Francis "Frank" Charles Costello

February 21, 1929April 5, 2019

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 served 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 in Hillsdale, N.J., before retiring to Estes Park, Colo., in 1998. He was a founder in 1963 of one of New Jersey’s first environmental commissions in Hillsdale, 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. He shared his love of nature with his wife and four children while traveling 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 transformational 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 are a son, Timothy Costello (Kathryn) of Irvine, Calif.; daughter Monica Costello (John Mossman) of Berthoud; son Francis X. Costello (Bonnie) of Westwood, N.J.; and daughter Mariclare Suomi of Beverly Hills, Calif., along with nine beloved grandchildren. A viewing is scheduled for Friday, April 12, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Howe Mortuary in Longmont, Colo., followed by a funeral Mass on Saturday, April 13, at 10 a.m. at St. Francis of Assisi Church in Longmont. In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to Grace’s Basket, a nonprofit founded by Frank’s daughter Mariclare (named for her young daughter who is now 8 years cancer free) that is committed to helping families whose children are receiving treatment at Mattel Children's Hospital, UCLA Pediatric Hematology/ Oncology Department.

Semper Fi.


  • Visitation Friday, April 12, 2019
  • A Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, April 13, 2019


Francis "Frank" Charles Costello

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