Donald R. Casillas, Sr.

May 24, 1927 - June 2, 2018

Donald R. Casillas, Sr. passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on June 2, 2018. He was 91.

Don was born in Madrone, CA on May 24, 1927, to Christobal and Margarita (Saldivia) Casillas. He was the eighth of nine sons.

He was born during the Great Depression Era. The family lived a simple life and worked hard in the fields and orchards of Madrone and Morgan Hill. His father and brothers taught him how to live off the land through fishing and hunting. In their past times they loved to ride the bulls and broncs in the Madrone Rodeo.

Don married his forever sweetheart, Helen Marez on June 3, 1950 in Santa Clara. The couple raised five kids off of Live Oak Avenue. He provided for his family by driving tractor for various ranches in Morgan Hill until he became a mason, to which he stayed with the craft until retirement.

But most of all he loved his family and friends. He was kind and funny. He loved family barbecues, holiday tamale making, casino excursions and catching up with his old buddies from the ranch days. He could fix anything and would teach you how to as well. When he bid you goodbye he’d tell you, “call if you need anything”, and he meant it.

Don was preceded in death by his wife Helen Mary (Marez) Casillas in 2005. He was the last surviving sibling of the Butron/Casillas brothers.

Don is survived by his children, Margaret Yardley, Carol Nuñez, Don Casillas, Jr., Monica Casillas, and Sandy Hernandez (Victor). He had fourteen grandchildren, nineteen great- grandchildren, and three great-great grandchildren. Also, survived by many nephews and nieces.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, June 10, 2018 beginning at 2:00pm with the Vigil Service starting at 4:00pm at Habing Family Funeral Home in Gilroy, CA.
Graveside Service will be held on Monday, June 11, 2018 at 10:00am at St. Mary’s Catholic Cemetery in Gilroy, CA.

The family would prefer Donations to the Kidney or the Diabetes Foundations.
For online condolences please go to

Previous articleLeonard S. Trujillo
Next articleThank you