Today I'm writing an obituary for my mom, Barbara Costello. It's something I never thought I'd have to do as I was quite sure she'd outlive us all. At the same time, we've also always been half-expecting her death since she was just that type of gal and had given us a few good scares over the years to keep us on our toes. She was born in January of 1950 and hated winter. Perpetually cold, she'd bundle herself up even on hot summer days. She was a character: fierce, funny, friendly, faithful, and then some other 'f' words (which she'd use with some frequency). She came from a big family, daughter of Wray Anness and Wilma Case. She helped raise her younger siblings and cared for her father, especially after he was blinded in an accident. She met my dad, James Costello, and they married soon after in May of 1972. He was the love of her life and they had three children, James, Caroline (Tim) and Colleen. Losing dad the day after their 39th wedding anniversary in 2011 was the greatest heartbreak. She soldiered on through the past seven years, never forgetting him for a moment. Mom worked a lot of jobs as a driver. She had driven school buses in Toronto and Muskoka, delivered mail for Canada Post and drove us all crazy. That was a full-time job long into retirement. Whether manned with her walker or her scooter, that girl was hell on wheels. To say she was independent would be an understatement. She was defiant and bold, with just enough spite to get herself from point A to point B. We never asked how she achieved the unthinkable. She liked to think it was all possible with the grace of God (and 2 angels and a horse). She called on her faith, relied on her kind neighbours, and made it through on that wonderful good karma she put out into the world. We know she will be missed for her humour, her generosity, her kindness and her quirks. She never forgot anyone's birthday but never remembered where her glasses were. She was kitted up at all times, full of apothecary solutions and random snacks. She loved helping out and attending church at St. Patrick's and then St. Agnes. She bombed around Westfort in her scooter, radio blaring and flare flying. She greeted everyone with warmth and openness. There are too many special friends and relatives to mention them all, however we'd like to thank John and Theresa, Berta and Bryan, Mary and Ted for their loving friendship over the years. Her sisters Eleanor and Brenda. Our Aunt Nora, cousin Maureen and Siobhan, who brought a special Irish light into my mom's world. Mom treasured her conversations with Milie and Eileen and everyone overseas. We thank her neighbours, well-wishers and medical professionals all over the city that took good care of her throughout her adventures. She will be remembered because she was unforgettable. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday June 5, 2018, when family and friends will gather for Funeral Mass at St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church, at 12:10 p.m. celebrated by Rev. James Panikulam. Vigil Prayers will be offered Monday June 4, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. in the Blake Funeral Chapel. If friends desire, memorials to the Dew Drop Inn, Shelter House or any local charity would be appreciated.
Barbara Costello will be remembered in the Blake Funeral Chapel Memorial Grove. Annual dedication service Sunday, June 9, 2019.
Thunder Bay Shelter House
420 George St., Thunder Bay ON P7E 5Y8
Dew Drop Inn
292 Red River Road, Thunder Bay ON P7B 1A8