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William ‘Bill’ James Costello - Brookings: Aug. 2, 1932 – May 6, 2014

Posted: Thursday, May 8th, 2014

William "Bill" James Costello, 81, died Tuesday, May 6 at United Living Community surrounded by his family.

Funeral services are at 11 a.m. Monday at First United Methodist Church in Brookings. Burial is in Greenwood Cemetery. Visitation is from 4-7 p.m. Sunday at Eidsness Funeral Home. Memorials may be directed to First United Methodist Church.

Bill was born Aug. 2, 1932, in Cavalier, N.D., to James William and Florence (Young) Costello. He graduated from Cavalier High School in 1950. He received a bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry from North Dakota State University in 1954 and served in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1956. He enrolled in graduate school at Oklahoma State University, receiving his master’s degree in animal science in 1960, and a Ph.D. in meat science in 1963. From 1962 to 1965 he was employed by John Morrell and Company, Ottumwa, Iowa, in research and technical sales. In 1965, he joined the faculty at South Dakota State University as a professor in the College of Agriculture & Biological Sciences and served there until his retirement in 1999. His particular field of expertise was in the area of animal science and most specifically in the area of meat production and processing. Bill co-authored the text-book “The Meat We Eat.”

He often would refer to himself as an " educated butcher." He had a deep appreciation for agriculture and the industry. Bill had a genuine interest in students and loved teaching.

He was elected Outstanding Instructor in the College of Agriculture and Biological Sciences three times during his teaching tenure at SDSU. In 1989 he was presented the Gamma Sigma Delta Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 1991, Bill was named SDSU Distinguished Professor, a most prestigious award.

In 1993 he received the F.O. Butler Award for "Service to Students" and Academic Advising. Many of his former students entered the Meat Processing Industry or went into private businesses and have done exceptionally well.

In August 1958 he married Lorraine Torkelson in Karlstad, Minn. Bill was a loving husband and often expressed his love to his devoted wife who cared for Bill until his death. They have two children, James William and Shawna Marie. Bill was a member of the First United Methodist Church and served on many committees. He was also a member of the Golden K.

Survivors include his wife Lorraine, son Jim (Robyn) of Sioux Falls; daughter Shawna of Brookings; four granddaughters; a sister, Judy Erlandson of Sioux Falls; sisters-in-law Lu (Harlan) Darkenwald of Long Prairie, Minn., and Evelyn Warnes of Morris, Minn.; brother-in-law Gerald Vigstol of Karlstad, Minn., in addition to many nieces, nephews, and other relatives.

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