Appreciation: Remembering Kathleen Kostan, a Beloved Teacher and Role Model

April 16, 2013
By
Kathleen Mary Kostan

Kathleen Mary Kostan

Mrs. Kathleen Mary “Kathy” (Kirvan) Kostan, 64, of Lynn, died on Tuesday, April 9, 2013, with her family at her side at the Kaplan Family Hospice House in Danvers after a lengthy illness. She was the beloved wife of retired Superintendent of Lynn Public Schools Nicholas P. Kostan, with whom she shared 38 years of marriage, the loving mother of Christine K. Newhall, and proud grandmother of Alexander Nicholas Newhall.

At a funeral Mass held April 11 at the Sacred Heart Church,  Dr. Cheryl Meninno, a friend and a former colleague at Essex Agricultural High School, delivered a beautiful eulogy about a beloved woman and friend to many who was “a wonderful mother, a very special grandmother, a loving wife, and a role model.”

“We are all very sad about losing our great friend, Kathy, who could always find a way to make you laugh even in her most difficult times,” said Meninno, director of special education for the Lynn public schools. “She was always so much fun to be with.”

Meninno recalled Mrs. Kostan’s career as an educator and school administrator, telling the large assemblage in the church, “She was such a good person and had a special way with kids.”

At her home, Mrs. Kostan made all visitors feel welcomed.

“She was a great cook, loved to entertain and loved when people entered her home and she always made you feel comfortable when you were there,” said Meninno.

“Kathy loved life and she lived it to the fullest. Unfortunately she has been taken away from us way too soon and we will all miss her. But I know she will always be with us and wherever we go, in whatever we do, Kathy will be in our hearts forever.”

Mennino said that Mrs. Kostan will live on in Alexander Nicholas Newhall, “her grandson who she loved with all her heart.”

Menino recalled a recent conversation she had with  Mrs. Kostan’s daughter, Christine Newhall. “I want to leave you with something that Chrissy said to me and I think it sums up our friend, Kathy.

“Chrissy said, ‘I want to love my son, Alexander, with all that I have, just like my mom loved me. I hope that I can be as great a mom as she was. My mom was and always will truly be my hero.'”

A lifelong resident of Lynn, Mrs. Kostan was the daughter of the late John R. and Eva (Lauzon) Kirvan. She attended Lynn schools and was a graduate of Lynn Classical High School, class of 1966. She earned both a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Education from Salem State College.

Mrs. Kostan taught for 20 years at several elementary schools in the Lynn public school system. She also served as director of curriculum at Essex Agricultural High School and as an elementary school principal in the Peabody and North Andover school districts. Since her retirement, Mrs. Kostan had worked as a real estate agent for Caldwell Banker Real Estate in Lynn.

Mrs. Kostan loved spending time with her family and friends, and cherished the time spent with her two-month-old grandson Alex. She also loved the ocean, going to the beach, and enjoyed vacationing with her family, especially spending her winters in Naples, Florida.

In addition to her husband, daughter, and grandson, she is survived by her son-in-law, Jeffrey T. Newhall, athletic director at St. Mary’s High School; two sisters, Christine M. Boverini of Lynn, and Jacqueline R. Whyte and her husband, Peter of Tamworth, N.H.; two brothers, Peter T. Kirvan and John D. Kirvan, both of Florida; her mother-in-law, Ann Kostan of Lynnfield; a sister-in-law, Ellen Nichols of Marblehead; and several nieces and nephews.

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