Share This Page

Barber's big heart a plus in business, civic work

| Friday, April 18, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
OBIT, obits, Obituary: John B. Costanza, of Herminie, died Tuesday, April 15, 2014, at his home after a battle with cancer. He was 68.

You didn't have to need a haircut to frequent John Costanza's barbershop in Herminie.

“The guys would just go and sit on the bench … they'd joke and talk until whenever,” said his sister-in-law, Barbara Costanza of Irwin. “I don't know anybody who didn't like him.”

John B. Costanza of Herminie died on Tuesday, April 15, 2014, in his home. He was 68 and had been battling cancer.

Mr. Costanza operated the barber shop/hangout for men since 1963.

“Who would stay open until midnight?” said his nephew, Anthony Costanza of Herminie.

Mr. Costanza loved to work in the small garden he kept at his home.

“He put so much into that little space,” Barbara Costanza said. “He would take vegetables to everybody — the senior centers, churches.”

Even in his last days, he was thinking of that garden, his nephew said.

“We planted onions, potatoes and lettuce from the wheelchair on Sunday,” he said. “It made his day.”

Mr. Costanza was a Sewickley Township supervisor from 1998-2010 and owned a water hauling business from 1979 to 2013, servicing customers with wells or swimming pools.

“He was in the hospital about to go into surgery and he called a customer to let them know their water was on the way,” said his sister, Michaeleen Peoples of Grapeville. “Who does that? He gave 24/7.”

He operated a garbage route from 1980 to 1996 and was an active member of the Municipal Sewage Authority of the Township of Sewickley for the past six years.

“He was a good, kind-hearted person,” said Sewickley Township Supervisor Joe Kerber. “If he saw you broke down on the road, he'd stop and help. Didn't matter if it was 20 degrees or 100 degrees.”

Mr. Costanza had a great sense of humor, his family said.

“He was the life of the party … anywhere he went, he had everybody laughing,” Anthony Costanza said.

He will be missed, his nephew said. “I've lost my best friend and my uncle.”

“In addition to his sister, Michaeleen, and nephew, Anthony, he is survived by a brother, Louis Costanza of Irwin; three sisters, Olive Turnbull of Michigan, Ann Price of Pitcairn and Kathleen Elliot of Irwin; numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.

There will be no public visitation at Mr. Costanza's request. A memorial is being planned.

Joseph W. Nickels Funeral Home, Inc. in Herminie is in charge of arrangements.

Craig Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5646 or csmith@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.