Prelude: Jonathan Castro
Welcome: Daniel Castro
Prayer: Joshua Castro
Hymn “When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder” (216)
Sharing from the heart
Lorena A. Castro
Special Music: Jonathan Castro
Homily: Haroldo Arano
Hymn: “We Have This Hope” (214)
Final Prayer: Jasiel Castro
Born in the state of Tamaulipas, Mexico, in 1935, Josefina's journey began against the backdrop of a changing world. From a tender age, her innate passion for learning illuminated her path, propelling her towards the realm of education. With an insatiable curiosity and dedication, she swiftly ascended the ranks, embracing her role as a nurturing beacon for young minds. As the years unfolded, she gracefully transitioned from a youthful learner to a steadfast teacher, guiding and inspiring generations of children with her wisdom and kindness. Amidst her educational pursuits, she found a lifelong partner in Pedro Arano, and together they nurtured a loving family. Their union blessed them with a son and two daughters, enriching her life's tapestry with the joys of motherhood. Her early affinity for education laid the cornerstone for a life dedicated to fostering knowledge and shaping futures, leaving an indelible mark on both her community and her family.
Josefina carried her unwavering commitment to nurturing and growth across borders as she and Pedro embarked on a new chapter in the United States. Here, they raised their family, upholding the values of love, faith, and education. As pillars of their household, they fostered an environment where the love for Jesus Christ formed a guiding light for their children. Their three children, in turn, grew into strong individuals who later blessed Josefina with numerous grandchildren. Her devotion to her family extended beyond the academic realm; she nurtured them with all-encompassing love and affection, using her own journey as a testament to the importance of faith, compassion, and unwavering support. Through her guidance, they learned not only from textbooks but from the compassionate example she set, teaching them the profound lessons of resilience, kindness, and the importance of family bonds.
In the later years of her journey, Josefina's dedication to family remained steadfast. As she gracefully transitioned into the role of a grandmother, she poured all her love and wisdom into her grandchildren, shaping their lives with the same care and devotion that had defined her earlier years. Alongside her husband, she embarked on one last poignant journey from California to Tennessee, a testament to the enduring power of their bond. Their love remained a constant beacon, weathering the tests of time until his passing. It was amidst the tranquil beauty of Tennessee, that Josefina found her final resting place, a fitting tribute to a life well-lived. In a gesture of lasting remembrance, two trees stand forever tall in honor of Josefina and Pedro, symbolizing the lasting legacy of their love, wisdom, and the profound impact they had on the lives they touched.
Josefina Rodriguez Acevedo was born, the second of two girls, to Modesto Rodriguez Avalos and Carmen Acevedo de los Reyes, on January 27, 1935. Her parents were both educators and she was born in Ciudad Victoria, Tamaulipas, where the family resided.
The girls had the misfortune of losing their father when Josefina was only 2 years of age. Their maternal grandparents immediately took the hurting family under their wings. However, just 2 years following the death of her father, the family lost both grandparents. Josefina’s mother, Carmen, found a ready support in her sister--“Tia Cholita”--who helped her raise the girls as she focused on earning a living. “Checo”, as she was nick-named by her older sister, eventually went to live with her mother in Montemorelos, Nuevo Leon, where her mother Carmen was involved in helping to build and form the University of Montemorelos. The students and faculty became her ready-made family, the campus her backyard. She attended Normal School in Mexico City and became a K-2 teacher. Children were her delight and they adored their young, gentle, smiley teacher.
She dedicated herself with mind, body and soul to their training and they in turn responded to her love and lessons. Josefina met Pedro Arano at Montemorelos as he studied to become a pastor. He loved her feminine, caring and joyful ways; she became a perfect match to complement his serious, dedicated efforts to serve the Lord. She was a perfect pastor’s wife: in dress, manner, self-denying service to church members and to her family.
She became mom to Haroldo Omar (1963), Lorena (1965), and Esther (1968) and sought to instill in each of them the rules of being a pastor’s family, the joy of learning and play, music, good food, and the importance of family. No mom ever served her family with greater dedication and sweetness as Josefina. She graduated into grandmotherhood with the birth of Josie Leon (34), then Christian Leon (1), Jason Arano (27), Jordan Arano (24), Jonathan Castro(22), Johany Arano (21), Jasiel Castro (21), and Joshua Castro( 18). Her great-grandchildren also have names that, in the words of Pedro, are intended to honor her: Josias (9) and Josaline (7). The littlest J will be born in December and has already been assigned the honor of bearing her name, Josephine.
Josefina and Pedro made many moves as he was assigned different churches and responsibilities through their years in ministry. Their last move was to Bybee, TN where they lived the latter 11 years of their lives. She passed away on July 5, 2023 (July 6) surrounded by her immediate family.
She was the last member of her generation to finish the race and now sleeps peacefully until the Lord’s trumpet awakens her on His Great Day. She was preceded in death by her father Modesto Rodriguez, her aunt/mom Soledad Acevedo, her mother Carmen Acevedo Rodriguez, her sister Carmen Rivera, her husband, Pedro Arano-Molina, and her grandson Christian Leon.
The Castro-Arano family wished to express their appreciation and thanks to: Jona Fe Bucag, Marta Jimenez, Helen Darling, Lorena Calderon, Joyce Wine, Tina Lopez, Jimmy Lopez, and Ruby Henry for the loving, Christ-like and dedicated service to the care of both mom and dad the last nine years. You each loved them diligently, patiently, and many times literally walked the extra mile in seeking to keep them safe and happy: walks, showers, treatments, inspiring music, medications, beautifully presented food, celebrations, clean and comfortable surroundings, jokes and smiles, stories, hugs, flowers...
You need to be reminded of Christ's words : "As you did it to the least of these... you have done it to ME".