Vince Costello, Age: 86
Aug 4, 1932 -- Jun 23, 2019

One of the great Cleveland Browns Football legends, #50, has been laid to rest.  Surrounded by family who loved him dearly, Vince Costello passed away on June 23 in Overland Park, Kansas.   

Vince was the son of two Italy natives, Celesta Menna and Bartolomeo Giordonno, who came to the United States by way of Ellis Island, married and Bartolomeo changed his name to William Costello.  Vince grew up in Magnolia, Ohio where his three sisters, Lee, Rosie and Bea and two brothers, Mike and Nick, lived all of their lives.  Vince was known for living in the moment and living life to the fullest.  He was so ahead of his time, he played high school baseball at the age of 13.  When he graduated high school in 1949, he was the star quarterback for an unbeaten Magnolia High School six-man team that had only been formed the year before at the urgent request to the Board of Education by Vince and his fellow Magnolia students.  Many years later, Vince was inducted into the Stark County Hall of Fame. 

He played football and baseball for four years at Ohio University, where, ironically, he had enrolled on a basketball scholarship and played just one season.  He was known as one of those athletes who could do everything and do it well.  

Vince signed a minor league contract with the Cincinnati Reds in 1953 and remained with them until he entered the military in 1956 as lieutenant and served two years in the Air Force ROTC before returning to baseball, this time for the Wausaw (Wisconsin) Lumberjacks.  Vince met the love of his life, Sally Dutton, and they married and started their family while she finished college and Vince finished a Master’s Degree. 

In 1957, he started playing for the Cleveland Browns Football team at age 25 and played Linebacker for 10 years.  He and Sally became life long friends with many of the players on this team that went on to win the NFL Championship in 1964, coached by the highly respected Paul Brown.  Vince then played Linebacker for the New York Giants and went on to coach the linebackers for four years under Paul Brown for the Cincinnati Bengals.  He was later a linebacker coach for the Miami Dolphins and finally, Defensive Coordinator for the Kansas City Chiefs under ex-Cleveland Brown teammate, Paul Wiggin.  

After retiring from football, Vince spent the rest of his life in Kansas City, where he and Sally raised seven children and owned Costellos’ Greenhouse Restaurant.  The couple made many happy memories living on a lake in Leawood, Kansas, with the sound of children’s laughter and the smell of pasta red sauce on the stove. 

Although he loved living in Kansas City, his heart was in Ohio, where his beloved family, especially his sisters and brothers, and friends remembered him and his glory days with the Browns.  He would make as many Ohio trips a year as he could to see these people who were so special to him.  It was in Ohio in 2012, where Vince was honored with a well deserved induction into the Cleveland Browns Hall of Fame. 

Vince was known as “PoPo” to 16 grand children, who adored him and the twinkle in his eye when he would play with them.  He insisted on Sunday family dinners with his large family, and always instilled strong values in each of his children and grandchildren, teaching them that family was the most important thing. 

Very strong in his Catholic faith, Vince had a special spot where he would sit in church each week.  He was a parishioner at Cure of Ars Catholic Church in Leawood and Church of Ascension in Overland Park.  From a familiar poem he would recite to his children, “….With feet to take me where I go, with eyes to see the sunset glow, with ears to hear what I would know, oh God forgive me when I whine, I’m blessed indeed, the world is mine.”  The world did belong to Vince Costello and we were blessed by him. 

Vince is survived by his wife, Sally Costello; sister, Lee Marino; daughter, Carol Costello, daughter Kay Dalton (David); son David Costello (Merrie); daughter Ann Fritz (Ed); daughter Sue O’Gara (Guy); daughter Mary Costello, daughter Tricia Costello and 16 grandchildren. 

With deep gratitude to the following caregivers who were so kind to Vince: Nikki Castleberry, Ashanti Watkins, Cinda Waters, Robin Walker and Seth Vasquez.  

Visitation will be held 6/27 6pm-8pm at Porter Funeral Homes 8535 Monrovia, Lenexa, KS 66215. Funeral services are this Friday, 10am 6/28 at Church of the Ascension 9510 W 127th St, Overland Park, KS 66213.

The family has suggested donations in lieu of flowers to be made in memory of Vince Costello to KU Alzheimer's Disease Center if by mail: KU Endowment c/o Lindsay Hummer Mail Stop 3012, 3901 Rainbow Blvd. Kansas City, KS 66160.


