Frank M. Costanza
January 7, 1929 – November 18, 2020
Francis Michael Costanza was born on January 7, 1929 in Corona, New York, the youngest of five children, to Rose Puzino and Joseph Costanzo, Italian immigrants. He grew up singing in the church choir, roaming the streets of New York to collect bottles so he could see penny and nickel moving picture shows, and generally getting into mischief as young boys are wont to do.
He joined the Army at age 19 in 1948 and served in the military for 25 years, ultimately attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant prior to retirement from military service. He also married Floster Pinson in June 1948 and had children Floster Michelle and Joseph Robert during the marriage. As anyone who knew him during this time can attest, Frank was stubborn and had a temper, which made him a difficult partner and parent. He eventually became estranged from his daughter and her children and family relationships remained strained in future years.
Following his retirement from the Army, he worked as a civilian for Hewlett Packard in supply and quality assurance until retiring. In 1979, he and Floster divorced and he subsequently married Mamie Ruth Gower later that year. They remained married until Mamie Ruth passed in June 2010 and enjoyed many happy years together. He was a devoted husband to her and deeply grieved her death.
Following his retirement from Hewlett Packard, he was an enthusiastic sports fan and devotedly followed the Rockies and Broncos every year. During his retirement, he enjoyed gardening, RV trips, reading murder mysteries, watching movies, and spending time with his family and friends. He was notorious for making friends everywhere he went, insisting on picking up the bill, spoiling his granddaughter Kathryn, and judging the lasagna at most of the Italian restaurants in northern Colorado Springs. In his final home at Brookside Inn, he made wonderful friends of both staff and residents. He joined the resident executive council to advise on matters impacting the residents, played Santa Claus, and became a coloring enthusiast.
He died peacefully at the age of 91 on November 18, 2020 shortly after contracting bacterial pneumonia following recovery from COVID-19. He is survived by his son, Joe, granddaughter Kathryn, favorite sister-in-law Mary Costanzo, niece Theresa Peace, stepson Richard Disque, and other grandchildren and great-grandchildren from whom he was estranged.
Frank was charming and charismatic, a career military veteran who served his country honorably and supported veteran causes in his retirement, a lasagna-maker extraordinaire, a cantankerous old Italian who could hold a grudge for eternity, and a kind and generous man to those he cared about. He could be stubborn, dramatic, and difficult. He could also be generous, gentle, and open-hearted. He will be missed.
Remembrance activities are being held virtually to ensure the health and safety of those who remain. In lieu of flowers or financial support, if you are so inclined and able, please make a memorial donation to Wounded Warriors in Frank’s memory or make a donation to the St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital at the provided links. Both were causes near and dear to Frank during his life.
For donations to the Wounded Warrior Project: https://www.woundedwarriorproject.org/ For donations to St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital: https://www.stjude.org/donate/donate-to-st-jude.html
Sunday, November 29, 2020
Frank M. Costanza
November 29, 2020
Love you Uncle Frank! You are a treasure of a man and I'm glad you're watching over us from Heaven.
November 29, 2020
I enjoyed getting to know Frank while he lived at Brookside. He always had a kind work to say or a fun story to share. I work in the laundry department and I remember the day he handed me 6 pair of "crazy" socks he wanted me to label with his name. They were polk-a-dots, stripes, patterns, bright colors etc. He told me that he had work plain black socks his whole life and it was time to "live a little". I miss folding those socks already. RIP Frank, it was an honor to know you.
November 29, 2020
Uncle Frank was my favorite uncle. He was the only family member that I really cared about. He was a good soul. Too many other family members who tried to put me down for going to college and he was the only one who told me to continue with my education. I kept in touch with him over the years he was only family member I really cared about. I appreciate that he kept in touch with my mother and maintained their friendship. It meant a lot to my mom and I will always be thankful for what he did. Frank was a good soul I will miss him very much.
