TBDBITL Alumni Club

The Best Damn Band In The Land - The Ohio State University Marching Band Alumni

Cyril John Costoff

May 1, 1926 - February 9, 2022

Cyril J. Costoff (Cy) passed away peacefully and unexpectedly in his sleep the morning of February 9, 2022 at the age of 95.  He was the beloved husband of Violet (Vi) Costoff for 62 years and the father of Steven Costoff. 

He was born in Kenton, Ohio but lived most of his life in Toledo, Ohio. He was the son of Elena and Charles Costoff both originally from the country now known as North Macedonia.   After immigrating to the United States, his parents settled in Kenton where they operated the Home Restaurant on Maine St.  Cy was born and raised in Kenton and attended Kenton High School where he participated in the band as drum major. 

After graduating from high school, Cy attended not one but four universities beginning in 1944.  His first stop was The Ohio State University before being drafted into World War II.  Cy served in the Army from March 1945 to December 1946.  Ultimately, his gift for typing led him to be stationed in Manila and subsequently at General MacArthur’s headquarters in Tokyo, Japan as a clerk typist.  While not a direct report, he knew and worked for the General.  Last fall the Ohio History Connection memorialized his memories in a video.

Upon returning from WWII, Cy continued his studies first at Miami University of Ohio then Bowling Green State University where he received a B.S. in Liberal Arts in 1951.  He then earned his pharmacy degree from Ohio Northern University in 1955. After graduation, he joined the Gallaher Drug Co. as a Store Manager in Dayton, Ohio and eventually held the position of Vice President and Director of Store Operations, Advertising and Merchandising.  His management led to a record number of inventory turns per year for the company.

While working in Dayton, he was set up on a blind date with Violet Koroloff of Toledo who was, at the time, chief of pharmacy at Toledo Hospital.  They courted for a year and were married in 1962.  They first lived in Dayton and moved to Indianapolis in 1965 where Cy was appointed Director of Pharmaceutical Services at Hook Drugs, Inc. 

Moving back to Toledo in 1966 to raise a family, they worked for various pharmacy chain stores and ran their own pharmacy, Camelot Pharmacy, in the early 1970’s.  Except for a three-year stint spent in Ft. Wayne, Indiana in the 1980’s, Cy practiced pharmacy in Toledo full time until his retirement in 2008 at the age of 82.

Perhaps more than anything else, before his unexpected passing, Cy was known for being the oldest living alumnus drum major of The Ohio State University Marching Band.  He participated in almost every alumni band day up until 2019.  He also led the incomparable Script Ohio numerous times – his last being in 2008 at the age of 82.  Asked about his participation in the event, he would always describe how marching onto the field was electrifying, “Just like a jolt of electricity shooting through my body.”  For many years, he was a judge at the drum major tryouts in Columbus.  Frequently strangers would come up to him to ask if he was “that drum major” from OSU.  The most unexpected of these encounters happened recently when a flight attendant recognized him as he boarded a plane in Washington, DC for a vacation flight to Nantucket.  Cy was 92 at that point, and she wanted his autograph for herself and her grandmother, a big fan of Cy’s in Columbus!

Cy was also known for his sense of humor.  One of his favorite lines was to say that he married a cougar as his wife is 45 days older than he. 

Cy and his family traveled extensively visiting England, France, Russia, Turkey, Bulgaria, Alaska, and Hawaii.  He had particular fondness for England and France where the family has many close friends.

In 1965, Cy was commissioned into the Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, the highest title of honor bestowed by the Governor of Kentucky. It is recognition of an individual’s noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to the community, state, and nation. He was also a member of Delta Upsilon fraternity, the Masons, and Scottish Rite.

Cyril is survived by his wife, Vi, his son, Steven, and his son-in-law, Shane Thrailkill.  He also leaves behind niece and nephew Andrew and Kristen Koroloff, great niece Grace Miner, great nephews Miles Miner and Grayson Koroloff along with brother-in-law James Koroloff.  Cy was preceded in death by his brother Dimitri Costoff.

Visitation will be Sunday, February 27, 2022 from 3-6:00 pm with Trisagion Prayers at 5:30 pm at St. George Orthodox Cathedral, 738 Glenwood Rd. Rossford, Ohio. Funeral services will be Monday, February 28, 2022 at 11:00 am at the Cathedral. Interment will also be Monday at Grove Cemetery in Kenton, Ohio at 4:30 pm. Memorial contributions may be made to the TBDBITL Scholarship Fund #607138. Please mail donations to Script Ohio Club, P.O. Box 14769, Columbus, Ohio 43214-0769 or to a charity of the donor’s choice. Arrangements are being handled by Walker Funeral Home, Toledo, Ohio.

Cy was Drum Major of the marching band in 1944.