In memory of

Joseph Sebastian D'Costa

March 3, 1930 -  January 3, 2022

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Joseph Sebastian D’Costa on January 3, 2022, at 91 years. Joe will be lovingly remembered by his wife Winifred (Rutledge) D’Costa, his children, Michael, Jenny (and daughter Jessica), Lainey D’Costa (Kathy Lanthois), Catherine Carroll-Szucs (Alex Szucs), Sheri Carroll (John Graham), Stephen Carroll (Traci Walters), Barbara, Jane and Philip Rutledge, siblings James (Marina), Enid (Alfie), Oscar, Norbert, and all of their families. He is predeceased by his son, Bill Carroll, sister, Yvette D’Costa, and late wife Antoinette.

He obtained a BA from McMaster University, a Bachelor of Education, from the University of Toronto and a Master of Science in Education, Niagara University, New York, USA which led him to his true calling, education. He began his mathematics teaching career in England at the RAF Station Bruntingthorpe. When he left England in 1962 to immigrate to Canada with his young family, his letter of commendation stated “Joe had a warm, sensitive concern with all human beings, generously giving his time and attention to his students, friends and associates.”

His commitment to his students continued throughout his teaching career. In Canada, he accepted a teaching position at Hillfield Strathallan College, and moved on from there to become the head of the math department at T.L. Kennedy high school, the principal of night school, and a consultant for the Peel Board of Education. He worked for the Ministry of Education for over 40 years, retiring from there at 80 years of age.

He tutored high school and university math students privately for over 60 years, and continued this work up until the last year of his life, even tutoring over FaceTime during COVID, at 91. Joe was nicknamed ‘the gentle giant’ not only due to his large stature, but the size of his heart. He loved life: music, film, theatre, food, travel, golf, sports, swimming, and fine Scotch. In his last years, some of Joe’s favourite memories were travelling the world with his sweet Winifred, whom he loved to the moon and back. To all who knew Joe, his big hugs and zest for life will be greatly missed.

A Celebration of Life will be held in the spring. The family would like to thank the staff at Lakeridge Health Hospital for their care and compassion.


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Gordon Hall (Former TLK colleague)

Entered January 10, 2022 from Burlington

So sorry to hear of Joe's passing. Sincere sympathy to his family. We had many enjoyable lunch time conversations and Joe's hearty laugh and meaningful observations on a variety of topics are treasured memories for me.

Terry and Jane Venner-Bonne (T.L.Kennedy S.S. Students)

Entered January 10, 2022 from Mississauga

We had the privilege of having Mr. D'Costa as our Grade 13 Mathematics and homeroom teacher in 1974. His infectious smile and enthusiasm gave us all an opportunity to love Math. He was a truly gifted teacher and an inspiration to all.
We had a challenge with the rest of the school to sell the most yearbooks and our class won the double spread photo. Mr. D'Costa was determined to win. Check out our 1974 class photo on Facebook.
He will be missed but never forgotten. RIP

Judy Anne Pfeiff (Colleague at T.L.Kennedy S.S.)

Entered January 11, 2022 from Mississauga

My sympathies to family and friends. Joe certainly made the most of his time here on earth. His passion for mathematics and teaching was boundless and so many benefited from this. Thank you for your dedication and service to in peace dear soul.

Lily Marcinek (teacher colleague TLK)

Entered January 11, 2022 from Mississauga, Ontario

In 1978, Joe interviewed me for a teaching job at TLK for mathematics. I was delighted to be hired as part of the PE and math departments where I had a wonderful career at TLK until retirement in 2008. Joe was a mentor to many and lead by example; he was extremely intelligent, affable and always had a smile for students and staff alike. I recall fond memories when we taught ballroom dancing to senior students in PE class in preparation for our formal. Joe would come as a guest visitor to demonstrate some of his dance steps twirling me around the gym floor. He was a "smooth operator" and a brilliant dancer. On our staff trips to Woodbine Racetrack, he would help me place bets as I knew nothing about horse racing and I actually came home with some winnings. My husband, Hugh Welbourn, who taught mathematics at Applewood, worked with Joe at night school. They shared a passion for eloquent math solutions and designing exemplary questions. Joe had a sharp mind; his compassion reached out to those around him and he had a zest for fun and life-long learning. May angel wings lift him to the stars and may his ions forever live in those whom he touched.
Adieu dear friend. Lily Marcinek

Susan Malcolm (Fellow Teacher)

Entered January 11, 2022 from PORT ROWAN

I started my teaching career at T. L. Kennedy in the early 1970's, where Joe was already Head of the Mathematics Department. I have fond memories of going to the horse races with Joe. He would organize an annual trip to dinner and the races for the staff, and even gave tips on how to bet. I remember Joe as a true gentleman- kind, considerate and fun-loving. He will be missed.


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