Paul Vincent Castelvi, 42, a Filipino caregiver living and working on Kibbutz Be’eri, was murdered by Hamas terrorists on October 7.
He worked as a caretaker for Eviatar Kipnis, who was badly injured in a bike accident eight years ago and developed an autoimmune disease that left him in a wheelchair. Eviatar was found dead on October 17, and his wife, Lilach, was found dead on October 23.
Castelvi was declared dead a week before his employers, after his body was found in the nearby Be’eri forest.
He is survived by his parents, who live in the Philippines, and his wife, Jovelle “Bell” Santiago, who lived in Israel and gave birth to their firstborn less than a month after Paul was murdered. The baby’s name: Paul.
“Worth every pain… Worth the wait,” she wrote on Facebook alongside photos of her cradling their new baby in the hospital on November 4. “Thank you for coming to our life… Tatay is surely smiling at us from above.”
Several weeks earlier, she wrote: “I don’t know how and where I am now to start when you are gone — so hard. I feel like I lost half of my life. Guide us always with our baby boy.”
Paul’s father, Lourdines, told a local news site that his son was planning to surprise his mother for Christmas with his wife and their newborn after the Kipnis family bought him a ticket home.
His mother, Lilina, lamented, “I can’t hug him anymore, I can’t kiss him anymore. If he comes home as ashes, how can I hug him? He’s gone.”
“How could they do this to him? He was a very kind boy, so kind, there was no one like him.”
Paul was the family’s main breadwinner, his parents said, and he sent much of his earnings back home to the Philippines to support them, his siblings and his nieces and nephews.
Yotam Kipnis, the son of Eviatar and Lilach, wrote on Facebook that the death of Paul was a loss for his family.
“Paul was an incredible man, and I have still not come to terms with his death,” he wrote. “It’s unimaginable, and I can’t believe that I won’t meet him again… Rest in Peace, Paul Vincent Castelvi.”