CHAMPAIGN-URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — A man who held leadership positions throughout Central Illinois died this week.

Tom Costello spent 40 years at the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District. He started as a driver before many years serving as Assistant Managing Director. Employees there say he will be greatly missed. They say he made CUMTD feel like a family, and frequently cooked meals for everyone. He retired in 2014.

In 2016, we reported on Costello’s kidney transplant. He received a kidney from his longtime friend and News-Gazette reporter, Tom Kacich.

Costello also taught communications at the University of Illinois and was active in many organizations. At one point, he served as Champaign Rotary Club President. The group will have a virtual memorial service for him next week.

Costello was also part of the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois. They posted on Facebook, saying:

We join our community in mourning Tom Costello. A former Board Trustee of our Community Foundation of East Central Illinois, Tom passed away unexpectedly April 15.

Tom was a well-known member of our community, helping any nonprofit organization that asked. He emceed many local fundraising events learning everything he could about the organization beforehand to help raise as much money as possible for the cause.

Tom was one of only two individuals who served two terms on our board and returned after several years to serve another two terms. He served as our Treasurer in 2014-2015, Vice Chair in 2015-2016 and Board Chair in 2016-2017.

Tom and his wife, Rose, established the Patrick Thomas Costello endowment fund with our Community Foundation after the death of their infant son. He was also instrumental in establishing several other funds for our organization. He was a tireless supporter of our Community Foundation–and our staff.

He will be missed by many, especially all of us at our Community Foundation.