John Costen Shockley, Major League Baseball retiree

June 1, 2022

John Costen Shockley, 80, of Georgetown passed away Monday, May 30, 2022. 

Costen was born Feb. 8, 1942, to Chester and Dorothy Shockley in Georgetown. Costen graduated from Georgetown High School in 1960. Costen was an elite athlete and starred in baseball, football and basketball.

After graduating, Costen was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies and began his dream of becoming a Major League Baseball player. In 1964, after a stellar Minor League career, Costen received his call-up to the Phillies. He hit a home run in his second at-bat while playing the Cincinnati Reds. Costen was later traded to the California Angels and was their opening-day first baseman in 1965. After his baseball career, Costen returned to Georgetown and spent over 30 years in the construction business with IA Construction. 

Costen was married for 32 years to Mary Lou (Parker), until her passing in 1994. Together, they had two sons, Curt and Jeff. For many years, they spent most of their time watching their boys play various sports. In their spare time, they enjoyed spending their weekends on First Street in Bethany Beach.

In 2001, Costen married Susan (Johnson) and they were married for 20 years. They enjoyed golfing together, and following their grandchildren’s sporting events and celebrating their achievements. A favorite trip was to Sunset Beach, N.C., with a group of very special friends. 

Costen enjoyed coaching in the Georgetown Little League and sharing his wealth of knowledge with the kids. One of his proudest moments was helping to coach his son Jeff’s team to become the 1981 Senior League World Champions. Costen was an avid hunter and loved hearing the dogs run a rabbit. He enjoyed golfing and was a longtime member of Sussex Pines Country Club and Mulligan’s Pointe. He was also a born-again Christian and enjoyed attending Crossroad Community Church.

Costen was predeceased by his first wife, Mary Lou (Parker); his father, Chester; and his mother, Dorothy.

Costen is survived by his siblings Shirley Passwaters (Charles), Edward Shockley (Diane), Marian Hernandez (David), Joyce Davidson, Faye Slatcher (Harold) and Joseph Shockley (Carol); wife, Susan; sons, Curt (Angie) and Jeff (Pam); grandsons, Ryan (Ashlyn), Travis (Emily), Luke and Bo (Courtney); granddaughters, Ella and Paige (Brady); great-grandson, Jack Costen Shockley; stepdaughters, Julie (Rob), Rebecca (Brent) and Kate (Brian); stepgrandchildren, Eden, Miranda and Franny; and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, family suggest donations be made to: Brandywine Valley SPCA, 22918 Dupont Blvd., Georgetown, DE 19947,; Georgetown Little League,; or Delaware Hospice, 911 S. DuPont Hwy., Dover, DE 19901,

Services will be private. 

Arrangements in the care of Short Funeral Services, Georgetown.

Online condolences or tributes are welcome for the family at


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