BUFFALO NEWS   Jully 21, 2010



John F. Costanzo, award-winning teacher, coach


Published:July 21 2010, 12:00 AM

Updated: July 21, 2010, 4:24 AM

Sept. 22, 1959—July 17, 2010

OLCOTT— John F. Costanzo, a special education teacher and union leader in the Newfane School District, died unexpectedly on Saturday. He was 50.

Born in Niagara Falls, Mr. Costanzo was raised and educated on Grand Island and graduated from Grand Island High School in 1977. He attended Niagara County Community College, where he served as president of the student government, and went on to receive his master’s degree at Buffalo State College.

He lived in Olcott the last eight years.

For the past 23 years, he worked as a special education teacher for the Newfane School District. He was senior class adviser at the high school for more than 20 years, and for 10 years was head negotiator for the Newfane Teachers Association. In recognition of his dedication to his work, he was awarded the New York State United Teachers Local Leadership Award.

During summers and in his spare time, he also worked as a general contractor.

Mr. Costanzo was active as a recreational soccer and hockey coach, and a participant in the Ice Capades. He was an avid Buffalo Sabres fan, and in his leisure time enjoyed snowmobiling, hunting, golfing, cooking and shopping at Sam’s Club.

Survivors include his wife of 18 years, the former Suzann Swift; his mother, Irene; five children, Anthony J., Christopher F., Jonathan M., Salvatore

N. and Emma S. Costanzo; two brothers, Mark A. and Christopher R.; and a sister, Therese M. Pangborn.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a. m. Thursday in St. Stephen’s Catholic Church, 2100 Baseline Road, Grand Island.