Obituary: Aurdery Louise Keating


1928 – 2024

Aurdery Louise (Castello) Keating, 95, of Sonora, California, passed away on May 7, 2024. She was born on August 24, 1928, to the late Lee and Louise (Buffo) Castello, into an Italian family of modest means in Joliet, Illinois. The second of 4 kids, she grew up attending Catholic Schools including Saint Scholastica while her father owned and operated a corner deli. Their life in Joliet centered around the many aunts, uncles, and cousins there or an hour up the road in Chicago-it was a noisy bunch who loved to gather to cook, eat, debate politics, and play cards.

The Castello family moved west to Fresno, California, as Aurdery was graduating from high school. Aurdery attended college at Fresno State College, where she got a B.A. Degree in English. She was a member of the Delta Sigma Epsilon Sorority. Securing a position working as a secretary in the financial district at the famous Russ Building, Aurdery moved to San Francisco. She spent her off hours socializing with her roommates at the Charter House for single ladies, with whom she often went on ski trips during days off.

She met the charming Bernie Keating of South Dakota on a San Francisco Bay boat cruise, and they soon married in 1958, settled in the East Bay and had four children, two boys, two girls. Bernie was a supervisor at a glass bottle factory owned by Owens Illinois, who became his lifelong employer, relocating his family to Portland, OR, Moraga, CA, Los Angeles, CA and finally Toledo, Ohio as he moved up the ranks. Aurdery ran the household and supported the kids as they grew and eventually left the nest. Aurdery and her family spent a month each summer camping in the woods, climbing mountains and cooking around the campfire, often at Yosemite’s Tuolumne Meadows. Aurdery was a devoted Mother who took immense pride in supporting and chauffeuring each of her children to their many athletic, scholastic and community activities over the span of their 25 years at home. The later college years were busy too with all four kids attending the University of Notre Dame.

Empty nesters, Aurdery and Bernie moved back west to be closer to family in 1990, settling into Sonora, CA, where they lived out their retirement years. They traveled extensively, mostly through Europe. Aurdery was active with St. Patrick’s Catholic church, was a lay eucharistic minister, volunteered at the local food pantry and played bridge with a ladies group. Aurdery’s forte continued to ensure that all family birthdays, holidays, and gatherings were extra special events, lovingly orchestrated with personal touches and lots of fun, games, dancing and movies.

Aurdery and Bernie celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in 2008 at a surprise party with 100 attendees, with their children, grandchildren, in-laws, siblings, nieces, nephews, former colleagues, and friends. Many toasts were made that evening paying tribute to this beloved couple, to attest to their deep and enduring partnership. While they enjoyed 11 more anniversaries together, Aurdery ultimately lost her life partner in 2019.

Aurdery moved into the Palo Alto home of her daughter Lorie and son-in-law Eric and their four teenagers and enjoyed being once again immersed in the frenetic cadence of a loving family with busy school-aged teens and an energetic dog. She enjoyed frequent visits from her children and grandchildren as she lived out her remaining years in the Bay Area.

Aurdery is survived by her four children, Treci Dimas (George) of Chesapeake, Virginia, Roger Keating (Louise Thornton) of Bronxville, NY, Lorie Englhardt (Eric), of Palo Alto, CA, and Deke Keating (Judith Alderman) of San Mateo, CA; her brother Richard Castello of Moorcroft, Wyoming and sister Louise Stermer of Fresno, CA; Aurdery is also survived by ten grandchildren: Ari, Angela, and Alexandra Dimas; Zachary, Carson, Addison and McKenna Englhardt; Lilah and Cooper Keating; and Claire Keating.

A funeral service was held at 10 am on May 13 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, 116 Bradford Street, Sonora, CA 95370, with burial at Dambacher Mountain Memorial, to be laid to rest with her husband, Bernie Keating.

“Aurdery Louise Keating.” Legacy.Com, Legacy, 18 May 2024, Accessed 27 May 2024.

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