Written by Gabriel Dillard
Former Business Journal reporter David Castellon died over the weekend at age 55.
He died from a range of health problems, including Covid-19, according to an obituary published by the Visalia Times-Delta.
Castellon was a veteran news reporter whose storied career took him all over the country and the world.
Castellon joined The Business Journal team in February 2017. Before that he had worked for daily papers across the U.S. including in Albany, Oregon; Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.; Ogden, Utah; Fort Worth, Texas; and Stockton, as well as for the weekly Air Force Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times newspapers.
He covered the technology, environment, agriculture, science and ecology beats for Gannett newspapers in Visalia, Tulare and Salinas. Prior to that he reported on city and county government and public-safety beats in Visalia and Tulare. Readers of the Visalia Times- Delta knew his byline well when he worked there from 2003 to 2017.
Castellon covered some of the most important beats at The Business Journal, including agriculture and real estate. He was known as a dogged reporter who never shied away from asking tough questions of sources. He was also an award winner, taking first place in the 2019 California Journalism Awards held by the California News Publishers Association.
His story headlined “Raising the good ol’ raisin” took top honors in the category of Agricultural Reporting.
The story examines the methods the local raisin industry uses to make their product more exciting and palatable, especially for young people.
“An innovative and fresh look at a familiar topic,” according to a judge’s comment. “Nutrition is examined in a thorough manner accompanied by a great layout and top-notch photography. All around a solid, fun and impressive piece of work.”
Castellon also earned second place in the Agricultural Reporting category for his series on hemp growing.
A cancer survivor, Castellon was also a devoted family man who always spoke adoringly of his two daughters. He is also survived by a long-term girlfriend, parents and three siblings.