It is with profound sadness that we announce the death of David Edward Costin Jr., 87, of Munsonville, Professor Emeritus of Education at Keene State College, who passed away after a brief illness on Sept. 19, 2021, in the presence of loved ones.
David was born on Aug. 18, 1934, to David Edward and Carrita (Fontaine) Costin of North Walpole. He spent his young life in North Walpole, an only child, but one of many aunts, uncles and cousins. He graduated from Bellows Falls High School in 1952. North Walpole is where he met Claire Ruth Seavey, whom he married on Dec. 28, 1957. After a short honeymoon they moved to Lake Warren in East Alstead, and then to Keene, where they worked, raised a family, and made lifelong friends. David graduated from Keene Teachers College in 1956 with a Bachelor’s of Education, followed by a Master’s of Education in 1959.
David taught at the Wheelock School in Keene, working with his friend and mentor, George Bergeron. In 1966 he accepted the position of assistant professor in the Education Department at Keene State College. As Director of Student Teaching, he supervised the training of thousands of future teachers, many still teaching in local schools. In 1976 he was named second assistant to President Leo F. Redfern. He very much enjoyed working at Keene State, where he became a senior faculty member and was part of the institution’s transformation from a teacher’s college to a liberal arts college. Perhaps his signature contribution was partnering with his friend, George Cramer, of St. John’s College in York, England, to establish a post-graduate exchange program for teachers to travel to England and study methods used in the classroom there. He retired from Keene State as Director of Education in 2005 with the title of Professor Emeritus of Education.
David served on the Keene State Alumni Association’s board of directors for several terms, including as President, receiving the Alumni Association’s Outstanding Service Award in 1995 and the Sprague Drenan Award in 2007.
David was infrequently at rest. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus. He served in the Air National Guard with his lifelong friend, Pete Panagos. He helped run a successful mayoral campaign for his very good friend, Bob Mallat, in 1962. In the mid-1960s he organized federal grants to establish summer education programs for elementary school children in Keene. He was a passionate supporter of the Monadnock United Way, serving on the board for several years and breaking fundraising records, as president, in 1979 and 1983. He also served on the Keene Endowment Association Board of Trustees from 1995 to 2003.
After moving to Granite Lake in 1990, David became involved with the Granite Lake Association, where he served several terms on the board. He was instrumental in establishing the Granite Lake Village District, going on to serve on the Board of Commissioners for many years. More recently you could find him in a rocking chair in his basement reading the Economist magazine and stoking the fire in his wood stove.
He loved his wife, Claire, unfailingly and completely. He was by her side to navigate the challenges that life presented. He adored his children and grandchildren and taught them by example the value of hard work and decency. He was a lifelong supporter of the Boston Red Sox and would have been pleased to see the outcome of this year’s AL East wildcard playoff game. He was known for his sense of humor and for loyalty. He was competitive and tough, and you would always want him on your side, but he was a dedicated and compassionate man who invested in his community, his students, his friends and his family and went out of his way to help many others succeed.
David is survived by his wife of 64 years, Claire; his children: David and his wife Martha, Anne and her husband Chuck, and Peter and his wife Melissa; his grandchildren: Kyle Costin, Alvin Nix, Elizabeth Nix, David Edward Costin IV, Emma Costin and Patrick Costin; his great-grand-daughter, Haley Costin; and by many students, cooperating teachers and graduate assistants.
In keeping with his wishes, there are no calling hours. A private graveside service will be held at some point at the family lot at St. Peter’s Cemetery in Drewsville. Those wishing to make a donation in his memory may do so to the Costin Family Scholarship Fund at Keene State College, 229 Main St., Keene NH 03431.