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Maria Rosita Castillo Kerley

May 7, 1957 ~ March 7, 2022 (age 64)

Obituary

Hello family, friends, coworkers, and loved ones near and far,

It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that Maria Rose Kerley has passed on. She has joined her husband, Kermit Anthony Kerley; father, Alphonso Sanchez Castillo Sr.; brother, Alphonso Castillo Jr.; in-laws, David, and Mary Kerley; and friends in the next life, still laughing, encouraging, sharing our highs and lows, and watching over us.
She is survived by her mother, Servillana Ordanza Castillo; two brothers, Nestor Castillo and Ed Castillo; her older sister, Pacencia Iturralde; her daughter, Nicola Kerley, and her many beloved nieces and nephews.
She grew up in Calapan, Mindoro, helping man the family store and keeping the books. She quickly became an exceptional accountant who would live her life to the fullest. After running a few companies, she went on to look for love in Australia, ultimately finding it in New Zealand, where she met Kermit Anthony Kerley, her soon-to-be-husband.
They had an amazing honeymoon on the beautiful beaches of Aruba, before moving to the United States and settling down in Portland, Maine. It was there that she met her new family-in-law and roommates: David, Mary, Eric, Brendan Kerley, and Hope Gordon.
Calling Maine home, she made countless lifelong friends starting from a flower shop, to ad agencies, to securing herself as an accountant for the Portland jetport. With her husband and in-laws, she learned to drive, garden, and help out with housework. She became a fixture in city hall, fighting for the rights and well-being of her neighbors.
Soon, she was offered an accounting job at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas. Her parents soon joined her and her siblings in the US. However, a dark patch came over as her father, Alphonso Castillo Sr. passed and she was diagnosed with Stage-4 breast cancer, with less than a decade to live. Her husband, family, and friends truly got her through the grief, the surgeries, and chemo treatments. She wrote a book about these experiences entitled “My Big C.” As she reached full remission, her husband was also diagnosed with cancer and passed shortly after surgery. Of course, this time challenged and changed her. But through her devout faith, open spirit, and perseverance, she made more lifelong friendships. She got her daughter through the rest of high school and enrolled in college. She went on to thrive for almost 15 more years, advising anyone she could along the way.
From there, she went on to work for the Montana International Airport and sang in a choir that was invited to sing in Carnegie Hall. Along with singing, she enjoyed painting and cultivated another home base made of found friends. She also spent time visiting her family, in the United States and elsewhere.
However, her cancer returned. Her doctors in Montana gave her a treatment plan in an attempt to control her cancer. But then the pandemic hit. Nevertheless, the medications seemed to be working and she went to retire in her older sister’s retirement property in Las Vegas. She enjoyed 2021, living her life to the fullest while the symptoms of her now-bowel cancer had not seriously shown themselves.
But in late December 2021, surgery revealed cancer had progressed to her colon and the prognosis was dire. After a valiant battle, she passed away on Monday, March 7, 2022. She was surrounded by her loved ones throughout the journey.
Keep her in your heart and in your prayers. She will always be with us.

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