Frederick James Costello
1937 - 2019
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Frederick James "Pop" Costello, 82, of Bonita Springs, FL died on July 31, 2019 after a long illness. While Fred enjoyed a successful career, his most treasured work was building a family with Nancy Peters, his high school sweetheart and wife of 60 years, whom he frequently called "the center of my universe."

Fred was born on June 11, 1937 in Pittsfield MA, to James V Costello, an immigrant from Spain and Elsie Broga whose American roots trace to 1630 settlers of Connecticut. The couple raised Fred and his two siblings on the family farm on Greenwater Pond in nearby Becket-- a modest homestead on land granted to Andrew Broga, Elsie's great grandfather, for his service in the Revolutionary War. Fred and his brother John lovingly maintained the property over the years and because of their generosity, ensuing generations have enjoyed fishing, late-night bonfires and flashlight tag on its grounds.

Fred graduated from Lee High School and earned a BS from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where he majored in chemical engineering and pursued football, Greek life, and of course, his girlfriend Nancy, to whom he proposed before graduating.

Fred and Nancy went on to raise six children while Fred led a long and accomplished career with Union Carbide. The family lived in six states and Fred especially enjoyed the years he spent in Hong Kong and Tokyo. After their children were grown, Fred and Nancy settled in Washington, CT, where on Sundays you could hear Fred, a skilled tenor, singing hymns from the balcony at Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

Music infused Fred's life, whether he was listening to the Boston Pops with his family on a picnic blanket under the stars at Tanglewood, or leading his children in song while he played the autoharp. His children and many grandchildren inherited Fred's love of music, and no family gathering was complete unless children and adults of all ages were singing and performing.

In retirement, Fred and Nancy moved to Bonita Springs, FL where Fred served as President of WPI's Alumni Association and on the boards of Benjamin Moore, Bonita Springs Center for the Arts, and Bonita Springs Community Foundation, among others. The couple continued to travel the country in order to welcome the latest additions to their ever-growing family, which would eventually include 20 grandchildren and one great grandchild. During these trips, "Pop" loved to work night patrol so that weary parents could rest; cradling wailing newborns in his arms for hours on end, gently singing them to sleep. As his grandchildren grew, Pop continued to wrap them in bear hugs and "I love yous" and he treasured nothing more than fishing with them off the dock at Greenwater Pond or on cruises around Bonita Bay.

Fred is survived by his loving wife Nancy and their six children and spouses, Fred Costello Jr. and Ann Nobis of Bonita Springs, FL; Catherine and Ronnie Bennett of Bethlehem, GA; Daniel Costello and Kerry Bernard of Maynard, MA; Suzanne Costello and Jeff Keffer of Arlington, MA; James Costello and Candy Chan of San Antonio, TX, and Amy Costello and Gregory Watt of Austin, TX. Fred was predeceased by his son-in-law Jim Christmann, his grandson Peter Keffer-Fries and granddaughter Stephanie Kay Bennett. He leaves his siblings and their spouses, Dorinda and Don Moffatt of Vero Beach, FL and John and Sandy Costello of Bradenton, FL.

A Liturgy of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, August 6th, at 10 AM at St. Mary's Church, 140 Main Street in Lee, MA. Burial will follow in St. Mary's Cemetery, 208 Spring Street in Lee. Visiting hours will be on Monday, August 5th, from 4-6 PM at the Kelly Funeral Home, 3 Main Street in Lee. There will be a Memorial Service for Fred at a date to be determined in Bonita Springs Florida.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Fred's memory may be made to the "James V. Costello Scholarship" which supports low-income students at his beloved alma mater: Please send in c/o the Kelly Funeral Home 3 Main Street Lee, MA 01238.

