Nancy K. Costain, 85

FEB. 17, 1927-JAN. 8, 2013

January 09, 2013
  • Costain

Nancy Kneisley Costain, 85, formerly of Arlington, Va., died on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, at Menno Haven Retirement Community in Chambersburg, Pa.

Born Feb. 17, 1927, in Hagerstown, Md., she was the daughter of the late Dr. Bender B. Kneisley and Mary A. Miller Kneisley.

She was a 1944 graduate of Hagerstown High School. She was a graduate of Syracuse University in 1948, majoring in English. She earned her master’s degree in counseling and psychology from Hood College in 1974.

Her executive secretarial career included Mercersburg Academy, Johns Hopkins University, and numerous temporary positions. Other jobs included teaching high school English in Easton, Md., working for the Jury Commission in Washington, D.C., providing administrative support for the Displaced Homemakers at Hagerstown Junior College, Frederick County Heart Association, and writing for NovaScope Magazine, while residing in Winchester, Va. 

She did volunteer work, including her post as president of the Wheaton Women’s Republican Club in 1964, serving as a “gray lady” at National Institutes of Health, co-founder of THEOS, a Christian support group for the newly widowed, and Campfire Girl Leader. Interests included ballroom dancing and attending Elderhostel. A lifetime of church activities including starting a new church in Silver Spring, Md., serving as deacon, authoring church bulletins, directing children’s pageants, participation in Bible studies, and lay reading.


She is survived by one daughter, Priscilla Bechter Kneisley; one sister, Mary Alice Barrett, and one grandson, John Anderson Kneisley.

She was preceded in death by her first husband, Charles A. Bechter, in 1965, and her second husband, Rev. Herbert Costain, in 1993.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Minnich Funeral Home, 415 E. Wilson Blvd., Hagerstown. The Rev. Mark A. Sandell will officiate. Burial will be in Rest Haven Cemetery.

There will be no viewing.

Family requests omission of flowers, and memorial donations to American Red Cross, 1131 Conrad Court, Hagerstown, MD 21742, or Menno Haven Fellowship Fund, 2075 Scotland Avenue, Chambersburg, PA 17201.

Online condolences are accepted at

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