's grave.

"Being the only girl and the youngest, I'm like daddy's girl. So, I'll always miss him," said Marivic Espinio, Castro Jr.'s daughter.

Castro, who studied medicine in his native Philippines, died in 1996 of a heart attack. He was 61. Since then, his widow, their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren spend every Father's Day in joyful remembrance at Queen of Heaven Cemetery.

"For me he was always a strong person. I was never his favorite, but that's well understood," said Mike Pilz, Castro relative.

The family prayed and reminisced about Castro, who they say supported his family by encouraging his children to get educations.

"This is basically is a family tradition. Always. All holidays are like this. Even sometimes on Sundays. We just get together, a big group. We've always been all about the family," said Alma Pilz, Castro's granddaughter.

It's a day to honor Castro and the other fathers in the family.

"My dad has always been there. It doesn't matter what I do. I'm the youngest so, I'm kind of the problem child and he's always been there for me. I think me and him are more alike, so I do celebrate that," said Amy Catro, Castro's granddaughter.

"People just don't really realize how much, like, important someone is in their life until they lose them. I think it's just really important, really good that we still celebrate, like, how important he really is while we still have him here," said Claudio Castro IV, Castro's grandson.

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