Julie Christine (Brannen) Costello

Julie Christine (Brannen) Costello

September 8, 1973 – October 23, 2018.

 Survived by daughters, Adeline Costello and Margaret Costello; James Whipple; parents, Dr. Michael and Janet Brannen; siblings, John (Tenycia) Brannen, Paul (Kristy) Brannen, Mary Brannen, James (Anna) Brannen, and Laura (Abby) Brannen; BFFs: Martha Wharton, Molli Surdell, and Michelle McGill; many beloved nieces, nephews, friends and extended family; ex-husband, Christopher Costello.

The family will receive friends on Sunday, October 28th from 3pm to 5pm at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church, 11802 Pacific, followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 5pm.  MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Monday, October 29th at 10am at St. Robert Bellarmine Church. Interment: Calvary Cemetery.  Memorials are suggested to Julie Costello Memorial Fund.


Julie was born on September 8, 1973 in Omaha, Nebraska, to Dr. Michael and Janet Brannen, who imparted to Julie and her five younger siblings the importance of one’s faith and compassion toward others.

Julie lived her entire life with a childlike enthusiasm. She loved hunting for mushrooms, visiting the Sand Hill cranes, carving pumpkins and listening to Halloween music, working at the OLL Festival, Nebraska City, nature, Music (Ricky Lee Jones, Joni Mitchell, Andrew Bird, Tom Waits), traveling, cruises, eBay, great deals, garage sales, people, being a patient advocate, being a hippy/gypsy, smelling things, looking in the mirror and making a face, dancing (flossing), giving good advice, playing guitar, reading, fierce competition, scrabble, foot rubs, fuzzy socks, warming up with a hairdryer next to her bed, bath pillows, coaching soccer, leading Girl Scouts, the balloon toss at cabin olympics, JJ, Oliver, Scrappy John, Brad the gerbil, vinegar, lemon, Jello Pretzel Salad, Indian food, Barbara Streisand, Ken Burns, David Sedaris, her family, James, her BFFs Martha, Molli and Michelle, and more than anything she loved her two daughters, Addie and Maggie, who have grown to be equally vibrant and inspiring young women.

Julie, our family would not be who we are today without you as our trailblazer. Our culture, tastes, humor, and empathy for others are due, largely in part, to the example you have set. As a mother, sister, daughter, nurse, and unwavering friend and true love, you have impacted our lives and the lives of so many others – more than you’ll ever know or take credit for. And now, after watching you fight as hard as you have with such humility and bravery over these past few months, you’ve given us yet another reason to reflect on who we are, and what is truly important in this life.  Thank you, for everything that you’ve given us. We love you so much.


  • Jessica Chapman-Allen Posted October 25, 2018 1:25 pm

    Heaven gained a beautiful angel, inside and out. I feel blessed to have known her, although she was so warm and inviting to every person she met that any amount of time spent with her made her seem like someone you had known forever. The world is definitely touched by her time here and she left it a kinder, softer and happier place than she found it. My heart aches for all of you and I will continue to pray for you all.

  • Mary Vogel Posted October 25, 2018 3:38 pm

    Words cannot express the sorrow I feel for your family. Throughout Julie`s battle with her illness she always had a great attitude and was a fighter. She was an inspiration. Addie and Maggie, I have known your mom since she was 7 or 8 years old and she always had a smile on her face and so many of her characteristics have been instilled in you both. She was an amazing person and will be dearly missed.

  • Leticia Maes Posted October 25, 2018 3:38 pm

    Julie was such an amazing person and a friend who had such a beautiful heart to everyone who crossed her path. My heart goes out the entire family! She was a true inspiration!

  • Amy Haubrich Posted October 25, 2018 6:36 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. I worked with Julie on several occasions on different floors at the VA Hospital. She was always so caring and giving. We would talk about anything on some of those long shifts. She not only treated me with kindness but the compassion she showed to her patients was evident always. My prayers go out to all of you and I know she is blessed with God at her side.

  • Wendy Zenor Posted October 25, 2018 6:45 pm

    I am so extremely sorry for your loss!! Julie was such a sweet, kind person. I enjoyed working with her. Praying for all of you!!

