Denis Costello
2nd Bn Lancashire Fusiliers
1953 to 1956


Denis Patrick Costello

Wednesday 9th November 2016 AT 11.00am?
Order of Service
Entry Music:
Never - Shirley Bassey

Good morning and welcome to a service of celebration for the life of Denis Patrick Costello. My name is John Beever and I would like to thank you all for coming here today on behalf of Denis's family and for showing them how much he meant to you all.

Death of someone close can affect us deeply and Denis's death leaves great sadness. Whilst we are here today primarily to celebrate Denis's life, it is still very important to acknowledge our grief because we know that his death has left a gap in his family's lives which can never be filled. Grieving is important, though it is the hard and painful part of the healing process so this service is also a time where we can safely let our tears flow as we begin to change our relationship with Denis from one of physical presence to one of memory.
The pleasure of having Denis's company has been finally lost but the memories from having enjoyed his love and friendship are still with us.
As you can imagine, a well lived life of some 81 years, has accrued many memories - far too many for us to mention here today, but I am sure the memories that will be shared with us by Denis's family, will enable us to understand the true meaning of Denis's life.

Connor, Denis's Great grandson will now read a poem in memory of his great granddad.

Denis Jnr, will now read a poem in memory of his dad.


Music of Reflection chosen by Denis Jnr for his dad
Dancing in the sky - Dani Lizzi

Denis daughter-in-law Laura, will now read a tribute to Denis

The Eulogy

Our dad, Denis Patrick Costello was born on 22 March 1935 in Primrose Bank Oldham.

He was one of the youngest sons of Stephen and Violet and very proud of his 5 brothers and 6 sisters.

He loved to tell the tale of when he was off school poorly and at home with his mum and the excitement of sitting on the wall swinging his legs waiting for his brothers and sisters to come home to tell them nah nah nah nah nah I had had a whole egg to myself.

Being one of 12 that was a real luxury and I think it goes without saying that they also didn't have the luxury of a television.

Family to dad was of huge importance he lived and led by example of the values and morals learnt from growing up in such a big loving family.

Dad was not afraid of hard work. From a young age he would take the wheelbarrow early in the morning to Coal Pitt Lane and fill it with coal for the fire to keep the family warm. He thought he was helping but money never changed hands.

He enlisted in the Army for his National service and served in the Lancashire Fusiliers. Dad was a man of discipline and would fondly recall tales from his army days and time spent abroad.

When he was home on reserve he went to the co-op dance hall on Park Street in Royton and had a dance with Elizabeth Charnley, he asked her on a date and she turned him down.

When she realised her mistake she went with her friend Beryl to Primrose Bank to find him.

Betty and Beryl stalked the local pub and hoped he would turn up.

Thankfully for Betty he did and they courted for 3 months and were soon engaged to be married on 21st March 1959. It was very fitting that the wedding reception was held at the Trap Inn.

From 1960 to 1972 they became proud parents to Tony, Margaret, Denis, Jacqueline and Kathleen.

Over the past 31 years dad took immense delight in seeing his 10 grandchildren come into his life – Samantha, Victoria, Aaron, Elisia, Jessica, Amy, Jack, Stuart, Fiona and Ben

And to keep adding to the pride of his family his 4 great grandchildren Connor, Emre, Maddison and Elsie.

He would sing and do a silly dance to make them all laugh. He always had time for everyone, he would shop for their favourite food and sweets and have a special reserve of pennies from Grandad. He would always be ready to make a mean cheese toast maybe with ham but always with white pepper. You would often find him on his hands and knees on the floor fixing the twanger behind the kitchen door.

At one time dad had three jobs he was a great provider and was loved, admired and respected by his Betty, his children and their children.

When interviewed by the Oldham Chronicle for their 50th wedding anniversary mum fondly called dad dishy Dennis when it went to print the family laughed and the name stuck.

Dishy Dennis was not looking forward to the ribbing he would get from his friends at the band club.

He loved his walk around the village meeting his friends at the Travellers, the Junction, the Band Club, Pinchitos and the Hope and Anchor.

Dad was the anchor of our family to help and advise us and even tell us off. His opinion always mattered to all of us. He loved his family gatherings and will be very sorry to miss his party today.

Dads sense of humour, his quick wit and sarcasm was sharp and dry. He loved to laugh and to make others laugh.

He enjoyed retirement gardening and walking, fondly known in Royton as wandering Walter. He power walked at a speed close to a run and always took his bus fare just in case he walked too far and was too tired to come home. With his work boots on (yes work boots, not trainers) and his towel around his neck he strode with great enthusiasm and kept in good shape.

