July 5, 1921 - May 21, 2019
Dr. Richard Hauer Costa, 97, who played a prominent role in the surge of English studies at Texas A&M in the mid-1970s, died in Utica, NY after a brief illness. Services to honor Dr. Costa's life took place May 28, 2019 in New York.
Professor Costa taught freshmen as well as graduate students at Texas A&M for 20 years.
Professor Costa was honored in 1976 and 1984 with University distinguished teaching awards. He taught graduate seminars in Literary Biography, Analysis of Literature, British Comic Fiction, 19th and 20th Century British Novel and the Life Novel.
Dick was born in Philadelphia on July 5, 1921, the son of Leonard A. Costa, Philadelphia, and Marie Hauer, Lebanon, PA. He and a younger sister, Josephine, were raised in Upper Darby, PA, township where he attended schools, elementary through high school, wartime class of 1939. That year he entered West Chester (PA) State Teachers College (now West Chester University) and was called into service in WW2 his final semester. Dick, editor-in-chief of the campus weekly, was the first in his class to be named Distinguished Alumnus.
An Enlisted man on active duty, stateside and in Germany, for 37 months, Dick studied Italian for a year at U. of Missouri, served briefly as an interpreter with Italian co-belligerents (POW's) before being shipped to Germany as a replacement with the 99th Infantry Division in March 1945. He served under fire in three campaigns including first Allied crossing of the Rhine River near Remagen. Dick worked for 20 years as a journalist and a professor in the Utica, NY area.
Professor Costa holds a Master's Degree from Syracuse and a Ph.D. from Purdue University. He is survived by his wife, Marie Jo B. Costa; his son, Philip H. Costa; and eight nieces and nephews.