Elizabeth and Paul Barzizza Jun 25 ,2019

Friends ,Cincinnati ,Ohio

We are so sorry about your Dad. A life well lived for sure and what a wonderful legacy he leaves behind. Love and prayers to the entire Costello family from Wyoming, OH- Elizabeth, Paul, Frank, Avery and George Barzizza

Kraus Family Jun 25 ,2019

Friend ,Cincinnati ,Ohio

We are so sorry to hear of Vince's passing. Our family thought the world of him. Hopefully him and Ralph will meet up again and keep each other company!! Kraus Family Cincinnati, OH

Bill Chipman Jun 25 ,2019

Manager for Vince at Greenhouse Restaurant ,Lee's Summit ,Missouri

The Greenhouse Restaurant was special to me because I'm still in the restaurant business all these years later thanks to my boss and friend, Vince. My condolences to Sally who was so kind to Marsha and myself and Vince's entire family. - Bill and Marsha Chipman

Donald Meister Jun 25 ,2019

Fried of his children and grandchildren ,OVERLAND PARK ,Kansas

The Meister family Don Mollie Jackie and Katie, send our condolences. We only met Vince briefly several times, a very charming man. We came to know several of his children and grandchildren. His wonderful family reflects the kind of man he was. Rest assured that he is with God in heaven. Sincerely The Meister Family.

Fred Schubert Jun 25 ,2019

Friend ,Medina ,Ohio

Sorry to hear about Vince prayers are with you and your family Jill and Fred Schubert

Dick Ambrose Jun 25 ,2019

Browns Alumni ,Westlake ,Ohio

Vince was a great guy and a great player. I was blessed to know him as a Browns alum.

John Roshala Jun 25 ,2019

Life browns fan 1959 ,Sacramento ,California

Dear Mr Costello One of my favorite players. You are blessed with a large family. God does have a special place for you in Heaven. You did so right in Gods Eyes. Even though I never met you, My blessings are for you, your wife, and all the other family members. May you rest in Peace, Love, and all your Angels. Life long fan for 60 years starting at 12 years old John Roshala

Valorie Devine Fulton Jun 25 ,2019

friend ,CADIZ ,Ohio

I wonderful memories of coming to Cincinnati with Debbie to watch the youngsters while Sally went to the games. Know that you all are in my thoughts and prayers!

Browns Backers of Kansas City Jun 25 ,2019

Friend ,Overland Park ,Kansas

A true gentle man. He will be missed by many. Please know our thoughts are with you Sally and family. He was a good friend.

Tom Edwards Jun 25 ,2019

Friend ,Hebron ,Ohio

Dear Sally, So sorry to hear about Vince’s Passing. I’ll never forget coming to Skyview Boys Camp and how nice both you were to me when I was a kid. I spent two summers at Skyview when I was 13 and 14. You and Vince meant so much to me. Doubt if you remember a scrawny little kid from Canton back then but I’ll never forget. Sincerely, Tom Edwards

Tina Welch Jun 25 ,2019

Niece ,Waynesburg ,Ohio

Aunt Sally and family! Sending love and prayers to all of you! Uncle Vince was an amazing uncle! We love him so much. We will always cherish the late night hours at mom’s talking and reminiscing old times. We love you all and keep you in our prayers. Love, Lee, Tina & Douglas.

Jennifer Bevan Bailey Jun 25 ,2019

My family was very saddened to hear of Vince's passing. As children of his college roommate (Bill Bevan) we all have wonderful memories of his visits to our home, watching him practice at Hiram College, and springs spent at his camp. May he rest in peace. :The Bevan kids...Jill, Jennifer, Billy & Jodi

Erich Barnes Jun 25 ,2019

Cleveland Browns teammate ,Yonkers ,New York

Sorry to hear of Vince passing. Having played with and against him he is definitely a football legend.

Jack Flynn Jun 25 ,2019

Fan ,Cleveland ,Ohio

As a young BROWNS fan growing up in WNY, I fondly remember tackling my older brother in the snow drifts back in the mid-60s. ‘Costello’ was a common grunt & chuckle by us young boys when a great tackle was made! May God soon bring you peace! Jack

Domenic Vitanza Jun 25 ,2019

Friend ,Middleburg Heights ,Ohio

May God bless Mr. Costello. One of the greatest linebackers ever to play for the Cleveland Browns. May God bless you all.