If you would like to leave a message of condolence or share pictures with the family, please visit our web site at

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Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Aug. 3, 2019.
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14 entries
October 24, 2019
I had the absolute pleasure of working with Fred at WPI- as a trustee, as a board member of the Alumni Association. He was committed, thoughtful and passionate about his WPI. He will be sadly missed.
Beth Howland
August 12, 2019
Dear Nancy, I will continue to have fond memories of working with Fred on the WPI Alumni Association board. He was a stabilizing force of reason and common sense. His gentle demeanor made him a friend to all who knew him, or met him for the first time - a true gentleman.
It is sad when you lose someone who has enriched your life, but that "enriching" will be with you always.
Best regards and sincere condolences,
Dusty and Maureen Klauber '67
August 11, 2019
Dear Nancy and Family,
Sandy and me have special memories of our times spent together for which we will ever be grateful.
Stanley Jennings
August 10, 2019
Dear Nancy,
I'm so sorry to learn of Fred's passing. He was a great fraternity brother, a great alumnus and an all round great guy.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.
Paul Bayliss
August 9, 2019
Dear Nancy and family -

How sad I and my wife Penilee are to hear about the loss of Fred. He was one of my closest friends at WPI and in working on and attending every WPI Class Reunion. He was greatly missed at this year's 60th and was the subject of many conversations at every gathering this June. He was an outstanding individual and you, Nancy, were always a delightful companion for my late wife,Carol, and my current wife, Peni, in these events.

He will be greatly missed. Our prayers are extended to you and his family. Ed Saulnier
Ed Saulnier
August 9, 2019
I am going to repeat what Bill Rogler wrote. Pops will be missed at SigEp. As the Chapter Counselor I will ensure that the undergrad Brothers know something of our Brother, and that he will be remembered with a moment of silence. Good men are built upon the foundation of other good men. Pops certainly is one of those good men.
Neil Spellman
August 8, 2019
Fred lived a full life and we brothers of Sig Ep and Skull and fellow WPI alumni will certainly remember his energy, his accomplishments and his humor. He will be missed by all.

Bill Rogler '57
Naples and St. Louisl
August 8, 2019
I am so sorry to learn of Fred's passing. Fred was my "big brother" at Sig Ep and I admired him then and continued to admire him as long as I knew him. I particularly cherish the good times we had together working on alumni affairs at WPI.

Lee and I are thinking of you in this time of sorrow.

Bill Krein
WPI '62
Estero, FL
Duxbury, MA
August 8, 2019
Nancy, I was so sorry to learn of Fred's passing. He was my "big brother" at Sig Ep and I admired him then and continued to do so for as long as I knew him. I particularly recall working with Fred on WPI alumni affairs. My best wishes for you and you family at this time of loss.
Bill Krein

Estero, FL
Duxbury, MA
August 8, 2019
Dear Mrs.Costello and Family:
I am very sorry for passing of Fred and extend to you all my and Gloria's condolences.

Mohammad (Moe) Amin

Class of 1959
August 5, 2019
Nancy. I am so sorry to hear of Fred's passing. We went to school together until I moved after freshman year. During grammar school we were always on the high honor roll but that ended as soon as high school started when he stayed on and I fell off. I remember that you came to LHS at the beginning of freshman year and once Fred saw you, that was that. I can still see you sitting near the front row with me, maiden name PArry, not far behind. i envy you all those long years together with happy memoies and with a wonderful family. Blessings on all of you. dorothy
dorothy slater
August 5, 2019
dorothy slater
August 3, 2019
To Nancy and family,
I am so sorry for your loss. Fred was such an amazing person. He was and still is loved and cherished by myself and my entire family. From as long as I can remember I have such fond memories of Fred and Nancy visiting my family's home. I can not describe how much he will be missed, especially by my mother and father, James and Sally Bianco. However I know he will be in our thoughts and memories forever.
Todd Bianco
August 3, 2019
So sorry to read of your brother Fred's passing. Dick thought the world of him. Sadly,Dick passed away in May.So many happy memories of Greenwater Pond.
My sincere condolences,
Nancy Morin
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