Linda Marie (Siri) Castaneda, 61, passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 20th. Linda was born near Lamoille, Nevada on October 9th, 1957, to Dante and Evelyn Siri. She learned to work early in life as all of her relatives were associated with various ranches in the area. It is on one of these ranches where she would meet and marry her lifelong partner and husband, Manuel Romero-Castaneda. Her deep-rooted work ethic would stay with her all of her life and would help her succeed as she moved from ranch-work to retail, by working for Sprouse-Reitz. She began working as an assistant manager under Jayne Glaser, a lifelong friend, in Elko, Nevada and was later promoted to manager in Rupert, Idaho. She worked as a store manager for Sprouse-Reitz for 15 years. She then worked for Six S Ranch for a few years as a bookkeeper before going to work for the Idaho Department of Labor. She worked in various divisions of IDOL, but it is in Wage and Hour and issuing Farm Labor Contractor licenses that she enjoyed her work the most. Linda enjoyed helping people, and took pride in her job investigating individuals claims of wage disputes, and always tried to provide fair recommendations.
As a former member of the Business and Professional Women’s Organization, and former committee chairman of the Organization of Rupert Businesses, which raised $15,000 to build the Gazebo in the Rupert City Park, she had spent the last 30 years working to serve the people of Idaho. In 2000, she received the Unsung Hero Award from the Director of the Department of Labor for her dedicated work with the Idaho Migrant Council, Health and Welfare, College of Southern Idaho, and many area farmers and farm workers.
In Idaho, she met many wonderful people whom she had lifelong friendships, raised her young family with her husband, and found a voice of advocacy for farm laborers, employers, and workers. Linda also belonged to the Mt. Harrison Quilting Guild and the Magic Valley Quilt Guild. She often joked that she was the “worst student” in the class, but she kept trying so they let her stay. The truth is that the guilds were full of gracious and caring people, and she admired their willingness to help each other and their community. She loved to cook and her fourth of July parties, Thanksgivings, and Christmas feasts were infamous and everyone was always welcome. This was also true of the many people she met home visiting, working with the Chamber of Commerce, Mini-Cassia Community Service Providers, and many others. Linda first and foremost loved her family, and especially the grand-kids. She would often call her daughter and son to let them know she was taking the grand-kids on a “grandparents and grand-kids only” outing or vacation. Linda loved all her family and friends very much, and she will be deeply missed.
She is survived by her husband Manuel Romero-Castaneda, two children, Monica Kessel and Manuel (Mindy) Castaneda, two grandchildren Julian and Vanessa Kessel, two step-grandchildren April and Monique Salazar, her brother Craig (Gail) Siri, numerous nieces and nephews, two cousins Kenny and Denny (Kathy) Sestanovich, and Walt, Karen, and MaryAnn Muslof. She was preceded in death by her parents Dante and Evelyn Siri, her sisters Delma Jean Lara and Cheryl (Gerald) Coronado, and her granddaughter Makayla Marie Castaneda. Linda Castaneda’s service will be held on Saturday June 29th at 11am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints at 424 West Ellis St. in Paul Idaho, for family, friends, and ward members. A viewing will be held one hour before the service. Service are under the direction of Joel Heward Hansen Mortuary.