John Costa, long-time former mayor of Rhinebeck, dies at 88

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John Joseph Costa, the five-term former mayor of Rhinebeck, passed away on Aug. 6 at the age of 88 in Cumming, Ga.

Costa spent much of his career in the U.S. Army as an infantry officer before retiring from West Point in 1989 as a Brigadier General. He and his wife, Elizabeth (Teddy) Costa, spent the next 20 years living and working in Rhinebeck.

Costa was first elected as Village Trustee of Rhinebeck in 1994 and 1996, and next served as a five-term mayor from 1997 through 2005.

Rhinebeck Village Mayor Jim Reardon, in a news release on Costa’s death, said, “It is with deep regret that I share the news of John’s passing … John was an incredibly dedicated servant all his life … He was a very thoughtful, caring individual that touched the lives of anyone he was associated with, and I will always remember his charm, wit and tireless dedication to enriching the lives of others. Rhinebeck benefited tremendously due to John’s efforts.”

While in Rhinebeck, Costa was an active volunteer with American Legion Post 429, the Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, Northern Dutchess Hospital, the Rhinebeck Rotary Club, and the Rhinebeck Choral Club. He also was an active parishioner of the Good Shepherd Catholic community.

In 2009, health issues caused the Costas to relocate to Georgia to be near family. Elizabeth Costa died there last year.

Survivors include: their five children, Veronica Costa, Christopher Costa, Andrew Costa, Lisa Barden, and John Costa and their respective spouses; 14 grandchildren, and five great grandchildren; siblings Pat, Peggy, Judy, Kathy, and their spouses; and numerous nieces and nephews and their children. The Costas were also long-time guardians of Mary Maltzoff of Stockbridge, Mass.

A funeral Mass for both Costa and his wife will be held at 10am on Mon., Oct. 28, at the Catholic Chapel at West Point, followed by burial at the West Point Cemetery with full military honors.

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