Cover photo for Birna Guðrún Enoksdóttir Costantino's Obituary
Birna Guðrún Enoksdóttir Costantino Profile Photo

Birna Guðrún Enoksdóttir Costantino

d. August 4, 2023

Birna Guðrún Costantino (née Enoksdóttir), 95, passed peacefully on August 3, 2023, in Kings Park, NY. She was born on December 12, 1927, in Reykjavík, Iceland. During the dark days of World War II, a teenaged Birna sought diversion in a night of dancing at Reykjavik’s Hotel Borg. There she spotted a dashing American sergeant posted to Iceland as part of the U.S. Signal Corps. She took one glance at this handsome young G.I., and told herself, “I’m going to marry that man”. And as they say, the rest is history. In 1946, she boarded the S.S. Span Splice, arriving at Ellis Island on a bitter cold January day. But she had her love to keep her warm. She was reunited with her Joe and the two were married three days later at Our Lady of Angels in Whitehall, NY. What followed was a sixty-one year love story that took Birna around the world as she followed Joe in his military career, living in locales as disparate as occupied Japan and Kansas.

Birna was a woman of keen intellect and boundless energy. Throughout her life, she held various jobs, but her true vocation was that of devoted wife and loving mother of three active and often mischievous boys.

Birna was admired for her many talents. She was a graceful dancer, a gifted seamstress, an expert gardener, a gourmet cook, and a gracious hostess. Her interests were vast, and she enjoyed reading about a wide variety of topics. Birna was also a sportswoman who took pleasure in golfing, skiing, and ice skating. Her faith was important to her, and she was an active member of St. Raphael the Archangel Roman Catholic Church, Raleigh, NC.

Birna is survived by her beloved sons Nicholas Salvatore Costantino (Jodi), Robert Costantino (Joanie), and Joseph Costantino (Kisa Valenti). She is also survived by her sister Helga Enoksdóttir, her granddaughter Nicol Costantino Frewerd (Brian Frewerd), her grandsons, Keith Costantino and Brandon Costantino, and seven great grand-children, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

Birna was preceded in death by her loving husband Major Joseph Salvatore Costantino, her mother Kristín Björnsdóttir, her father Enok Ingimundarson, her brother Einar Enoksson, her sisters Ásdís Klara Enoksdóttir and Árný Guðríður Enoksdóttir, her brother Pétur Enoksson, her sister Munda Pálin Enoksdóttir, and her grandson, Ryan Costantino.

A requiem mass will be celebrated in Birna’s honor at her home parish of St. Raphael the Archangel in Raleigh, NC, in September. Following the mass, Birna will be laid to rest at Raleigh Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in Birna’s memory.

Birna Guðrún Costantino will be fondly remembered for her vibrant spirit, her loving nature, and her many talents. She leaves behind a legacy of warmth, kindness, and devotion to her family and faith. May she rest in eternal peace.

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