Joann Speight Jun 25 ,2019

Friend ,Overland Park ,Kansas

Sally and family, I worked for you at the Greenhouse. My first job and what great memories I have of working there and getting to know you and Vince. He was a gentle, kind man. A true role model and leader to so many. I have thought of all of you through the years. Thank you for the happy memories. He will be greatly missed. Eternal rest granted to him oh Lord and may perpetual light shine upon him. Sincerely, Joann Speight

Johnny Gerstenberger Jun 25 ,2019

Friend ,Cleveland ,Ohio

Sorry to hear about Vinces' death from all the Gerstenberger's of Wandle Ave. He was such a great man and devoted father. How about some homemade ice cream? From Vince, I learned that professional athletes are just regular people who have a cooler job than your Dad. I will forever tell "Vince Costello stories" and hope that the current Browns team wins a title. When that does happen, you can bet that Vince will be one of my first thoughts! I still watch the old Browns videos looking for #50. All our best wishes to the entire Costello family. John Gerstenberger

Joyce Kullman Willis Jun 25 ,2019

Friend ,Phoenix ,Arizona

I am so sorry to hear of Vince’s passing. He was truly a caring and genuine man. I remember attending St. Mary’s Elementary School with Carol. Vince was a friend of my grandfather and Uncle (Volpe). Vince attended a Brownsbackers party in 2000 in Phoenix, where I live now, and we talked about St. Mary’s and people we knew in common. Blessings and prayers to the Costello family,

Bucky Orndorff Jun 26 ,2019

Neighbor/babysitter ,Howard ,Ohio

Can't forget all the good times during the time you lived in Ferndale. Have regaled many friends with memories of Vince and some of his team mates from the Browns.May god bless him and his family at this time.

Luann Hess Jun 26 ,2019

Friend ,Cincinnati ,Ohio

Seeing this brought back so many memories. He was so fun. My deepest sympathy.

Nancy Erwin-Riggs Jun 26 ,2019

Went to grade school together ,Cincinnati ,Ohio

Carol, Even though we didn’t have u for a long time, u made your mark at st. A. You were a bright light to all of us. A lot of us have lost our fathers, it’s unbearable. I hope that your incredible memories bring u comfort and peace. Prayers to u and your family 🙏❤️

tom&athena ehlert Jun 26 ,2019

friends from O.U. ,naples ,Florida

Our deepest sympathy to all of your family. We knew him from O.U. days and also from the golfing days in Ohio with all of the O.U.,days.He was Great!

Curt Blosser Jun 26 ,2019

Friend ,Dalton ,Ohio

The Costello family is in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time. The summers spent at Sky View were some of the best of my life. Vince was one of a kind and will remain an example of a life well lived

Mark Jun 26 ,2019

Friend ,Topeka ,Kansas

I met Vince in the early 2000's when I was a member of Quivira sports club in Overland Park, KS. I introduced myself once after seeing his name in small letters on his gym bag. After he found out I was a huge Browns fan, we would talk every time we were at the gym at the same time. It was an honor to know him even if it was just as acquaintances. He was always kind to me and I always looked forward to visiting with him.

Jeff Reynolds (Sheila Reynolds) Jun 26 ,2019

Browns ,Frisco ,Texas

On behalf of my Mom Sheila, and the entire Reynolds Family, I would like to extend our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers to the Costello Family. My Dad Billy loved Vince, and they shared the "brotherhood" of being a Cleveland Brown throughout their lives. Sally and my Mom have the bond of being a "Browns Wife" and enjoyed a lifetime of fond memories. May our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, wrap his loving arms around your entire family, and provide you peace in knowing Vince is in paradise! He was met in heaven by many Browns Alumni, my Dad Billy being one of them. God Bless you all. Jeff Reynolds

Greg Marino Jun 26 ,2019

Nephew ,Waynesburg ,Ohio

Aunt Sally and family we will always remember his visits with mom and how she would cook for hours to make sure that he had something to eat when he arrived and the stories he would tell when he got there it never got old we will surely miss him #50 forever.

Ashley & Wendy Lane Jun 26 ,2019

Friend of Vince’s beloved daughter, Carol ,New Orleans ,Louisiana

A life so very beautifully lived. Values so very beautifully instilled. I’m honored to have a Costello daughter as my friend. I’ve learned thru Carol of a man who leaves a legacy of good works, loyalties, leadership, charitible virtues, strength and wisdom. I’ve learned of a man who shared so much of himself and offered such love and kindness to others. I know of a daughter who adores the father she was blessed to have, and who shares so many of his qualities. I pray for comfort and peace for those that love him and will dearly miss him. May God Bless all of the Costello family.