  • Joan McGill Posted October 25, 2018 6:55 pm

    Tim and I send our heartfelt sympathy for the Brannen family. Helen Johnson (my Mom) and Janet’s Mom, Sheila, were very, very dear friends. All amazingly strong, loving women. As are our daughters. The McGill family sends their love to the Brownrigg/Brannen families.

  • Deborah Smith Posted October 25, 2018 7:26 pm

    I always have considered Julie unique in a beautiful way with a dry, quirky sense of humour along with a very caring heart. My hearfelt condolences. I worked with Julie some in her early on in her career of nuring?

  • Darla Tribulato Posted October 25, 2018 8:04 pm

    My thoughts, prayers and love are with you all during this difficult time. Julie was a lovely woman, devoted to her children and family and a great friend to me when my husband passed away. I hope the precious memories of Julie help sustain you during this difficult time.

  • Staci McConaughey Posted October 25, 2018 8:05 pm

    I am so sorry to the family for your profound loss. Julie was an exceptional person who’s spirit burned bright. She will be missed.

  • Barb Day Posted October 25, 2018 9:16 pm

    My heart aches; your energy and smile could light up the darkest places…. you will surely be missed my friend. Shine bright.

  • Amy and Tony onstott Posted October 26, 2018 6:54 am

    We both worked with Julie at the VA and are heartbroken to hear about the loss. She was such a caring individual and she was dedicated to her patients. We were remembering all the funny times with her – stories of skrappy John James, tales of her latest garage sale finds, and discussing the latest bands. You will be missed Julie!!!

  • Jane Carmody Posted October 26, 2018 7:35 am

    Dear Brannen family, we just heard about Julie. We are so sorry. Takes our breath away. The memories were flooding back…the love Jacky Wanning (Muzzy) had for Jan, the love the Carmody kids had for the Brannen kids and how intertwined their lives were and are… and the sadness we all have today for the loss of a Brannen bright spot.

    Please know our prayers and thoughts are with you all,

    The Carmody’s: Patrick & Jane…. and Joseph, Sam, Erin, Michael and John Paul.

  • Beth and Freddie Powell Posted October 26, 2018 9:23 am

    The world and we our selves are less for her passing.

  • Michelle Delisi Posted October 26, 2018 12:57 pm

    Dear Brannen Family,
    I am so sorry for your loss. May the memories of Julie live on inside each of your hearts forever. Know you continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
    My deepest sympathy,
    Michelle Delisi

  • Marjie (Tobin) Winters Posted October 26, 2018 1:13 pm

    Oh my gosh the description in this obituary fits Julie to a T. Always a smile on her face, a song in her heart. Bohemian cool. She was part of our McKennas family, we worked together at McKs. Restaurant workers always become family, she was our Jules. My heart goes out to her daughters and the rest of her family. Too young. I’m sure she is smiling down on you all.

  • Heidi Newman Posted October 26, 2018 1:50 pm

    Heaven gained an angel. Julie I am so blessed to call you my friend. You’ve made your mark on this world and on my heart. Heaven is lucky to have you. Every time I think about you I think about how you always made me smile. My little tiny granola girl. I remember when you brought Addie over after I had my girls and you showed me your funny way you gave her a bath. We sat and talked for hours while our girls were sleeping. You brought me chips & salsa because you knew it was my favorite. I’ll miss you Julie. I’m glad you’re no longer in pain. If you were not blessed to know Julie you missed out on one amazing woman, who touched and influenced many many lives. Rest In Peace Miss Julie ❤️

  • Keri Rethmeier Posted October 26, 2018 2:23 pm

    I just want to say I’m so sorry for happen heard the passing Julie I remember the day I matter with Rachelle and the smile on her face was she always had no matter what that’s How I will always remember her as she was always so very positive and upbeat and I am so sorry for the fact that she’s out of everyone’s lives I hope she’s in a better place my prayers will be with her and her and her family in mattery I am so so sorry .

  • Erin Grace Posted October 26, 2018 3:07 pm

    Julie’s bright light shined wherever she went, and I will always remember that smile and the way her eyes could light up a room. Thank you for sharing this beautiful obituary. Her free spirit, generous heart and big laugh will rest in my own heart. Love to her family. xo

  • Randal Richardson Posted October 26, 2018 3:32 pm

    All measure, and all language, I should pass
    Should I tell what a miracle she was.

