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L V Costner

July 8, 1926 - February 28, 2021

LV Costner was born July 8, 1926 in Harrisburg, Arkansas. He was the oldest of ten children born to Luvenia and Oley Costner.  Times were hard but the family carried on.  Dad loved learning.  He told me that if he could have gone to college, he would have studied math.  That wasn’t an option and instead, he was drafted into the Army.  He served his country during World War II in Japan.  He said he got there after the surrender but it wasn’t known yet so they had to land on a beach.  That meant he had to get in the water, which he did not like.
After the war, he tried but could not easily find work.  Dad rejoined the Army and asked to go back to Japan.  Before they sent him, the Army trained him in auto mechanics.  During the  time he was in Japan  he met his future wife,  Nobuko Takeda.  He was sent to Korea as tensions flared there.  LV was injured by shrapnel when a fellow soldier dropped a grenade during a training exercise and returned to Japan to recover.
LV married Nobuko Takeda in November 1951 and returned to the US to take his bride back to Arkansas.  His first daughter (Rita) was born in September 1952 and a second daughter (Ali) in August 1954.  To increase opportunities for his children, he moved the family to Michigan where he worked as an auto mechanic.
LV and Nobuko were divorced in 1964.  He moved to California and married Gladys M. Phay in 1975.  They were married until her death in 2006.  Dad stayed alone in California until 2019.
My sister and I convinced him that he should move to Oregon for better care and in July 2019, he finally did that...moving to Salem to live with Rita and her partner, Rich McDonald.  He thrived here.  Although his body was in not so good condition, his mind was sharp.  We had many conversations and bonded over baseball.  He loved eating and could always be counted on to clean his plate.  He definitely loved ice cream.   When I asked him for his favorite flavor, he always said “the one I’m eating now.”
LV Costner passed away February 28, 2021 at home in Salem, Oregon. It was very peaceful.
He is survived by his two daughters, Rita Blaisdell (with Rich McDonald) in Salem, Oregon and Ali Rapose in Grants Pass, Oregon.  In addition, he had seven living grandchildren…Ken Brady and Kimberly Pollard in Salem, Oregon. Erin Robison in Newport, Oregon. Christian Muna in Milliken, Colorado.  Kristen Burger in Clarksville, Tennessee.  Josh Cutino in Oregon City, Oregon and Peter Cutino in Grants Pass, Oregon.  Sadly, Justin Cutino of Grants Pass, Oregon passed away in 2001.  LV also has one living stepson, Richard Phay (with Gilda) in Prineville, Oregon.  And a bunch of great-grandchildren!  There are 18…12 great-grandsons and 6 great-granddaughters.  There are also 8 great-great grandchildren.  Definitely blessed.
LV has three living sisters, all in Arkansas.  They are Mattie Lou Sweat, Patsy Heinemann, and Linda Webb.
I would like to thank MC Fire Dept, MC Sheriff’s Office, and VT Golden Funeral Service for their help.
LV was my sister’s and my last living parent/step-parent.  So ends that generation for us.  He will be missed.  Rest in heavenly peace, dad.

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My fondest memories are in the basement of the Chevrolet dealership in Benton Harbor, Michigan where dad was a mechanic and prepped new cars for delivery. He would occasionally take us to work with him, and because the cars were brand new...there were big sheets of cardboard and big chunks of chalk that my sister and I could draw on, to our hearts content! To this day, I LOVE the smell of a mechanic's garage. I will always think of him when I catch that scent! Love you and miss you dad! Glad I got to talk to you recently. Sad I didn't get to see you over the winter.

Hi Rita.  Rebecca and I wish you our sympathy and condolences - he lived a great life - especially the sunset years with you at home. 

John & Rebecca. 

We are sending you all our love, thoughts and prayers  So very sorry for your loss 

My husband, boys and I send you all our love, prayers and condolences. Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help.

LV was like a Dad to me and my husband, Richard.  Our children each felt he was their grandpa!  He will be missed greatly.  He loved ice cream as Rita said, and everything else, especially chicken, cooked any way!  The only thing he wouldn’t eat, he said, was chittlins!

MY thoughts and prayers are with you, Rita and Ali. It is so hard to lose a parent. Wish I could have met him. Thanks so much for the informative obituary.

Rita, thank you for sharing your father's memories with me. I agree with him in regards to his favorite ice cream being the one he is eating!