He ruled the remote control and bought more tellys than most men buy shoes.

You would always find him in his chair with his much loved Rugby league and cricket on his sky sports. He loved his daily express and had clipboard for his crossword to keep his mind sharp. He has the tattiest collins dictionary that he would not allow anyone to replace it probably has 500 pages but is in 100 pieces!

Dad made friends with everyone. On one of his walks he was drawn to Cyril, he met him on the path to the golf course and as hard as he tried he could not shake him off. It was obvious that Cyril needed dad. So he took him home gave him a bed, some food and water and looked after him. We all told him the friendship wasn’t right but Cyril would not leave dad. When Cyril got stronger to stand on his own Dad took him to a place where he could make new friends and be in his natural habitat in tandle hills - Cyril was a squirrel.

Dad had a true kinship with people and animals alike.

His love for our mum spanned 58 years she is the apple of his eye and he always put her first. He taught all his children true love and respect, he was so proud of his family.

Our hearts are heavy but we remember him with love and adoration and give thanks always for him being the strongest, kindest, proudest, man.

A true gentleman.

Thank you dad we will carry you in our hearts forever

Denis juniors speech

Our dad, grandad, great grandad was our leader and our inspiration. He has left a hole in our lifes that can never be filled. He had no favourites and everybody was treated with the same love and affection. Dads suffering during the last weeks of his life were immense but he suffered the pain never complaining and took the pain with such bravery like the true brave man he was. Our great family leader was an inspiration to all , his love for everybody shone through ,you only had to look at his smile and listen to his wonderful laugh to realise what a gentleman he actually was.

Whilst us children were growing up our house was always an open house to anybody in need. If somebody needed a bed for a night or two there was allways one available at our house, mum and dad turned nobody away. That is the loving caring couple they were.

Last Christmas was special at mine and Tonis house. Our mother had been diagnosed with the terrible illness that effects so many innocent family's. We all decided to get the entire family at our house for Christmas 2015 and it was a joyful wonderful occasion that will live on in our memories forever. Little did we know that it was to be our dads last christmas with us so that day we all spent together as a family will be treasured in our hearts forever.
Now we no longer discuss how our great family leader died. We now talk about how he lived.

Music of Reflection
Jealous of the angles - Jenn Bostic
So how do you remember Denis? Let us sit quietly for a few moments as you reflect on his life and the impact of his life on each of you. This is an opportunity for each to honour him in your own way and according to your beliefs. Take a moment now to say quietly some of the things left unsaid and to re-visit memorable moments of time spent with Denis whilst we listen to a piece of music - Jealous of the angles by Jenn Bostic, chosen by Margaret in memory of her dad


Our Amazing Grandad........

They say this is a reason,
and they say time will heal,
but neither time nor reason,
will change the way your Grandchildren feel.

Life will go on as always,
but things will always seem out of place,
now that we can't call on you,
or see your lovely smiling face.

Although it feels really painful,
to think that you are gone,
we know that's not true,
as you will always live on.

In our hearts and our thoughts,
we will always feel your love,
because as we start to miss you,
we will always look up to the sky above.

We will listen to the angels singing your praise,
and we are so glad to have had you for all of your days.

Thank you Grandad, for being you.

We hope you keep watching over us,
and we continue to make you proud.

Love you Grandad xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

We give thanks for Denis
And everything that was good in his life
We are glad that Denis lived,
That we saw his face,
And felt the warmth of his hand and heart.
We cherish the memory of Denis
And all that he brought into our lives,
His words, his deeds, his care and his love.

Go now Denis and find release
From the things that brought you to this end.
We let you go, with our love, in sorrow, but without fear,
Go now and find eternal peace.

Bugler Lancashire Fusilers - The last Post

And finally, as we bring our Service of Celebration and Thanksgiving for Denis to an end I would like to share with you a poem:-

The tide recedes but leaves behind
bright seashells on the sand.
The sun goes down, but gentle
warmth still lingers on the land.
The music stops, and yet it echoes
on in sweet refrains.....
For every joy that passes,
something beautiful remains


The family have asked me to extend a warm invitation for all family and friends to join them at Royton Band Club - it truly couldn't be anywhere else - for refreshments after the service where you can share many more memories of Denis.

Lets us go now with Denis in our hearts and in our minds as we listen to our final piece of music. Bring me Sunshine, by Morecambe and Wise which echo's the essence of Denis. Thank you for your presence here today and your continued support of Denis' family.

Exit music:
Bring me Sunshine, by Morecambe and Wise