PEAKS ISLAND — Sarah “Sally” Costello, a longtime baker at Mercy Hospital in Portland and a beloved resident of Peaks Island, had a passion for life and her family.

“If Sally’s friends and family were happy, she was happy,” said her nephew Kevin Carey, who lived with her on the island. “She was such a giving person. She never wanted anything in return. She was an incredible human being.”

Ms. Costello died Saturday after suffering an apparent heart attack while walking on the island. She was 73.

She was remembered by her family and friends Monday as a loving, generous and compassionate person, who dedicated her life to family.

She worked in food services at Mercy Hospital for nearly 50 years. She retired in 2008.

Ms. Costello grew up on Peaks Island as one of four siblings. Her family moved there when she was 4 years old.

Maryellen Carey, her only surviving sibling, reminisced Monday about their early years on Peaks Island.

She remembered walking to the former Ma Watson’s store for an ice cream soda and hanging out on the wharf.

“It was kind of a quiet life, but we had fun,” her sister said.

Ms. Costello never married and didn’t have children. Instead, she spent her years taking care of family. She was the caretaker for her parents and a brother.

Carey said her sister led a full life, which included trips to Europe, Ireland and Hawaii.

“It might seem like a dull life to someone not being married, but she loved (her life),” Carey said.

“She did what she wanted to do. She was well loved on the island. She was sort of a fixture there and now she’s gone.”

Ms. Costello lived across the street from Peaks Island Elementary School. She liked to sit in her rocking chair on the porch and take walks around the island.

She was an active member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the American Legion Post. She was also a lifelong communicant of St. Christopher’s Catholic Church.

Her nephew said she made the lobster rolls for the annual church fair for the past 30 years or so.

“Everyone loved Sally,” he said. “She was a great lady. When you walked through her door, you were family. She always made everyone feel so good.”

On Saturday, Ms. Costello was taking a walk near her home when she suffered an apparent heart attack. Her sister said a couple stopped to ask Ms. Costello if she was OK, and then called 911. Efforts to revive her were unsuccessful.

“She was determined to die on the island and she did,” her sister said. “I’m missing her. It’s still kind of a shock. I still feel like she is here. They always do mingle a little bit, I think. Knowing Sally, she will stick around to make sure everyone is fine.”

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: [email protected]