23RD PSALMS: âThe Lord is my shepherd: I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul; He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for His nameâs sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou are with me, thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: Thou anointest my head with oil, my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.â
Antonia âConnieâ Castro Woods
âConnieâ as she was affectionately called, heard the Voice of Jesus saying âCome unto Me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.â âTake My yoke upon you, and lean on Me; for I am meek and lonely in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your soul. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.â
Antonia âConnieâ Castro Mallari was born in Magalang, Pampanga Philippines on June 13, 1956 to the union of Gloria Liwanag Castro Mallari and Quirino Cosio Mallari. She began her relationship with God as a devout Catholic. However, she decided at an early age that she would research Christianity and decide for herself. She waited until she moved to Sacramento, California and joined Calvary Chapel to be baptized in what she deemed to be the water like Jesus Christ. She later committed her worship of God at Midtown Church Sacramento, where she was loved by many.
While still in San Roque Elementary High school where she graduated near the top of her class with her phenomenal memory Connie was determined to pursue her dream of becoming the best and most demanded chef in the Philippines. But sometimes at such an early age our dreams become âdeferredâ. After graduation from high school Connie worked at menial jobs in order to save enough money to go to an outstanding culinary school.
Her life and her dreams for the future took a surprising turn when she met and fell in love with a handsome and charming United States Airman, Howard ReneÃ© Woods, from Chicago, Illinois who was stationed in the Philippines. Connie was a strong willed and determined individual. When Howard asked her to marry him, who had become stunned with her beauty, she said âyesâ immediately. The two wrote love letters for years before she was allowed to move to the United States to be reunited with the love of her life. They were finally married on September 16, 1981 in Oklahoma. Her new and loving husband encouraged her to continue to pursue her desired career, which she did. Howard separated from the United States Air Force and moved to San Diego, California soon after their marriage. Connie took a job in the kitchen of the San Diego Marriott hotel. Her fellow employees soon recognized her skills as an outstanding cook. When this information reached top management Connie was called into the office to discuss her career goals. She was soon upgraded to Head Chef in a matter of months. Connie stayed in this position for over eight years. She only left it to relocate to Sacramento, California which she loved. Connie also worked as the head chef at the KG Club. After a couple of years, she retired her Chef hat where she later worked for Certainteed and Aim.
Connie was a very unique individual. She was beautiful and extremely smart. Her memory was shocking to most. For example, she memorized the majority of the NBA players and their stats along with the teams they played on. Basketball was one of her many passions. Another one was shopping. Not shopping for ordinary things but shopping for diamonds and gold. She also loved to shop for her grandkids, whom she loved dearly. She liked to collect name brand purses such as Prada, Coach, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton.
Connie and Howard loved to travel. Aside from her favorite place to live, Sacramento, she and her husband visited Mexico, Hawaii, throughout the Philippines, New York, The Grand Canyon, Sedona, Las Vegas, Chicago, Ohio and all over California, from San Diego to the Oregon border.
Connie and Howard, both being from large families, wanted children. Their children are: Myniesh Isma Porton (Christopher Jerome Porton), Marilee Mercede Walker (Justin Keaune Don Jaz Walker) Mishon Kenneth Woods and bonus daughter, Qwenolyn Shamecca Kendall. Their grandchildren are: Christopher Thomas Porton, Kassidy Jae Walker (bonus granddaughter), Alexa-ReneÃ© Lea Brown, Marcus Howard Porton, Santana Don Jaz Walker, Breeze Zuri-Ari Walker, Blaze Walker and Bear Oak Walker.
Antonia âConnieâ will be sorely missed by her large family and her many friends. She lives to cherish her fond memories: Her husband, her children, her grandchildren and her mother, Gloria Liwanag Castro Mallari; siblings: Josefina Mallari Galigagan (Dalino Galigagan), Natividad Castro Mallari (Charles Denton Long Jr.), Rudy Castro Mallari (Julie Mallari), Lorretto Castro Mallari (Deceased) ((Maileen Mallari)),Medina Castro Mallari, Nida Castro Mallari; Rustico Castro Mallari(Angenette Napo Mallari)Rolando Castro Mallari (Deceased), and Jerry Castro Mallari (Arlene Dela Cruz Mallari). And a host of nieces, nephews, godchildren, aunts, uncles, cousins, relatives and friends.