John Costanzo, 94, of Durham, NH, formerly of Poolesville, MD, passed away peacefully Thursday, February 28, 2019.
Born August 18, 1924 in Lawrence, MA to Charles Costanzo and Brigida Costanzo (Rodilico), John was the younger brother of Anthony J. Costanzo. John was especially close to his mother who would make delicious veal cutlets and many other Italian/Sicilian dishes. In the summer, he and his father would drive out to Salisbury and fish using a small wooden boat. John was responsible for delivering their fresh catch to family and friends around the neighborhood. After Pearl Harbor, John and his older brother enlisted in the military, Anthony joined the US Air Corps and John joined the Navy. He served aboard the USS Edwards (DD-619), USS Rudyerd Bay (CVE-81) and USS Philippine Sea (CVS-47) throughout the duration of WW2. He had tours of duty in the South Pacific as well as the Mediterranean and spoke of cruising past Italy waving to his distant brethren amongst the olive trees.
After the war, he served for eighteen years in the Metropolitan Washington, DC Police Dept. He was a motorcycle police officer and even participated in the motorcade escorting the President in the inauguration. He also went on to join the DC vice squad. It was during his time on the force when he met the love of his life, Deane Joy Ashbaugh. They were married soon after and had a son, Stephen C. Costanzo. John and Deane had many great friends in the Silver Springs, MD area including those at the Holly Hills Country Club. John was a fan of the NFL’s Washington Redskins and was a season ticket holder.
Sadly, John lost both his wife and son to cancer. A resilient man, John remained a positive person and continued to stay very active keeping many great friendships and hobbies golfing into his 80s. He moved from Maryland to Durham, NH in 2000 to be closer to his nephews and their families. John developed a hobby as a model railroader which he took to a remarkable level with his project “Costanzoville,” a very detailed and enormous train set village encompassing the entirety of his Durham home’s basement. John was recently recognized by US Navy for his service by leading the passing of the glass ceremony at the commissioning of a littoral combat ship, the USS Manchester in May 2018.
John enjoyed listening to Dean Martin, driving his Cadillac, eating Italian food (slowly), filling his dance card, rooting for the Patriots, getting his photo taken with Santa, and his two cats, also named Deane and Steve.
John was predeceased by his wife, Deane, son Steve and brother, Anthony. He is survived by his nephews, Tony Costanzo and Bob Costanzo; a niece, Lorraine McMahon; as well as numerous grand and great-grand nieces and nephews.
There will be no funeral service. Calling hours will be at Cataudella Funeral Home, 126 Pleasant Valley Street in Methuen, MA from 4:00 to 6:30 pm on Wednesday, March 6, 2019.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John’s memory to the Veterans Association of America.
Donations may be made to:
Veterans Association of America