  • Dianna Finocchiaro Gallagher Posted October 26, 2018 3:47 pm

    Dear Brannan Family,
    I was so heartbroken to learn of Julie’s illness some months back. As I lift her and all of you in prayer, I recount endless childhood memories that Julie and I shared together during our years at St. Robert’s. I will always remember her zest for life, adorable big brown eyes and deep dimples and her beautiful spirit. As you mourn her passing into eternal life with our Lord, may God comfort you all during this time of heartache and grant you His tender grace and peace.
    With my deepest sympathy,
    Dianna Finocchiaro Gallagher

  • Robyn Grady Posted October 26, 2018 4:37 pm

    I am so sad to hear this and so happy for being given the chance to share my childhood with Julie. She was a spunky girl with the most creative ideas, a solid sense of confidence, and the ability to test boundaries and take risks respectfully. She was very funny, not just kid funny, and the big sister of the Brannen clan. She helped me in school plays when I didn’t know how to say a particular line with the punch she would have given it and convinced me that wearing shorts with boots “worked.” (I still think of her everytime I see the look.) I have so many happy memories of her and though I have not seen her in a long time she impacted my life greatly.

    My prayers are with you all as you grieve and celebrate Julie.

  • Mike and Kathy David Posted October 27, 2018 8:10 am

    Dearest Brannan Family,
    Mike and I would like to express our sincerest wishes for you to find peace in this time of sorrow. Julie is a beautiful spirit now in all the lives she touched. She will live on in the memory of her beautiful smile, love of life and the amazing courage she showed throughout her illness.

  • Jenn Bernard Walker Posted October 27, 2018 12:04 pm

    This captures her spirit so beautifully. Love to all of you.

  • Jennifer Corbin Langdon Posted October 27, 2018 4:52 pm

    Dear Brannen family, and of course Julie’s sweet girls,

    I was blessed to be in Julie’s homeroom at Marian for 4 years. She was always a great person to talk with and had advice to give because she was wise beyond her years. I loved that she was open to people and was so fun to be around. Her eyes had a sparkle to them and she was always there for those in need. Although I didn’t keep in touch too much I had talked to her a few times. May your family be comforted by the memories of her bigger than life spirit, knowing that she goes on to wait for you in heaven. Until you are reunited again, peace be granted to you all and let the perpetual light shine upon her.

  • Julie Rensch Posted October 27, 2018 6:45 pm

    My heart aches for the entire family. She was absolutely beautiful in every single way possible. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Cathie Schmit Posted October 28, 2018 5:59 am

    Julie was like a bright light that shined for all to see. She always took time to smile and say hello….and that smile! She was a great person and a wonderful caring nurse. May you Rest In Peace dear Julie. You will be missed by many

  • Debbie Geibel Posted October 28, 2018 3:04 pm

    Julie, I remember the first time you walked into the ICU at the VA. Your smile was so refreshing and your kindness was felt by all. Your commitment to bedside patient care was awesome and full of compassion. Your spirit will always remain with those you so lovingly touched. You are amongst the angels. Peace be with the family and they should be proud. Love Debbie Geibel.

  • Mary Fennell Drosen Posted October 29, 2018 9:05 am

    Every memory I have of Julie brings a smile to my face. I went to Marian with her and especially remember hanging out with her the summers after senior year in high school and freshman year in college. Julie was a bright light wherever she appeared, and I always looked forward to seeing her smiling face. I cannot begin to imagine how many people were touched by your generous spirit. Wish more than anything that I could be at your funeral Mass today. Love, prayers, and peace to all your family and friends.

  • Audrey Kantor Benecke Posted October 30, 2018 9:07 am

    Dear Brannen Family,
    I am so very sorry for the loss of your beautiful Julie!! Please know we will continue to keep all of you in our highest prayer offerings. Your family has helped so many over the years and I know all the love you have given will come to you now and blanket you in support and peace.
    With love,
    Audrey Kantor Benecke

  • Marion Cimino Posted October 30, 2018 8:45 pm

    My prayers are with all of you. With my deepest sympathy, Marion Cimino

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