As Clovis police continue to investigate the death of Dennis Costella, 63, who died Monday night while walking his dog, his family remembered him Wednesday as a man dedicated to his faith and family.
"He was a wonderful father and grandfather," said his wife, Janet Costella.
Mr. Costella was struck by a pickup about 8 p.m. Monday while crossing an intersection at Fowler and Shepherd avenues. Clovis police spokeswoman Janet Stoll-Lee said that the driver apparently did not see Mr. Costella in the intersection. The driver stopped after the collision and was not arrested.
Mr. Costella, a native of Idaho, was an elder at Grace Bible Church in Fresno. He was also director of the Fundamental Evangelistic Association, a ministry with a presence in publishing, the Internet and radio that Mr. Costella became associated with after completing college and graduate studies in business.
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The Costellas were long-time residents of Los Osos on the central coast where Mr. Costella was a pastor of a church for 35 years.
Janet Costella said Mr. Costella was "very familiar" with the street where he was struck by the pickup. She described him as a very athletic man who enjoyed getting out almost every night for walks with his 4-year-old Labrador named Bear that the family adopted as a rescue dog. Janet Costella is puzzled by the accident because she said Mr. Costella was very careful with traffic and never jaywalked. Bear is still being treated by a veterinarian for injuries he suffered in the crash.
"It's a really hard thing," Janet Costella said of the loss of her husband. "But we know where he is ... Now he's with the Lord."