Frederick James Costello, 61, a longtime resident of Oak Park before retiring to Bonita Springs, Florida, died suddenly on July 2, 2021. Born on May 17, 1960 in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey to Nancy Peters and Fred Costello Sr., he was raised with his five younger siblings in several states. These frequent childhood moves may have contributed to Fred’s love of travel, ideally to places where he could find white sand beaches, fine food, and ample supplies of Chardonnay. The best of these adventures happened with his wife and traveling companion, Ann, by his side.
As a teenager, he displayed a rare combination of leadership and humility. He was voted senior class president and Homecoming King at Moorestown High School in Moorestown, New Jersey and went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in history and political science and pursued the fine art of Greek life at his fraternity, Phi Gamma Delta.
After graduating, he began a successful career in the food business as a fish buyer for several restaurants, haggling over prices at New York City’s famed Fulton Fish Market or working late nights managing restaurants in Manhattan.
He was the gracious and patient host of days-long gatherings of family who would overtake the Florida home he shared with Ann. And as a new retiree, he shepherded his parents through their final years.
As a parent himself, he made fatherhood fun, planning family trips months in advance, to Europe and Asia, and cheering on the St. Louis Cardinals, Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bulls with his children.
He was an empathic listener and wise counselor. At work, he was also a respected business leader and gifted public speaker, qualities that eventually propelled him to the roles of senior vice president and president at Grainger International, where he led the company’s billion-dollar international businesses outside of the U.S. and Canada, until his retirement two years ago. He also volunteered on the board of directors at the American Red Cross of Illinois.
He led life by quiet example, from the depths of sorrow and loss to the warm embrace of true love with Ann. And all those who were fortunate enough to love Fred received it back from him unconditionally and tenfold.
He is survived by his wife, Ann Nobis Costello; his children, Margaret (“Maggie”) Costello and Frederick James Costello III (“Trey”); his stepchildren, Kathleen Haines and Keegan Haines; his five siblings and their spouses, Catherine and Ronnie Bennett; Dan Costello and Kerry Bernard; Sue Costello and Jeff Keffer; James Costello and Candy Chan, and Amy Costello and Gregory Watt; as well as friends, nieces and nephews too numerous to count.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Fred’s memory may be made to the “James V. Costello Scholarship” which supports low-income students at the alma mater of Fred’s father, Worcester Polytechnic Institute c/o University Advancement, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609.
You may also consider a donation to the Red Cross of Illinois. If you would like to make a donation by check, please fill out a donation form online and send to: The American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37839, Boone, IA 50037-0839.
Expressions of sympathy may be sent to: Ann Nobis Costello 27290 Hidden River Court, Bonita Springs, FL 34134.
A private graveside ceremony will be held at St. Mary’s Cemetery in Lee, Massachusetts.
If you would like to leave a message of condolence or share pictures with the family, please visit our web site at www.kellyfuneralhome.net.