Las Vegas Review-Journal



Charles (Chuck) Francis Costa, beloved father and grandfathe­r and faithful government servant, died in the arms of his daughters on Sunday, August 29, 2021, in Dallas, Texas. Born on March 20, 1939, in Medford, Massachuse­tts, Chuck moved in 1955 to Tewksbury, Massachuse­tts, graduating from Tewksbury High School in 1957. The first of his family to attend college, he earned a Civil Engineerin­g degree from the University of Massachuse­tts in Amherst in 1961 and a graduate degree in Radiation Health Physics from the University of Michigan in 1968. After graduating from the University of Massachuse­tts, Chuck migrated to Las Vegas, Nevada, and never looked back. He was fascinated by the nuclear weapons testing program and wanted to be part of it. He ultimately realized his dream and worked from 1962 to 1992 for the United States Public Health Service, assigned to the Environmen­tal Protection Agency from 1970 to 1992. In this capacity he helped establish a radiation monitoring program for northern Nevada and Utah. In the process of doing so, he developed lifelong friendship­s with coworkers and some of the early Nevada ranching families, especially those near Ely, Nevada. Upon cessation of the above -ground testing program, Chuck continued his work monitoring the radiation from below-ground weapons testing, ultimately working his way up from Field Monitor to becoming a member of the Advisory Panel for the weapons testing program. During his years with the PHS and the EPA, he had many cherished experience­s, including radiation monitoring in Amchitka in the Aleutian Islands as well as in Enewetak in the Marshall Islands. He also participat­ed in the cleanup of the Three-mile Island nuclear accident in Pennsylvan­ia as well as in that of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska. Chuck loved every minute of his work, including the lifelong friendship­s he made, the places he saw, and the mission of nuclear weapons testing. Following his retirement from the EPA in 1992, Chuck joined the Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1992-2008, serving as the Los Alamos Liaison at the Nevada Test Site on the Advisory Board and later as a Test Director. After retiring from Los Alamos, Chuck worked tirelessly to support and promote the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas. He also continued to conduct tours of his beloved Nevada National Security Site for visiting scientists, politician­s, and other dignitarie­s. When he wasn't working, Chuck-always an avid outdoorsma­n-loved to spend time in Utah, where he enjoyed fishing, the cool weather, and caring for the deer in his small sanctuary. Chuck was preceded in death by his parents Mary Corso Costa and Andrew Joseph Costa, and his sister, Maryann Costa Arena. He is survived by his daughters Elizabeth Costa Hamilton-mangum (Marvin) of Dallas, Texas and Susan

Marie Costa (Mark Fakler) of Las Vegas, Nevada, as well as by four delightful grandchild­ren, John Matthew Hamilton and Kathryn Lilly Hamilton of Dallas, Texas and Wyatt Paul Fakler and

Matthew Charles Fakler of Las Vegas, Nevada. Charles is also survived by his nephews Erik Arena of Annapolis, Maryland, and Kenny Arena of Dunkirk, Maryland. A memorial service in Chuck's honor will be conducted on November 13th, 2021, from noon to 2:00 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church at 1811 Pueblo Vista Drive, Las Vegas, Nevada. In lieu of flowers, donations in Chuck's name can be made to the National Atomic Testing Museum, 755 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, Nevada. Chuck will be interred at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City, Nevada, at a date yet to be determined. Sign guestbook at obituaries.reviewjour­

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