The Coast Guard community is mourning the loss of one of its stalwarts, Vice Adm. John D. Costello, USCG (Ret.) who passed away on Friday, August 15.
Vice Admiral Costello – "Jack" to those who knew him – played a big role in the Coast Guard Foundation's history, having been elected Chairman of the Board in 1997 following the death of then-chairman Dick Swig. Jack continued on in that role through 2001.
He first joined the board in 1989 as a director, and was named a Director Emeritus in 2008 in recognition of his many years of faithful service to the Coast Guard Foundation.
Admiral Costello pictured here at left with Coast Guard Foundation directors Dick Swig and John Irish, and Capt. Wilhelm Wolff, commanding officer of Training Center Petaluma, CA.
During his time as chairman, Jack was instrumental in developing a strategic plan for the Coast Guard Foundation, as well as forming crucial ties to Coast Guard senior leadership to make sure the foundation's efforts were helping where they were needed most.
"We began to build some steam," said Costello, in an interview about his time as chairman. "The directors could touch what they had done. Over time, the end-result was impressive. Community centers, more pools, recreation and learning centers were funded. These were projects in the order of a quarter of a million dollars to one million dollars. But there was more to be done."
He retired from the Coast Guard after serving as Pacific Area Commander, the largest operational command in the service. In that role, he worked closely with Coast Guard Foundation leadership to construct a swimming pool facility for Coast Guard members and their families at the Coast Guard Training Center in Petaluma, California.