September 1, 1998 ~ August 22, 2021
Born in: Atlanta, GA
Resided in: Boston, MA
Kendall Patrick Castañeda, passed away on August 22nd from natural causes. Born in Atlanta, September 1, 1998, he spent the last 5 years in Boston, his adopted hometown. He is preceded in death by his Paternal Grandparents, Froilan and Zosima Castañeda, and his Maternal Grandfather, Richard Draffin, Jr. He is also preceded by fellow Posse Foundation alum/chosen family member Erin Edwards.
He leaves us to continue his path; of chosen happiness, loving wholeheartedly, a big proponent of goofiness, and continual learning to – his mother, Mercedes Draffin (Paul Miller), his siblings, Zosima Castañeda (Kyle Nicklaw, and nephew Julio), Ethan Castañeda (Amber Harville), Courtney Castañeda, Emma Castañeda (Dominik Bedzyk), his partner Brianna Gilmore, his Best Friends Ron Thompson and Simeon Webb, his close cousin Karen Castañeda, Uncle and Aunt Robert and Leslie Castañeda (Avery Castañeda) and Uncle Frederick Castañeda, and his Maternal Grandmother, Ann Draffin an His #BU2021 Posse (Chosen Family): Nancy Lowenstein, Abdullaah Robins, Archelle Thelemaque, Christian Vanleer, Diem (DM) Maxwell, Kamilah Harruna, Kesha Perkins, MC Carradine.
There are hundreds and hundreds of you who have had connections with him, and we cannot list you all here, but you know what you meant to him and what he meant to you. And truly… every word he ever said to each and every one of you, he meant. You probably already know that.
While we deeply mourn this unexpected passing, we are celebrating 2 things. 1) His Memory and 2) You.
Kendall lived his entire life with a fullness of heart and wasted not one single minute he was given. He gave of himself, his time, his focus, his assistance, his laughter, his smile, and his hugs. His hugs were phenomenal. We are comforted by the fact that he lived daily without regret, and loved those he loved unconditionally and completely. We have NO doubt that when he passed unexpectedly, and peacefully, it was with no regret and no remorse. He knew how much and richly he was loved and conversely, we all knew how he felt about us. Although he graduated from Boston University in May 2021, Kendall left a big footprint there and could not walk down Commonwealth Avenue without seeing someone he knew, and giving a big smile and wave to them as he rushed to a class or activity.
To his siblings, blood related and chosen, Kendall was a constant source of laughter and light, even when he was a “pain in the ass”. He was passionate about helping others obtain success and whether that was through a small conversation or actively seeking out resources and connections for those he loved. Kendall’s ability to bring ease and joy into the conversation, even in the toughest of times, was one of his most unique and memorable qualities. He was able to turn anything into a joke and would do whatever it took to bring a smile to someone’s face, whether that be his sister or a random stranger on the street. His smile in of itself was infectious enough to break up a mundane day and become a shining light to us all, and now he watches over us all by brightening the night sky to lighten up our lives even when he is no longer with us. His terribly amazing jokes, infectious positivity, and outward philanthropy allowed everyone he interacted with to see straight into his open heart and affinity for kindness and character.
And then there’s you. Your sharing of the tsunami of pictures and stories is overwhelming, in a joyful way, and something that is keeping our spirits up. I don’t think Kendall understood, truly, his impact on his various communities. You are reminding us that he’s been this luminary well before his college years. Thank you for that gift.
He was an active leader and contributor in the community from community fridges, to BUFSA, his Posse Family, his work with the MCU as both a team leader and it’s President. He was on the Dean’s list innumerable times and was inducted into the highly regarded Scarlet Key Society upon Graduation. He graduated from Boston University with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociocultural Anthropology and a Minor in Computer Science. He was Resident Assistant of the Month, October 2019, and Justin Flynn Community Award, April 2020.
While at BU, he successfully served on the Executive Board of the Minority Connection Initiative and the Filipino Student Association, completed two internships at Deloitte, as well as the CodeU Program at Google. He served as a Program Advisor and Common Ground speaker for BU’s Summer Orientation team, and a Resident Assistant for BU Residence Life, as well as developing funding for BU’s annual fund as he worked at the Student Philanthropy center.
He’s remembered not only for the heights he accomplished for himself and for others, but for his intention, thoughtfulness, hope, curiosity, and gratitude which he poured wholeheartedly into everything he did.
We challenge you to dance goofily, or very well, to music when a good beat presents, try the good new food, learn something new, challenge yourself, hold someone’s hand who is scared, never let anyone eat alone who seems like they are doing so unintentionally, to love wholly and completely, so that those around you never have to wonder where they stand.
We ask that donations, in lieu of flowers, be made to the below, in his name Kendall Patrick Castaneda:
- Black Girls Code — Women of Color in Technology;
- BOS Food Bank / community fridges accepting donations https://boston.eater.com/maps/community-fridges-boston
- Healthcare for Homeless https://www.bhchp.org/
- Dorchester education https://dd2foundation.org
Arrangements will be Virtual, located below, and are handled by Wages & Sons Funeral Home in Lawrenceville. The virtual service will begin on Wednesday, September 1, 2021 at 12:00PM. We will keep you all updated through the Wages and Son website and social media.
As we can see, life is short. Go live it, and love it, fully.. It’s hard to imagine going forward without Kendall’s heart and wisdom to guide us, because he brings out the best in us. But As Kendall would say, “Not with that attitude!”
Live Streamed Service: September 1, 2021 12:00 pm - September 1, 2021 1:00 pm
Wages & Sons Gwinnett Chapel
1031 Lawrenceville Hwy.
Lawrenceville, GA 30046