Marie T. Costanzo
Marie T. Costanzo–longtime secretary in the Department of Music and mother of three
Skidmore alumnae–died May 21, 2009, at the age of 76.
Born May 21, 1933, in Brooklyn, Marie was a daughter of the late John and Christina Stalzer and the widow of Anthony M. Costanzo.
A communicant of St. Brigid’s Roman Catholic Church, Brooklyn, where she was christened and confirmed, Marie attended St. Brigid’s Grammar School. She was a graduate of St. Joseph’s Commercial High School in Brooklyn, where she earned a diploma with Regents Honors in 1951 and was a member of the school’s chapter of the Leo Honor Society of the Diocese of Brooklyn.
After high school, she worked in the office of the registrar of The Cooper Union and later in the research department of Grant Advertising in New York City.
She married Anthony M. Costanzo in 1958; a decade later, they moved to Saratoga Springs. They were the parents of four daughters, three of whom graduated from Skidmore. Anthony died in December 2008.
Marie joined the staff of the Music Department in the fall of 1971 and worked there 22 years, retiring in 1993. Professor Emerita of Music Isabelle Williams, who chaired the department from 1979 to 1985, remembered Marie’s efficiency and willingness to embrace new challenges.
Said Williams, “When I was chair, the College launched the Filene Music Competition, and there were so many details and deadlines surrounding the start of that new initiative. Marie handled them all so capably. She had a number of traditional secretarial responsibilities as well as extras, like the concert box office, and she was so efficient. It was the same when computers were introduced in our office. She learned the skills necessary to do her job in a new way, and managed beautifully. It was wonderful to have her as a colleague.”
Music Professor Charles M. Joseph, who joined the faculty in 1985 and became chair of the department a year later, recalled Marie’s friendly manner and willingness to assist. “She was the person who educated me about the Department of Music,” said Joseph. “I came to rely on her to introduce me to staff and aspects of the department.”
He continued, “She was always one step ahead of me. She would anticipate needs or see problems before they developed. I cannot remember how many times I would start a sentence, ‘Marie did you…’ and she would place a file folder in my hands. I found that invaluable.”
Continued Joseph, “At every turn she was direct and professional. She knew the students and had a near-encyclopedic knowledge of faculty and curriculum. I really enjoyed working with her.”
Marie was a communicant of St. Clement’s Roman Catholic Church and a member of the Saratoga Film Forum.
She is survived by daughters Paula of Queens; Christina Costanzo Neuner ’83 of Long Island; Anita ’84 of Everett, Mass.; and Andrea ’86 of Saratoga Springs. Additional survivors include a sister, Dorothy DeRosa of Great Kills, Staten Island; and sons-in-law Charles Neuner and Alan Edstrom.
Interment was at the Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery, Schuylerville.