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Clare A. Costello

June 29, 1929 February 18, 2019
Clare A. Costello
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Obituary for Clare A. Costello

As one of its most highly-qualified candidates, Clare A. Costello was welcomed into Heaven at 4:47 p.m. on Monday, February 18, 2019. Once again, she is with family.
A native Middletowner, Clare was the daughter of William F. and Mary Stout Costello. She was predeceased by her beloved sister, travel companion and best friend, Joan Costello.
Clare is survived by her dear cousin, Jane Anne “Big Red” Borst of Houston, Texas; Jane’s daughters Laura Jane Borst of Houston and Marianne Rowe, Lt. Col. (Ret.), USAF of Otisville, Marianne’s two sons, Thomas Rowe and Dillon Sandvik. Thomas and Dillon referred to Clare as “Aunt,” and she and Joan provided them with many wonderful birthday and Christmas experiences all their lives.
A lifelong intellect and bookworm, Clare found her niche in publishing and broke the glass ceiling before it was considered a goal. At Charles Scribner’s Sons, she was vice president and editorial director of books for young readers and ultimately retired in the early 1990s from Macmillian Publishing as a senior vice president. Clare won several awards as a children’s book editor.
Reading was not only her profession but her passion. She continued to read throughout her life and enjoyed sharing her reading adventures with friends. Her most-recent favorite was Michelle Obama’s biography, “Becoming.”
Clare’s brilliance was surpassed only by her enduring benevolence. She was pure goodness in a world that sometimes wasn’t, although far from naive. All her life, she was a devoted Catholic and a very good friend to the Carmelite Community. She also was a guardian of the Blessed Sacrament in the Perpetual Adoration Chapel. Her faith was so strong that she was not afraid at all to leave this Earth.
Marianne, her devoted niece, said of her: “She epitomized grace, tolerance and was never judgmental. Always classy.”
In addition to reading, Clare enjoyed years of travel with her sister, Joan, until Joan’s illness – at which point Clare visited her every single day for years at Elant. Two of their favorite spots were Switzerland and Nantucket, but they also took advantage of everything New York City had to offer: Broadway shows, museums, the ballet. Clare loved dining out, but never quite found a comparable replacement for her favorite, John’s Harvest Inn. Friends and restaurateurs, John and Deb Botti, said Clare and Joan were among their first customers, continuing to frequent the restaurant weekly - with cousin Jane and her husband, Larry, whenever they were in town.
After Larry’s death, Jane continued to visit regularly over the years and helped keep Clare on the go. Skytop Lodge in the Pocono’s was a repeat destination for them.
That dedication continued until the last days of Clare’s life. Jane and Marianne were at her bedside, along with her dear friends.
Because of her sweet personality, Clare had drawn an orbit of diverse friends around her to whom she was ever grateful. Her kind neighbor, John Hallinan, was almost like family and was there for her until the very end. John Botti was at her beck and call. Sandra Strohsahl personified friendship; she joyfully drove Clare to doctor appointments, picked up bags of oranges and brought her books to read. Robert and Liz Hrabowski were an integral part of her life. Kathy Darcy and Maryanne Hegewald were willing drivers, anytime, anywhere. And there was never a more humble, grateful recipient than Clare. Every kindness was excessively acknowledged, but never requested.
Clare’s mother said that an evening cocktail would “go right to where it hurts.” On that theory, we will toast you in your absence, Clare, and pray that it goes right to where we hurt.
Visitation will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 25, at Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home on Highland Avenue in Middletown. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church. Interment will follow at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in the family plot.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 90 Euclid Ave. Middletown 10940 or Children’s Enrichment Committee, P.O. Box 297, Middletown 10940.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Monday

25

Feb

9:30 AM 2/25/2019 9:30:00 AM - 10:30 AM 2/25/2019 10:30:00 AM
Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home

130 Highland Ave.
Middletown, NY 10940

Applebee-McPhillips Funeral Home
130 Highland Ave. Middletown 10940 NY
United States

Service

Monday

25

Feb

11:00 AM 2/25/2019 11:00:00 AM - 12:00 PM 2/25/2019 12:00:00 PM
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church

90 Euclid Avenue
Middletown, NY 10940

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church
90 Euclid Avenue Middletown 10940 NY
United States

Graveside

Monday

25

Feb

12:15 PM 2/25/2019 12:15:00 PM - 12:45 PM 2/25/2019 12:45:00 PM
St. Joseph's Cemetery

149 Cottage Street
Middletown, New York 10940

St. Joseph's Cemetery
149 Cottage Street Middletown 10940 New York
United States

Memorial Contribution

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church

90 Euclid Avenue
Middletown, NY 10940

Children's Enrichment Fund

P.O. Box 2097
Middletown, New York 10940
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