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John Nicholas Costello, 90, of Rockford, Illinois, passed away February 26, 2018. John was born June 30, 1927 in Mt Carmel, Pennsylvania to Anthony and Mary Costello (Castiello). John grew-up in Mt. Carmel, Pennsylvania during the great depression.

Immediately after high school, John enlisted in the United States Navy and served as Seaman Second Class USNR, on several ships, including the NTC Sampson, USS Vicksburg CL86, and USS Springfield CL66. He was awarded the American Theater Ribbon and Victory Medal, World War II.

John completed his Bachelor degree at Lock Haven State University, Lock Haven, PA and his Master's in Education at University of Illinois, Champagne Urbana.

John married Catherine Theresa "Terri" Muskey on December 26, 1951 in Shamokin, Pennsylvania. They became Rockford residents in 1954. John began his teaching career at Kinnikinnick in Roscoe, Illinois then taught at Lincoln Junior High School from 1954 to 1970. He coached basketball at Lincoln and his team won the State championship twice. He was assistant principal of Lincoln middle school prior to moving to Eisenhower as assistant principal from 1971 to 1974. He became principal of Kennedy middle school in 1974. He was principal of Lincoln Junior High School again until his retirement in June of 1987. He continued to substitute teach for ten years after retirement.

John was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church where he regularly attended. He was also a member of the National & Illinois State Education Associations. John was an avid golfer (two holes-in-one, Ledges and Mac town) and tennis player for most of his life and was a long-time YMCA member. John lived for a short time in Munster, Indiana, where he continued to work out daily at the Fitness Point. He felt the greatest joy spending time with his children and grandchildren and was a beloved grandfather.

John is survived by his wife, Terri Costello, his three sons, Dr. John Costello (Cecile), Mark Costello (Carolyn), and Scott (former, Brenna), his brother, Dr. Anthony Costello (Cindy), and his two grandchildren, Lucas (15) and Mira (14). He is preceded by his mother (2003), father (1984), and brother, Raymond (1988).

Visitation to be held Friday, March 2, at 9:30 AM to 11:00 AM followed by mass at 11:00 at Holy Family Catholic Church, Rockford. Interment 10:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, March 6, in Mt. Carmel, PA, at St. Peter Cemetery, section-new, Block D, Row #3, Grave Space #14. Memorials may be made to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014. Arrangements by Olson Funeral & Cremation Services, LTD.

Condolences & Shared Memories (3)


    Mr. Costello was the best teacher ever. I enjoyed having him as my teacher while I was a student and cheerleader at Lincoln Junior High school. RIP. My love and prayers to his family, and also, to all who knew him.

  2. Paul Wixom

    John was a colleague and friend. Good guy and may he RIP. I will remember him in my prayers.

  3. John Gustafson

    John was a great teacher and principal. He throughly enjoyed people as proven by his outgoing and magnetic personality and his many shared quips and stories. John was a tough principal, but compassionate and supportive of students and staff.

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