December 19, 2014

Helen Costello

The MBL flag will be lowered in memory of Helen Costello, scientist and life member of the MBL Corporation and wife of the late Donald P. Costello, a scientist who served as an MBL Trustee and editor of The Biological Bulletin.

An obituary from the October 21st issue of the Falmouth Enterprise follows:

Helen Mar Miller Costello, a longtime summer resident of Woods Hole, died October 12 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She was 101.

She was the wife of the late Donald Paul Costello, MBL trustee.

Born in Baltimore, Maryland on April 28, 1904. She grew up in Baltimore attending public school there. She was a 1925 graduate of Goucher College, earned her master’s degree in science from Washington University in St. Louis in 1927, and her doctorate in biology from Johns Hopkins University in 1930.

As a graduate student she came to Woods Hole in 1925 and 1926 and took the invertebrate and physiology courses at the Marine Biological Laboratory. After graduate school she had fellowships for continued research at Johns Hopkins and at Yale University. She then taught for a year at Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, before marrying and moving to Chapel Hill when her husband began his teaching career at University of North Carolina in 1936. Throughout the years she collaborated on and illustrated several research papers with her husband. Together they discovered and named a new flatworm, Polychoerus carmelensis, while doing research at the Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, California. She was an MBL corporation member.

While raising a family, Mrs. Costello became active in the American Association of University Women and the League of Women Voters in Chapel Hill, and was state vice president of the league.

She leaves two sons, Robert Costello, of Sumter, South Carolina; and George Costello, of Oakton, Virginia; and four grandchildren.

A memorial service is planned at the Community Church on November 5, time still to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Community Church of Chapel Hill, 106 Purefoy Road, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27514.