About Nancy Costello

Nancy Costello with volunteers
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Who was Nancy Costello?

Nancy Weill was born in San Francisco in 1918 to Harriet Sargent Weill of Monterey and Stuart I. Weill. The family lived in New Jersey for much of her early childhood, returning to Monterey after her father died when she was eight.

Nancy attended Monterey Grammar School, Sunset School in Carmel, Monterey High (Class of '35), Salinas Junior College and Dominican College.

Soon-to-be husband Jimmy Costello was four years older, a boy she had known all her life – but not well. Their romance evolved when they were adults. Nancy and Jimmy were married in Carson City, Nevada, the day before Pearl Harbor was bombed.

Jimmy served in the Army. A week after he returned from France, on April 2, 1946, they moved into the home on Via Cimarron Street in Monterey where they lived for the rest of their lives.

The house was expanded several times to accommodate their growing family, which eventually included six children.

"My big memory probably is when Mom and I painted this house together," said second-born son Jim. "She took over my coveralls, which I used for working on my cars." Nancy traded in her coveralls for her signature jeans and blue work shirt which she wore every day for making her food deliveries to Salinas, Greenfield and the farmworker camps in the Salinas Valley.

Mrs. Costello made her food deliveries for a total of 43 years, rising at dawn to load her cargo (including dozens of 25-pound bags of beans) and returning home after dark. She continued her deliveries until May of 2013, when at the age of 94 she turned the responsibility over to a group of volunteers. Currently it takes almost 70 volunteers to replace Nancy.

Nancy passed away peacefully at home shortly after her 95th birthday in the fall of 2013.

Source: Dennis Taylor, Monterey Herald.

phone: 831-920-7737
website: www.NancysProject.org

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Photo copyright Kelli Uldall, Carmel Magazine