OLD TOWN - Joseph Bernard Costello passed away peacefully in the early morning hours on Saturday October 24, surrounded by the love of his family. Joe was born February 11, 1933 in Port Carbon Pennsylvania, the son of Mary Fox Costello and Edward James Costello. He grew up in Pennsylvania, graduating from Central Catholic High School in Reading. His family originated from County Mayo Ireland and his great grandfather came over on the Irish Famine Ship Perseverance in 1846, a history he loved to research and tell.
Joe served in the Air Force, and it was while stationed at Dow Air Force Base in Bangor that he made a fateful trip to French Island in Old Town. There he met Rita Rose Paradis, who became his wife and partner of 60 years. Rita's parents, Melvina and Louis, as well as her nine brothers and sisters, welcomed him as their son and brother, thus cementing what would be a 60 year journey of shared adventures and life with the Paradis. After Joe and Rita married on May 28, 1955 they spent a year stationed in England, and then came back to the United States. They first settled in Reading, Pennsylvania where Joe worked for the Reading Railroad, the place of his father's employment.
Maine was their next move, when Joe went to Husson College, and studied for his B.A in Accounting. He was a Special Agent with the I.R.S for 29 years, first in Bangor and then in Presque Isle, where they lived for 18 years, raising their family and being active in the community. Joe and Rita greatly enjoyed their time in Aroostook County, being active in the Knights of Columbus, Boy Scouts, and forging friendships that continued long after they left. Joe served as a Grand Knight and was instrumental in the construction of the Presque Isle Knights of Columbus Hall, which still stands, and is in view of his former I.R.S. office on Main Street. Joe transferred to the Bangor office in 1982 and retired in 1990.
Among the family's many travels, he was most passionate about his trips to Ireland, where he visited and continued his genealogy research in the town and church of his great grandfather Michael Joseph Costello. An avid reader of history, Joe was a wealth of knowledge in any conversation, retained details of road maps, and enjoyed discussions about sports, geography and current events. He and Rita instilled that interest in their family, by traveling often and taking them to such places as Washington D.C. for the Watergate hearings, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and in 1976 traveling to all of the history sites from the Revolutionary War. This legacy continues as his children share that interest with their families. Joe could often be found listening to or watching the Boston Red Sox, keeping his own box score card. And being Irish, he was of course a proud fan of Notre Dame. Above all else, Joe and Rita created a home where people loved to come, talk, laugh and enjoy each other. These remembrances, along with Joe's quick wit, will be forever remembered by his children, grandchildren, and those he leaves behind.
We will honor his memory by loving those in our family and those who join our families, as he and Rita have inspired us all in their marriage, as well as their role as parents and grandparents.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Rita, along with 6 children and their families: daughter Karen (Terry) Beaulieu of Powder Springs, Georgia and their sons Ryan, Travis (Kristy), and their grandchildren, Christian and Ayden Beaulieu, Brayden and Renae Lubertazzi; Michael (Teresa) of Orono, Maine, and their children Nicole, (son Mason), M. Joseph, Stephen, and Jeffery (Linda); son Brian (Jeanne) of Saco, Maine and their daughters Brie and Jackie; son Jim (Beth) of Yarmouth, Maine and their children Nicholas (Samantha), Tyler, and Sara; daughter Renee (David) Curtis of Milford, Maine and their children Nathan and Meghan; son Craig (Kelli) of Veazie, Maine and their children Leah and Griffin. Joe is also survived by his brother Jack and sister-in-law Gail's children: Matthew Costello, David Costello, Lisa Hebert, and Debbie Michaud, along with their families. Rita's siblings from the Paradis family Madeline, Velma, Kenny, Yvonne, Ronnie (Barbara), Gary and Alan (Paula) survive him as well. He was predeceased by his brother Jack, sister and brother in law Rita and Ben Raybold, and brothers in law Louis (Jinx) Paradis and Donald Paradis.
The family wishes to express sincere thanks to the staff of St. Joseph's Hospital in Bangor. Their care and compassion is greatly appreciated.
A celebration of his life gathering will be held 5-7PM Tuesday at the Birmingham Funeral Home 438 Main St Old Town where members of the Knights of Columbus will recite prayers at 6:30 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, October 28, at the Parish of The Resurrection, Holy Family Catholic Church, Old Town. A reception to follow in the Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, we respectfully suggest a donation in his memory to St. Joseph's Hospital: Cardiac Pulmonary Care Unit, 360 Broadway, P.O. Box 403 Bangor, Maine 04401 or Camp CaPella: P.O. Box 552, Holden, Maine 04429.
With appreciation for Joe's life and the influence he had on us all, we honor him with his favorite Irish blessing:
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind always be at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rain fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.