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Gilbert Costa
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Gilbert Anthony ‘Gil’ Costa, 78, longtime Modesto resident, died Tuesday, Sept. 8 following a long illness.

He was born in Modesto to Alice and Anthony Costa. He graduated from Turlock High School in 1949 and went on to serve in the U.S. Coast Guard during the Korean War. He served his time stateside and received his honorable discharge with the rank of Yeoman 2nd class.

Mr. Costa had a very long and successful career in the ambulance business, starting in 1955. He began with Community Ambulance and later, with Modesto Ambulance Company, where he served as the manager and became part of a history making class of professionals in the State of California. In 1973, he was honored to be one of five individuals in the first graduating class of paramedics in Stanislaus County. At that time only two counties in the entire state of California yielded licensed paramedics: Los Angeles and Stanislaus.

In 1978, he went to work at Oak Valley Hospital in Oakdale, where he served as a paramedic and filled a number of other important roles at the hospital, including the admitting area. He had a long and fulfilling career at Oak Valley Hospital, where he worked with people whom he greatly enjoyed. He was proud to be a part of the hospital’s growth. After 30 years, he retired in 2008 due to ongoing medical conditions. He had a great love for the people and place where he worked.

His hobbies included gardening and landscaping, and woodworking. He became quite skilled at these hobbies and he often donated much of his time to help others with wood working projects. He was a generous man with his time and talents.

He loved his cats Imus, Brutus, Smokey and Garfield – they brought a great sense of peace and joy to his life.

He had recently given his life to Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.

He is survived by his loving wife, Phyllis; children, Gary, Bob (Dana), Rick (Sandy), and Joan (Sam); seven grandchildren, Josh, Brandon, Courtney, Apryl, Morgan, Jaret, and Brytni; as well as a brother and his family.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

His wish was to be cremated. Interment and a memorial service will be conducted on his birthday, Monday, Nov. 9 at the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery with full military honors.

In lieu of flowers, he preferred that remembrances be made to the Oak Valley Hospital Construction Fund.

The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader

Sept. 16, 2009