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Francis Charles "Frank" Costello

1929 - 2019 Obituary Condolences
Francis Charles "Frank" Costello Obituary
Francis "Frank" Charles Costello

Berthoud, CO - Francis "Frank" Charles Costello, a longtime biology professor at City University of New York who touched many lives, died April 5, at his farm in Berthoud, Colo. He was 90.

Born in Newark, N.J., on February 21, 1929, to Francesco "Frank" Costello and Anunciata "Nancy" Anfuso Costello — both of whom emigrated from Sicily — he grew up in Travis, Staten Island, N.Y.

He served two stints in the Marine Corps from 1946-47 and 1950-52. Frank earned bachelor's and master's degrees at Fordham University. He was on the faculty of City University of New York, Bronx Community College, for 35 years, including 27 years as chairman of the biology department. He also taught at New York University, The College of New Rochelle and Pace University.

He married Joan E. Boyle on October 8, 1955, and they lived most of their lives with their four children in Hillsdale, N.J., before retiring to Estes Park, Colo., in 1998. Frank and Joan were devoted members of St. John the Baptist parish in Hillsdale.

In 1963, Frank was a founder of one of New Jersey's first environmental commissions, aimed at raising awareness of ecology and the conservation of our natural world. Hillsdale still holds an annual Maple Syrup Festival that he initiated during his tenure and a nature trail in the town's Beechwood Park.

He shared his love of nature with his wife and four children while camping across the country, visiting all 50 states and numerous national parks.

He gave his time to various organizations throughout his life — on the board of the Estes Park Medical Center, serving on the Travis Volunteer Fire Department, and volunteering at Longmont United Hospital and for the U.S. Forest Service, to name only a few.

As a professor, he instilled a love of biology in several generations of students. Frank was known for his passionate lectures infused with a theatrical enthusiasm for the sciences and an ever-present sense of humor. He understood the transformative power of education, especially in the economically challenged neighborhoods of The Bronx.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 59 years, Joan. Surviving children are Timothy Costello (Kathryn) of Irvine, Calif.; Monica Costello (John Mossman) of Berthoud; Francis X. Costello (Bonnie) of Westwood, N.J.; and Mariclare Suomi of Beverly Hills, Calif., along with nine beloved grandchildren.

If one thing could define Frank's legacy beyond the love he had for his family, it would be his love of science and the environment.

He was a man of intense curiosity in both the arts as well as sciences and enjoyed sharing what he learned with others. Perhaps his greatest contribution would be that we are all in nature and nature is in all of us, and there are consequences to upsetting that fragile balance. Frank helped those who were privileged to know him see that beauty in not only ourselves but our own backyards.

If you want to honor his memory, please plant a tree, shrub, hedge or just a flower. Help begin to restore the balance of nature; our legacy depends upon it.

Semper Fi.
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