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In Loving Memory of John Costa Sr.

In Loving Memory of John Costa Sr.

mr costa

[dropcap2]I[/dropcap2]t is with a heavy heart that we share news of the passing of Bob’ father John Costa Senior. Mr. Costa was a hard working family man who touched the lives of so many people in his 101 years on this earth and B.C. Tent would not exist without him. Bob always credits his parents as the true founders of B.C. Tent & Awning. The company started in his parent’s garage here in Avon. Bob’s parents were in their 60’s and would answer phones, send out invoices, help with installations, clean the tents, sew the drop cloths and much more. The only compensation they wanted was knowing they were part of the success of their son.

Well into his 80’s Mr. Costa worked periodically in the warehouse alongside people who were a quarter of his age. In his 90’s and 100’s he continued to visit the office and brighten the company with his personality and spirit helping the company stay relaxed during our busy seasons and entertained in our off seasons. Although the story of our company starts with Mr. Costa, the story of Mr. Costa starts long before B.C. Tent.

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John & Bob working in the early years of B.C. Tent & Awning

The story of John J Costa Sr. begins with his birth on June 9th, 1913 in Boston, Massachusetts. He grew up with his parents, 7 siblings, and maternal grandparents in Dorchester. He graduated from Mechanical Arts High School in Boston as the first high school graduate in his family. John also spent a year continuing his education at Bryant and Stratton Business College. Over the next few years John began dating Constance Helene Smith and juggled his day job at the water meter company with playing music with the Jackie Ford Band. John was drafted into the US Army in 1941 and expected to be discharged by the time of his planned spring 1942 wedding. After Pearl Harbor the wedding was rescheduled to Dec. 28th 1941 and his stay in the Army was extended.

Wedding Day December 28th, 1941
Wedding Day December 28th, 1941

Serving in the war, John was stationed in Ireland, England, Algeria, Morocco, Italy, France, Belgium, and Germany. During his military duty John documented his experience with journals, photographs, and letters to his ‘darling’ Connie. Some entries from John’s Journal can be viewed here: DAD’S ARMY JOURNAL.

John writing a letter to his wife Connie during WW2
John writing a letter to his wife Connie during WW2

After returning from the war, John and Connie started a family and settled in Avon with their 4 boys John, Paul, Donald & Bob. John often worked 3 jobs during this time. He spent his working years with the United States Postal Service, the Army National Guard as well as working as a custodian at Avon High School and even working as a Driver Education Instructor. John retired in 1980 but quickly found a new project providing skills and guidance to his son Bob’s newly formed B.C. Tent & Awning Company.

In 2011, the company was proud to honor John and his contributions to the company by inducting him into the B.C. Tent & Awning Hall of Fame and presenting him with the Golden Sledgehammer award. We also created a John J. Costa Training Center in December 2014. Mr. Costa helped shape not only the company but all the individuals that he came into contact with through the years. For Mr. Costa’s full biography click John Costa BIO.

Golden Sledgehammer Award
Golden Sledgehammer Award
Bob & John overlooking the warehouse from the John J. Costa Sr. Training Center
Bob & John overlooking the warehouse from the John J. Costa Sr. Training Center

We at B.C. Tent will always remember John’s enormous spirit and an uplifting force throughout the years and we hope to honor him by embodying that same spirit as we move the company forward.

Memories from Our Team

Mr. Costa was present for all of the important company events. He loved spending time with the staff.
Mr. Costa was present for all of the important company events. He loved spending time with the staff.

“John Costa Sr. was the hardest and longest working family man I have ever known in my life. I can only imagine the things you have seen in your life time. God bless you John. You will be missed.” -Bob K.

“A funny memory that I had of Mr. Costa was about 8 years ago, which would of made him around 93. His back was hurting him and he didn’t know why. He came in here with his cane and was hunched over. His daughter in-law Carol figured out what was wrong and two days later Mr. Costa was standing in our office raising his hands above his head and then touching his feet over and over again.” –Rhona

“Through the years I’ve been lucky enough to have some great conversations with Mr. Costa joking around about current events, sports and politics. Through all the years I’ve always left those conversations with a smile and a better outlook on my day. The most important thing I’ve ever learned from Mr. Costa however, didn’t come from any of those interactions. It was actually before I formally met him. About 15 years ago, on a scorching summer afternoon, a group of us came back to the warehouse after a long day installing tents. As we pulled into the shop complaining about being tired and having sore muscles we encountered Mr. Costa. I saw him working up a sweat in the hot afternoon sun drilling out and painting side poles. Suddenly it didn’t feel right complaining about life’s minor inconveniences and a group of young installers was rendered speechless. That was the day Mr. Costa taught us all a life lesson about hard work without having to say a single word.” -Patrick

“Something that always fascinated me was watching Mr. Costa’s reaction to new technology. Seeing new products and gadgets in the tent industry just blew him away. I think it is so cool that he got to see so many things go from their first state of being invented to what we have today. It is just amazing to think about.” –Val

“One of my memories is working on the John Costa Sr. Training Center at B.C. Tent when he came walking through the warehouse. I was afraid he would see the sign and the surprise would be blown. Instead he walked right by looking down. Turns out he was watching his step so he wouldn’t trip on anything and the surprise was kept intact. At the ARA of MA holiday party in December 2014 one of the younger members called me an old man. I laughed and asked how old he thought Mr. Costa was. His response was “in his 70’s?” Then I introduced him to the 101 year old Mr. Costa who managed to amaze him with his wit and humor. What an amazing man.” – Gene

“I remember the concert before Thanksgiving 2013 at Memorial Hall in Plymouth. The music that night featured a salute to all the veterans. My father and step-mother, U.S Army veterans, my fiancé Suzanne and I were perched in the balcony. I was able to point out to them Bob and his father John sitting in the front row. We could see them enjoy the night’s festivities throughout the entire program. When Mr. John Costa, Sr. was introduced to the crowd he received a standing ovation. Even from where we sat you could see the smile that lit his face! Suzanne and I went down to the floor after the program to say hello and that smile was still there. That is our favorite memory of Bob’s dad.” -Phil

“People who knew my dad described him as modest, trustworthy, highly respected, life of the party, a great provider, loyal, dependable, and charming. He loved to spend time with his kids and grandchildren He got the most satisfaction in life by the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren.”- Bob C

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend visiting hours Friday 4pm-8pm and funeral service Saturday at 9am at Hurley Funeral Home, 134 So. Main St. (Rt. 28), Randolph. His final resting place will be Knollwood Cemetery in Canton.

Donations may be made in John’s memory to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675.

Click Here to View John’s Full Obituary