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Gilbert Anthony Costa
Interment and a memorial service with full military honors will be conducted on Nov. 9 at the San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Santa Nella for Gilbert Anthony Costa, 78, of Modesto. He died Sept. 8, 2009 following a lengthy illness.

Born Nov. 9, 1930 in Modesto to Alice and Anthony Costa, Gilbert graduated from Turlock High School in 1949 and went on to serve in the U.S. Coast Guard during the Korean War. Gilbert served his time stateside and received his honorable discharge with the rank of Yeoman 2nd Class. He had a successful career in the ambulance business, starting in 1955. He owned and operated Community Ambulance, and Modesto Ambulance from 1960 to 1978. While working for Modesto-Ceres Ambulance Company, "Gil" served as manager. In 1973 he was one of five in the first graduating class of paramedics in Stanislaus County. At that time only two counties in the entire state of California yielded licensed paramedics, Los Angeles and Stanislaus counties. Gilbert was part of that groundbreaking profession that today has become a regular and ongoing group of professionals who serve in communities as first responders. In 1978, Gilbert went to work at Oak Valley Hospital in Oakdale, where he served as a paramedic and worked in Admitting. Mr. Costa had a long and fulfilling career at Oak Valley Hospital, where he worked with people whom he greatly enjoyed. After 30 years, Gilbert retired in 2008 due to medical conditions. Mr. Costa enjoyed gardening and landscaping, and wood-working. He also enjoyed his cats.

He leaves behind his wife Phyllis Costa of Modesto; four children, Gary, Bob, Rick, and Joan; a brother; and seven grandchildren, Josh, Brandon, Courtney, Apryl, Morgan, Jaret, and Brytni.

Remembrances may be sent to the Oak Valley Hospital Construction Fund, 350 S. Oak Avenue, Oakdale, CA 95361-3581.

-Ceres Courier /September 16, 2009