Cover photo for Maria Celeste Costley's Obituary
Maria Celeste Costley Profile Photo

Maria Celeste Costley

January 6, 1951 — January 21, 2024

Maria Celeste Costley

Maria Celeste Costley, 73, passed away on January 21, 2024, after a long battle with non-alcoholic liver disease.  She touched many lives with her dynamic pursuit of genealogy and her love of Texas and its history with Mexico.  Maria was born in Villa Frontera, Coahuila, Mexico January 6, 1951, to John Lucian Costley and Maria Celeste Martinez Costley and was a longtime resident of Austin, Texas.  She graduated from William B. Travis High School in 1969, and in 1976 earned a BA degree from the University of Texas – Austin.  Maria continued her education in 1978/1979 at the Insituto de Interpretes y Traductores; Mexico DF, Mexico and completed her degree in 1984 with a Masters Certification, English-Spanish, Spanish-English, Translator and Interpretation at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA.  She achieved her higher education while supporting herself financially by working at the Texas Attorney General Office and in Georgia working for Coca Cola.  Here she found a lifelong love of Coca Cola and all its memorabilia.  When she returned to Austin, Texas in 1984, she worked as a Court Interpreter and continued her career not only in Austin, Texas, Travis County but also in the surrounding counties of Bastrop, Caldwell, Burleson, & Hays, to name a few.  In addition to being her mother’s full-time caregiver, she worked for the law firm of Minter, Joseph & Thornhill, P.C. - Austin, TX.

Maria also participated in many social organizations: Ladies Oriental Shrine Of North America Inc, Ben Hera #91 in Austin, Texas 1984; Assoc. Member, American Translator Association, Austin, TX, 1984; United Daughters of the Confederacy, Texas Division, Albert Sidney Johnston Chapter, No. 105, Austin, TX,1985; National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution, 2011; The Daughters of the Republic of Texas, William B. Travis Chapter No. 3; Texas Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators; Order of the Eastern Star, William B. Travis Chapter; Austin Genealogical Society, Austin, TX.  Maria was also a lifetime member of Texas Exes, Ex-Students Association of the University of Texas.

Besides her many interests with her work and genealogy research, Maria was also a voracious needlepoint stitcher and a reader of all history with a special interest in WWII.  She loved to share her knowledge and her canvases with friends and family. 

Maria is survived by her nephews and nieces Harley Costley, Spencer Costley, Menesica Costley, Ian Costley, Verna Costley, Paige Costley Smith and cousins Jesse Ortergon, Betty Costley Oyervides and Mickey Garcia.  Also the DeAnda family of Del Rio where she spent many holidays and special occasions.

“Say not in grief, she is no more’ but in thankfulness that she was.”  (Hebrew Proverb) We hopefully will continue to celebrate Maria’s life in all that we do. We are grateful to have her as our family and friend.



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