Scott Stahl Jun 26 ,2019

FRIEND ,Union City ,Ohio


MaryAnnLong Jun 27 ,2019

Friend ,Overland Park ,Kansas

Sorry to hear about Vince. I am so glad to that I got to know him. He was a very nice guy. I loved hearing his stories about his younger days. I loved it that he loved to come to his Grandkid’s games and watch them. What a wonderful guy. My condolences to the Family.

Shahin & Massoud Tehrani Jun 27 ,2019

Friends of lovely Carol Costello ,Kansas City ,Missouri

A good heart has stopped beating, a good soul ascended to heaven. We part with you in pain. A person that departs from this earth never truly leaves, for they are still alive in our hearts and minds, through us, they live on. Please accept our condolences, he will not be forgotten🖤

Browns backers of Wilmington North Carolina Jun 27 ,2019

Browns fan ,Wilmington ,North Carolina

Class act for Browns- hope other players will model their careers after him

Shahin & Massoud Tehrani Jun 27 ,2019

Friends of lovely Carol Costello ,Kansas City ,Missouri

A good heart has stopped beating, a good soul ascended to heaven. We part with you in pain. A person that departs from this earth never truly leaves, for they are still alive in our hearts and minds, through us, they live on. Please accept our condolences, he will not be forgotten🖤

Dino Lucarelli Jun 27 ,2019

Friend ,Broadview Heights ,Ohio

Sally our condolences to you and family. Vince was not only a great football player,but a great friend as well. Our thoughts and prayers will be with you during this sad time. Dino and Angie Lucarelli

Jim & Becca Coleman Jun 28 ,2019

Magnolia ,Lenexa ,Kansas

We are so very sorry for your loss.

Scott wilcox Jun 28 ,2019

Pasar employee at Costello greenhouse for over 7 years ,Kansas city ,Missouri

My sympathy to Mrs. Costello (sally) who was always a presence at Sunday brunch which was the jewel of the resturant. Vince employed Fred Roth as head chef, his son David and myself for years in the early 80s and treated us as family. He also employed an older gentleman named George who I worked many night/mornings going restorations,flower decorations etc. There were times Vince could be loud and demonstrative but that was to put out a product like himself was as good as it could be. Again I'm sorry for your loss it is felt by many. David Scott Wilcox

Ted Arunski Jun 29 ,2019

Friend ,Mesa ,Arizona

So sorry to here about Vince’s passing. He was a good friend of my dads. I remember watching him play football and my dad gave him so much respect that I always felt attached. He we’ll be remembered v

Mary Beth Wolber Nolan Jul 02 ,2019

Cincinnati St Antoninus Friend ,Cincinnati ,Ohio

I’m so sorry for your loss. Sounds like you’ll have lessons from your Dad and years of memories to give you comfort and share with your family. I remember fondly the summers we went to Sky View ranch. What a beautiful part of Ohio. Your family just seamlessly became part of our neighborhood and school friends. Just wished you could have stayed in Cincy little longer. Take care of each other and God bless all the Costello’s. Mary Beth Wolber Nolan

Dan Shannon Jul 14 ,2019

Employee and Friend. ,Chicago ,Illinois

Vince will always hold a special place in my heart. He gave me, a kid with no experience as a waiter the chance to work with some of the best, most experienced servers in KC at the Greenhouse. I suspect that I am just one in a long line of appreciative people who Vince took a chance with and followed his gut. Thanks Vince for the opportunity and for some of the funnest and funniest years working at Costellos. The world is a little less bright without that great Vince Costello smile.

Vickie Wisdom Aug 24 ,2019

Friend ,Kansas City

I met Vince while employed at Costello’s Restaurant. It really didn’t matter who he was, I just wanted to give the best service possible! One night early in his employ, we were so busy and he told this couple they would have to wait “10 minutes” when actually it was a “90” minute wait! Sure enough, because I had told them it was going to be 90 not 10 minutes they had happily waited and told Vince just that! The next night I got a raise and Vince treated me like a daughter! He was an AWESOME MAN! We had Sports Club at the Restaurant and he would make sure that I was there and introduce me to all the single ball players! He always had a heart of gold. I just learned of his passing and am heartbroken. I want his family to know how sorry I am for such a great loss. This is a man who can never be replaced!

Porter Funeral Home
8535 Monrovia St.
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Jun 27 ,2019
6:00 PM
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Funeral Mass
Church of the Ascension
9510 W. 127th St.
Overland Park
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Jun 28 ,2019
10:00 AM
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