* Former U.S. Sen. Alan Dixon, D-Belleville: "He was always one of these guys who really knew how to handle it. He had a talent for the business. And nobody would notice a thing like that more than me, since I spent 43 years in that business. ... He was the kind of guy that could even say 'no' in a gracious way. It was a classic case of a man born to the task."
* President Barack Obama: "For over two decades, Jerry Costello has proudly represented the people of Southwestern and Southern Illinois. Born and raised in the state he now serves, Jerry has distinguished himself as a fierce advocate for improving our nation's transportation infrastructure to ensure Illinois and the entire country are prepared to lead the way in a 21st century economy."
* Former President Bill Clinton: "I've always been grateful to have Jerry for his support. You made life better for a lot of people."
(Clinton spoke via videotaped remarks during a June 14 tribute dinner/scholarship fundraiser honoring Costello.)
* U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the House minority leader: "From his earliest days as a law enforcement officer to his more than two decades in the House, Congressman Costello's service has been defined by practical, pragmatic, results-oriented leadership. In Congress, he has worked across the aisle to create jobs in the Midwest, improve our transportation network, and rebuild our infrastructure. Throughout his career, he has earned a reputation as a member who works hard for his district and knows how to get things done."
* U.S. Rep. John "Jimmy" Duncan, Jr., R-Tenn.: "He is one of the kindest, most decent men I have ever known."
(Duncan served with Costello on the House Aviation Subcommittee, which Costello had chaired. Duncan spoke about Costello during the June 14 tribute dinner.)
* Airline safety advocate Karen Eckert: "The one who gave us so much was Congressman Costello, to whom we are so very grateful."
(Eckert's sister was a passenger aboard a regional passenger jet when it crashed in Buffalo, N.Y., killing 51 people. Costello, at the urging of Eckert and other survivors of that crash's victims, sponsored the toughest aviation safety law in U.S. history.)