November 28, 2020
Frank was my FAVORITE of all my Uncles. We loved being with him and Ruth at their home in Colorado Springs. We had such a great time visiting and having a good family dinner with Joe and Kathryn -that memory I will always cherish. He is now in Heaven with his beloved Ruth. We will miss them forever and know one day we will all be in Heaven for a reunion. We loved that he came to visit us here in Asheville and we toured the beautiful mountains and sights with my family. We enjoyed our daily conversations over the phone and will miss hearing his cheerful voice. We had lots of laughs and shared lots of family memories and stories. He will always be in our hearts. When I made a book of my Mother Mary's life - there were some photos of him and the family and asked me to make him a copy of the book. He was thrilled to have such a visible record. My Mother, Mary and him had a wonderful relationship since they were young. He was her Best Man at her wedding and her best friend as they aged. They would encourage each other on the phone and laugh about how long they had lived and glad they still alive to converse. It was one of the pleasantries of my mom’s life to talk with him so often and sometimes they would talk in Italian and giggle about how much they forgot as well. Mary misses him so much.
November 28, 2020
Frank was a very dear friend and will be deeply missed. He would come up to Safeway everyday and venture through the store, not only greeting every employee but he also had some close friends in the Starbucks area. He knew every employee by name and everyone loved to chat with him daily. I enjoyed my visits to Franks and loved each and every story he told me. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. He will be missed by everyone at Safeway. And truly miser by me.
Rest In Peace Frank
Mark and Linda Raphael
November 27, 2020
Frank and Ruth were dear friends and neighbors to us for 27 years. They lived next door for many years and returned back to the same neighborhood so Ruth could be close to my Mom, Jean, as they were best friends. They were dear people whom we loved. We will miss them forever. May you Rest In Peace Dear Frank and join Ruth in your beautiful afterlife.
We Love You Frank, Mark and Linda Raphael
November 26, 2020
What a wonderful tribute to a life well lived. We met Frank as Kathryn became a part of our family and have always loved his witty humor and his ability to brighten a room. Hard for me to imagine an Italian from NY who isn't cantankerous and stubborn in their youth. We grow, we learn and hopefully we forgive. We were blessed to have known him albeit for such a short time. Kathryn, a beautiful honor to your grandfather.
November 25, 2020
The Buckley AFB military Retiree Activities Office (RAO) would like to offer our sincere condolences and our gratitude for SSG Costanza's 25 years of service to our country in the Army. If you would like help with any matters related to casualty assistance, Defense Finance & Accounting Service, Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), Veterans Affairs (VA), etc. you can contact our office on Buckley AFB at 720-847-6693. The RAO is staffed by volunteers, all military retirees themselves, and our sole purpose is to provide assistance to any military retirees and surviving spouses/family members with anything related to their military service and/or benefits, in particular during difficult times such as this. We are deeply sorry for your loss.
Lt Col, USAF, Ret
Director, Buckley AFB RAO
November 24, 2020
Another memory I have of Grandpa came from the last year of his life, when he was asked to represent Brookside Inn and light the Castle Rock star with one of his friends, Judy. It was a chilly December afternoon, but there was a live band, and a festival atmosphere. He absolutely loved the band, dancing along in his seat, and had a fantastic time with Judy.
November 24, 2020
I have a lot of wonderful memories as an adult chatting with Grandpa and hearing stories about his childhood in New York. He told me stories about one time when he was quite young hopped on a train to visit Coney Island or some other amusement park and had to have a police officer help him get back home. He still grieved his sister Rose, who died when he was about 6 or 7 years old and always remembered that his mother, who he adored, had hair like fine white cotton.
When I was little, maybe 5 or 6, I remember that he would tease me about cutting off all my hair and pantomime scissors with his hands and chase me around. Later, I found this particularly funny as an adult when I cut my hair short and he didn't like my short hair.
Later in his life, he told me that he had always wanted to see the ballet so we went to go see the ballet at the Denver Center of the Performing Arts. We had lunch at Biaggis, his favorite Italian restaurant, and had a great time at the ballet together. We talked about the performance the whole way home and you could tell that it just lit him up inside. We took a selfie together and took some photos of the stage (even though we weren't supposed to) on his phone and the light is terrible and the picture quality is low, but he looks happy, and it is a reminder of that day together.
November 23, 2020
I never met Frank. I work with his grand-daughter, Kathryn. But if I am revered by my children/grand-children half as much as Kathryn showed for Frank, I will consider that a life well-lived. And from one veteran to another, thank you for your service. Here's to Frank.