Rudy Castro, Class of 1949 (Faculty 1978-88)
Educator, Civic Leader
Rudy Castro’s devotion to the community has covered a variety of services and many years. Even his devotion to his neighborhood is long-standing—he has lived over forty years in the same home. Rudy was born in Tucson, in Barrio Anita. His education started a Davis Elementary and progressed through Roskruge Junior high, Tucson High (class of ’49) and Palo Verde Junior College in California. He graduated with a BS from the U of Arizona in 1956 and then went back for two master’s degrees—Secondary Education in 1975 and Secondary Administration in 1980.
His athletic accomplishments and interests began at Tucson High, where he was in both baseball and basketball for three years and football for two. Serving from 1950-1953 during the Korean War with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, he was a member of the Camp Pendleton baseball and basketball teams, and then played these two sports on the varsity level for the U of A Wildcats from 1953-1956. He is in the University of Arizona Senior Softball and Baseball Hall of Fame, as well as the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame (1993) and the Southern Arizona Baseball hall of Fame (1979). He was a member of the University of Arizona Hispanic Athletic Alumni association Committee in 1987 and a translator for the World Baseball Championship held in Canada in 1990. This year saw him volunteering for the Senior Olympics.
His employment after college graduation was all with TUSD, starting at Safford Junior High and then Roskurge. He went to Cholla High as head baseball coach in 19609, where he taught PE, Health Ed, Drivers’ Ed and Free Enterprise. His years in education ended back at his high school alma mater, where he taught for 10 years in an alternative program, Tucson High Extended Day School, retiring from this as director or principal in 1988. But his service in education continues- – for example on the Board of Governors of Pima Community college. This year he served on the TUSD Bilingual Education Studies and Second Languages Acquisition Review Committee. He has recently contracted to serve as assistant director of the University of Arizona’s Guadalajara Summer School Exchange Program.
In addition to this career, he has had an active life in government and community organizations. He served as Tucson City Councilman for nine years and is presently a member of the Selective Service Board and the Pima County Grievance Committee. He was appointed by the Board of Supervisors as the first chairman of the Pima County Sports Authority and has served continuously since 1988—he was instrumental in getting the Colorado Rockies to train at Hi Corbett field and also facilitated arrangements for training by the Chicago White Sox and the Diamondbacks from Phoenix at the new Tucson Electric Park.
Rudy was a single parent to two children, Linda and Rudy Jr, for five years after the death of his first wife Mina. He and the former Carol Durazo have now been married for 34 years. The rest of the family includes daughters Julie Ann Castro and Celina Bolen and three grandchildren. Linda is now Linda Spencer and lives in Kansas City.
Two former Tucson mayors offer well deserved praise for the personal qualities of this alumnus. Lewis C. Murphy: “Rudy Castro has a heart a big as this city—as big as all outdoors.” James N. Corbett, regarding Rudy’s service on the City Council: “. . . during the troubled times of the 1960s, Rudy never wavered in supporting the proper respect for law and order; however Rudy required that the problems facing those less fortunate be addressed and changed for the better.” His daughter Linda reports that she and her siblings attended City Council meetings and were expected to be “a part of the solution rather than the problem” and that Rudy “constantly used sports to teach us important life skills and values—sportsmanship, perseverance, respect of opponents and umpires, playing by the rules.” Indeed, Rudy has set an example for his children, his students, and his community of which Tucson High can well be proud.