Nicholas F. Costantino, who filled several volunteer positions locally and was a dedicated public servant, passed away on Jan. 28.
“I went into my dad’s wake thinking it was going to be the worst day of my life and I came away with the proudest feelings I’ve ever had,” said his son, Councilman Robert Costantino.
Nicholas Costantino was a man of many accomplishments. “Nick was one of the hardest working guys I ever met,” said Mayor Michael Gonnelli. “He would work 24-7 if he had to. He was always there, always devoted, always made the right decisions.”
For 15 years Costantino served as chairman of the board of trustees of Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center. He was a member of the board of trustees of Liberty HealthCare System, Inc., and a member of their executive committee, having previously serving as treasurer.
“He was a real gentleman,” said John Riley, who served with Costantino on the board of Meadowlands Hospital. “Very strong in his convictions. He always did what he thought was best for the hospital and the people he served. He was very positive and tried to maintain the integrity of the hospital for quality service. His hard work and dedication as a governing board member will be remembered for years to come.”
Costantino was also co-founder, treasurer, and trustee of the Harmony Early Learning Center of the Meadowlands Ministries, a not-for-profit day care center.
CPA and more
“My grandfather was an accountant and then my dad,” said Robert Costantino. “He started out as an art major at University of Miami, but I guess he realized you couldn’t make any money in art so he followed his father’s footsteps and passed his CPA and became an accountant and started his own business I believe in 1969. And he was self-employed ever since. He’s been in Secaucus since about 1985 or ‘86 with his firm, Costantino and Company.”
Nicholas Costantino was very active in the Certified Public Accountant industry. “He was the past president of the New Jersey chapter,” said Robert. “Very involved in the New Jersey PAC, the Political Action Committee for the CPA society. He was a member of the Secaucus Housing Authority. He really enjoyed that.”
“Even in retirement he stayed active,” said Riley, speaking of Costantino’s strong commitment to the community. “It was a privilege to know him.”
Throughout his life, Costantino remained actively involved in serving the public and supporting local charities. “When people talked to him about running for politics he used to say I’d rather be the kingmaker than the king,” said Robert. “They kill the king.”
“He was always there, always devoted, always made the right decisions.” – Michael Gonnelli
“He was a dedicated family man to his sons and grandsons and his lovely wife,” said Riley.
“I worked right next door to him, we had back-to-back offices,” said Robert, who followed his father into the family business. “People would come into his office to do their tax returns and he had my grandfather’s clients too, so there’s some real old-timers that would come in, and he would sit there and I would hear him talking about Union City, which he loved, growing up in Union City. He loved politics, he loved all those type of things. And the whole hour he was with these people or even an hour and a half, he was talking about everything but their tax returns, and then they’d leave and he’d have their tax return done.”
He added, “I would always tell him just stop talking and get the work done and you can go home at a reasonable hour instead of two in the morning. And at the wake all these people were saying, ‘You know I used to come to the office and we would talk about nothing but Union City, family, and everything else,’ and they enjoyed it.”
Art Schwartz may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.