Emile Gentile

Obituary of Emile Gentile

Emile Frank Gentile recently of Garden City, NY and Palm Beach Gardens, FL died September 9, 2013 a few days before his 92nd birthday. Emile was born in Brooklyn, New York, the only son of Vincent and Teresa (Macrillo) Gentile, who had both emigrated from Calabria, Italy. Emile was a graduate of Boys High School and attended the City College of New York. He interrupted his college education to volunteer to serve in the Army in 1942. He was recruited by legendary Colonel "Wild Bill" Donovan to parachute into Italy and organize the partisan resistance to the Axis Powers. Italy surrendered before he was mobilized but his fluent Italian language skills were put to use when he was assigned to an Italian prisoner of war camp on Staten Island. After the war, he finished his college degree and went on to earn a masters degree in finance from City College. He worked as an accountant for over 30 years and spent most of his professional career in the New York City Department of Finance, from which he retired as a bureau chief of the sales tax unit. After retirement, he had a successful private consulting practice advising clients on sales tax issues. Emile had a lifelong love of sports, especially baseball, bowling and golf. In his youth, he was a crafty pitcher who played with and against many future major league ballplayers. He was offered a minor league contract by the then New York Giants. During the 1950s and 1960s, he was a regular bowler and won a number of bowling league trophies. He continued bowling until he was 90 years old. As he advanced in years, he became an excellent golfer and continued playing golf until late in life, often with his wife, Helen. Emile will be remembered as a gentle and kind man who lived his life with integrity and without pretense. He was always ready to entertain his family and many friends with a good story about the "old neighborhood" or his Army experiences. He was proud of his Italian heritage and nurtured that pride in his family, which accompanied him and their grandfather on a two month vacation to Italy in 1969. He enjoyed musical theatre, especially Broadway musicals and Fred Astaire movies, and was never shy about singing in front of his family. Although he never had formal music lessons, a lifelong regret, he had a fine ear for music and could always pick out popular tunes on the piano. He was a skilled ballroom dancer and even in his later years enjoyed dancing with his wife. He will be greatly missed by his family and all of those whom he touched in life. Emile was a loving husband and father. He is survived by Helen (Picozzi) Gentile, his loving wife of 60 years and their four children, Vincent E. Gentile, of Princeton, New Jersey, Patricia Coutu, of Warwick, Rhode Island, Laurie Gentile, of Chappaqua, New York; and Jill Gentile, of Highland Park, New Jersey; his daughter-in-law, Patricia Pickrel, and his sons-in-law, Roland Coutu and Scott Friedland; and seven grandchildren: Andrew and Daniel Gentile, Katherine and Nicholas Coutu, and Julia, Alexander and Michael Friedland. Visitation hours will be Thursday, September 12, from 5 pm to 8 pm, and Friday, September 13, from 9:30 am to 10:30 am at Mather-Hodge Funeral Home, 40 Vandevanter St., Princeton, New Jersey 08542. A funeral mass will be held at St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church, 214 Nassau St., Princeton, New Jersey 08540. In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested that donations may be made in Emile's name to Good Shepherd Hospice, Melville, NY; or to the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, Rutgers University Foundation (CINJ-RUF).
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