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Paul F. Costa

Obituary Condolences

Paul Francis Costa, formerly of Avon, 65, beloved husband of 43 years to Denise (Unda) Costa, died unexpectedly Saturday, June 7, 2014, at Tobey Hospital in Wareham, Massachusetts. Born in Boston, he was raised by two dedicated parents in Avon: John Costa Sr., a father who served in World War II for five years; and Constance Costa, a mother who was a beloved community presence. She would be the one who would teach him about the importance of love that would guide him throughout the rest of his life. While in Massachusetts, he developed a tremendous appreciation for nature which would become a central theme and a dependable place of serenity for him that he would bestow upon his children. In his early years, seeing how his father was affected by his experience in the war and having to work three jobs, he decided he wanted more out of life and moved his family west. He was also disappointed that proximity bared no weight on interaction or consistency with his extended family. With his wife's support he followed his dream for a life of happiness and freedom following the spirit of the river to Idaho, Montana and Maine. In 1983, Paul flew to Oregon during a summer break and fell in love with the beauty of the mountains and convinced his wife to move there, only to discover that the rainy climate which supported the beautiful roses in Portland would prove too much for a man who needed to be outside to be at peace. After enduring 10 years with an umbrella in Oregon, he surrendered and moved the family one last time to sunny San Diego where he enjoyed the rest of his life: traveling to see his children and grandchildren in Florida, Colorado, Hawaii, and Oregon. Paul made a living as an educator and used the classroom material as a platform to teach children about life. He was famous for his alter ego "Professor Paisano" who would dress up in an Italian hat and challenge the children in his class to convince him the world wasn't flat. He believed in love and that children learned what they lived. He made it his purpose in the school system to teach children to question things. He helped over 5,000 inner city kids in the 30 years he dedicated to teaching. In retirement, Paul was an avid outdoors man, nature photographer and gardener, who loved fly fishing, whitewater rafting and canoeing. He also volunteered with the Boy Scouts showing kids how to earn a fishing pole to catch fish by cleaning up parks. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children, James Vallord Costa and his love, Laurence Vallord of Florida, Joseph Paul Costa of Hawaii, Nicholas Paul Costa and his fiancee Meghan Dooney of Oregon, Julianne Denise Costa and her wife Shannon Schiele of California. "Grandpa Paul" was the proud grandfather of Logehn Vallord Costa and Kellan Vallord Costa. He was the brother of John Costa, Jr. of Avon, Donald Costa of Dracut and Robert Costa of Middleboro and is also survived by several nieces and nephews. Paul's church was in the forest and the rivers. He was the spiritual leader of his family and was a man who led an open and honest life, putting a high value on people, feelings and the truth. At the end of his life, he transcended many years of personal family turmoil and was able to open his heart and truly enjoy his final four years of retired life. In June 2014, he flew to spend time with his father who was turning 101 years old. The year before proved to be a turning point in his life which occurred while premiering a documentary picture film he made with his wife about his father, John, to show his father he loved him and to encourage his father to smell the roses. On the final day of his life, he went canoeing with a very dear friend named Chris Gill a retired Marine and his son, Ryan. On the trip down the Nemasket River, he did what he loved, floating down the river, teaching Chris' son how to paddle and took his time, enjoying a lifetime of work that brought him to this moment of enlightenment on what would become his last ride down a river. In his lifetime, he touched thousands of people, saved many and made the newspaper several times for his heroic acts. There was no greater heroic act than his willingness to lead an open, honest life, full of love and acceptance to anyone he met. He will be dearly missed. Family remembrances will be held in the Farley Funeral Home, 358 Park St. (Rte. 27), Stoughton on Thursday night at 7 p.m. Visiting hours prior from 4 - 7 p.m. Donations in Pauls memory may be made to the Sierra Club, 85 Second Street, 2nd Fl., San Francisco, CA 94105-3441. Directions and obituary at www.farleyfh.com. Farley Funeral Home (781) 344-2676

Published in The Patriot Ledger on June 11, 2014
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