Richard D. Costelow – Chief Petty Officer, United States Navy

From contemporary press reports

At the family's request, Seaman Cherone L. Gunn was placed in the cemetery next to a shipmate who was also killed in the apparent terrorist attack on the Cole on October 12, 2000 at a port in Yemen. Chief Petty Officer Richard Costelow, 35, who was to have lived at Patuxent River Naval Air Station in St. Mary's County with his wife and three children, was buried at Arlington earlier in the day at a private service for family and close friends.

Costelow was sent to serve on the Cole in January 1998. During Wednesday's national memorial service in Norfolk, President Clinton singled out Costelow's earlier service at the White House.

“Richard Costelow was a technology wizard who helped to update the White House communications system for this new century,” Clinton said.

Chief Petty Officer Richard Costelow, 35, another resident of Southern Maryland, was among the 17 sailors killed. He leaves behind his wife, Sharla, and three boys, Dillon, 13, Brady, 5, and Ethan, 4, who have been staying at Patuxent River Naval Air Station.

“He was a great dad,” Sharla Costelow said in a recent interview. “He was very torn between the Navy and his family.”

Richard Costelow was buried October 20, 2000 at Arlington National Cemetery.

Sharla Costelow said she spoke with her husband one day before the attack, and that he sounded concerned about something. “I knew there was something wrong,” she said. “I knew they probably received a threat, and he couldn't say anything about it.”

Costelow was “a very humble person” who was extremely talented in the field of communications, his wife said. “He just really gave it his all,” she said.

Costelow had served earlier in communications at the White House, a fact mentioned by President Clinton at a memorial service October 18 in Norfolk for those killed aboard the Cole.

 Sunday, October 22, 2000

Navy Chief Petty Officer Richard Costelow had just about 2 1/2 weeks left of sea duty when terrorists struck the USS Cole in Yemen.

His parents, George and Dorothy Costelow, of New Florence, Westmoreland County, heard of the explosion on their way home from Mass and held out hope their youngest son was still alive, until two officers arrived at their home last Sunday afternoon.

Their son was one of 17 sailors killed aboard the USS Cole.

At 8 a.m. tomorrow, a Mass will be offered for Richard Costelow at Holy Family Church in Seward, Westmoreland County. He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Mr. Costelow, 35, was from Bucks County and lived in Lexington Park, Md., with his wife, Sharla, his stepson Dillon Pritchard, 14; and two sons, Brady, 5, and Ethan, 4. His parents moved to New Florence in 1992.

In about a dozen years in the Navy, Costelow had earned many honors, including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal from the White House.

From 1992 to 1995, he worked as an electronics technician first class at the White House, directing the engineering and installation of a new communications suite.

During Wednesday's national memorial service in Norfolk, Va., President Clinton said, “Richard Costelow was a technology wizard who helped to update the White House communications system for this new century.”

His father said his son left the White House so that he could have sea duty, a requirement for advancement. He said his son had about 2 1/2 weeks left at sea when the incident occurred.

In addition to his wife, children and parents, Mr. Costelow is survived by a brother, Joseph of Denver; and three sisters, Marion DiMauro of New Florence and Patricia Ryan and Carolyn DiMauro, both of Bucks County.



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