Obituary: Dennis J. Kostyla, 78

by | Oct 14, 2023

EG math teacher for 33 years

Dennis J. Kostyla, a retired teacher, died Tuesday, Oct. 10, at Kent Hospital in Warwick. He was 78. He was the beloved husband of the late Gertrude M. “Trudy” (Tessier) Kostyla with whom at the time of her death on February 5, 2016, he had celebrated nearly 50 years of marriage.

Born in Providence, a son of the late Theodore J. and Ruth L. (Kershaw) Kostyla, he lived in East Greenwich for 38 years before moving to Vero Beach, Fla., in 2009.

Dennis’s life was a testament to his relentless pursuit of knowledge. He graduated from West Warwick High School, received a bachelor’s degree in education from Rhode Island College and earned a master’s degree in education from Rhode Island College.

His dedication and commitment to learning was always evident throughout his career as a teacher in the East Greenwich School Department where he taught mathematics for 33 years before retiring in 2000. As an educator, Dennis went above and beyond inspiring countless young minds and instilling in them a love for learning that would last a lifetime.

He was an avid member of the Rhode Island Beekeepers Association, volunteered as a master gardener at the University of Rhode Island, served as committee president/chairman of Garden Grove Estates in Vero Beach, and was the proud class advisor for the East Greenwich High School 1979 graduating class. He was also a proud coach of the EGHS girl’s track team for several years prior to his retirement.

His hobbies and interests outside of teaching were beekeeping and woodworking. Dennis loved to travel with friends and family, spend his retirement with his dear wife, Trudy, and enjoy the temperate climate of Florida. He enjoyed spending time with his wife and close friends and family, traveling, cruises, woodworking, tending to his garden and bee hives, and volunteering time within his community.

Beyond the classroom, Dennis’s true joy in life came from his family. In addition to being a loving and devoted husband to his wife, Trudy, Dennis was the cherished father of their son, David. His kind and caring nature forever touched the lives of his extended family, including his sister Carolyn Stepka (husband Eddie), his nieces Kristen Benedetti, Dr. Karen Farren, Bethanie Parenteau, and his nephew Dr. Greg Stepka.

His life will be celebrated during calling hours at Carpenter-Jenks Funeral Home, 659 East Greenwich Ave., West Warwick, on Friday, Oct. 20, from 5 to 7 p.m. His funeral service will be held in Church of the Apostles, 170 Fairview Avenue, Coventry, on Saturday, October 21 at 10:00 AM. Interment will follow in Greenwood Cemetery, Coventry.

Donations in his memory may be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association.

You can leave an online condolence at the Carpenter-Jenks Funeral Home website HERE.

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EG News Obituary Policy: We post obituaries relevant to our readers. If you would like to share an obituary, send it to [email protected]. Put “obituary” in the subject line. 

Posted 10/14/23

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Jane Johnson
Jane Johnson
October 16, 2023 8:45 am

I am a former student of Mr Kostyla at EGHS Class of 1973. He was a kind and gentle man and an amazing teacher. Deepest sympathy to his family


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