Jennie Costas Profile Photo
1928 Jennie 2024

Jennie Costas

June 27, 1928 — April 21, 2024

Cranford, NJ

Jennie Costas

June 27 1928 - April 21 2024

Cranford, NJ


Jennie Costas was just about 96 years young.  She passed on Sunday April 21, 2024 at 95, three months before she would be 96.


Jennie was born in Newark, NJ to Amerina and Frank Caputo on June 27, 1928.   She was the 2nd born of 4 children and is survived by her sister, Rose Marie Pohorely,  her own daughter Jennifer Costas & her wife Kathleen Greenough, her niece Lorraine Pohorely & her partner Victoria Chung-Alvarado as as well as sister-in-law Barbara Costas, nephew John Costas, nieces   Alainie, Karen and Angelica Costas and brother-in-law Christy Costas. 


Jennie never considered herself an “old” person and in fact defied aging.   She always wanted to be on the go and out the door doing something.  She treasured her independence and was proud that she could maintain her own apartment and regularly book her own ride to the Westfield Y even after she could no longer drive due to macular degeneration.  Obstacles and life challenges did not stop her.  She always found a way.  


When she was young, she held an assortment of jobs.  She worked in a factory making bomb fuses during the war (WWII), in a coconut factory, a book binding factory, and a sewing factory or two.   She eventually met her husband, Nick Costas,  at a roller skating rink in Bayonne.  In 1953, she married, and subsequently had 1 daughter, Jennifer.   She traveled to New London Connecticut, Chicago and Long Beach California with her husband while he was stationed in the Navy.  Jennie only moved back east when an earthquake moved her bed from one side of the bedroom to the other.  She was a brave sort and handled being a Navy wife and “single mother” while Nick was overseas for long stretches of time.  


Once back east, Jennie and Nick stayed in NJ for several years and later moved to Massachusetts for several years more.  Eventually they divorced and Jennie and her daughter returned to NJ in the early to mid 1960’s.  She braved a new life again and subsequently worked in office environments at Purolator, Merck, Shering Plough and JB Williams Pharmaceuticals.  Even though Jennie was back in NJ, she never forgot her old friends from California and Massachusetts, and kept in touch with them for many decades.  There was always a written letter to them at Christmas time.  


Roller skating and swimming were Jennie’s two favorite life long passions.   She swam 3-5 days a week well into 95.   She was even interviewed at the Westfield Y when she was 90 for A Senior Moment” video talking briefly about her life and showing off her swimming prowess in the in the pool.  When she retired from office work, she taught roller skating to large classes of kids weekly, up until she was 80 at the United Skates and Woodbridge rinks.   She loved teaching the kids, and their parents frequently showered her with gifts and stuffed animals in thanks.   When she wasn’t out swimming at the Westfield Y, or having lunch with her mermaid friends, she’d be at her sewing machine making a new pair of slacks or fixing something, or she’d be cooking up one of her delicious one pot meals.  She was one great Italian cook and loved cooking. She never measured anything and it always came out delicious .  She always made sure she had her trusty Singer sewing machine in gear- you never knew when you might need it!   When she wasn’t busy with those activities, she would enjoy a Broadway show or two, or frequently would head out to enjoy some retail therapy with her daughter at the Short Hills Mall, Westfield, Boscov’s, Marshall’s & Homegoods or various sewing or plant stores. She loved her assortment of plants and went all out decorating a Christmas tree for her apartment floor elevator alcove each year.  Jennie enjoyed living and made the most of it whenever she could.  


She was most at home in NJ where she was born and bred.  She hailed from parents who had come over from Italy and worked very hard to make a good life here.  She did them proud and worked hard to teach her daughter many life skills and encourage her in her education and career.  She loved family and loved helping and being with people.  Jennie was always one to share her wisdom and advice to any and all who could use the experience of one who had seen a lot over the years.  ’Til the end she retained her grace and will always be known as young at heart.


Jennie’s Visitation will be held Monday, April 29th 2024 4-8pm at Gray Memorial Funeral Home, 12 Springfield Ave. Cranford, NJ 07016.


The Funeral Mass will be held Tuesday, April 30th 2024 10:30 am at The Church of Saint Anne 325 Second Avenue Garwood, NJ 07027


In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to:


Westfield YMCA Swim Lesson Scholarships in Memory of Jennie Costas. 

Please include a note with a check indicating the donation is for Swim Lesson Scholarships in Memory of Jennie Costas. The Westfield YMCA is located at 220 Clark St, Westfield NJ 07090.   

If you prefer to use a credit card, you may call the Westfield YMCA at 908-301-9622 and indicate the donation is for Swim Lesson Scholarships in Memory of Jennie Costas.  Or The American Heart Association.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jennie Costas, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Monday, April 29, 2024

4:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Gray Memorial Funeral Home - Cranford

12 Springfield Ave., Cranford, NJ 07016

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Tuesday, April 30, 2024

10:30 - 11:15 am (Eastern time)

St. Anne Catholic Church

325 2nd Ave, Garwood, NJ 07027

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Tuesday, April 30, 2024

11:45am - 12:15 pm (Eastern time)

Plant Trees

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