Local entrepreneur and business owner, John Gentile Sr., 75 of Wolcott, went home to be with the Lord unexpectedly on Saturday, May 29, 2021, at what he called his “safe place,” Lakewood Auto Body. He was the husband of Mercedes Diaz-Gentile with whom he lived and enjoyed life.

John Gentile Sr., son of Joseph Gentile of Waterbury and Virginia (Faltarusso) Gentile of Brooklyn, N.Y., was born in Brooklyn, NY, on May 6, 1946. Being a graduate of Wolcott High School, class of 1965, John then joined the U.S. Army Reserves. Upon discharge, he began working several odd jobs until he joined his uncle and father at Lakewood Auto Body, where he dove into his lifetime passion – cars.

His world revolved around cars. He would buy and sell everything from vintage American muscle, top of the line imports, and anything and everything in between. John Sr. was known throughout the region for his business savvy, relentless work-ethic, and being the “guy with all the cool cars.”

John Sr. was passionate about his family, his friends, and his community. He was a “father-figure,” a boss, a mentor, and a friend to many. He loved to host people during the holidays and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with those he loved. He was generous with his prosperity and took great pride in the fruit of his business endeavors.

John Gentile Sr. is survived by his wife Mercedes Gentile, his son John Gentile, Jr. and his wife Lisa of Wolcott, his daughters Jodi Gentile and her significant other Robert Deschenes of Torrington, and Julia Gentile of Wolcott. He also leaves behind his grandchildren, Anthony Delvalle, Cole Gentile, Myles Gentile, and Dominic Deschenes, as well as his nieces and nephews, Joseph, William, Kaitlin, and Emily.

Besides the aforementioned, he leaves to honor and cherish his memory two brothers, Joseph Gentile II and his wife Antoinette of Wolcott, and James A. Gentile, and his wife Martha of Wolcott, his mother-in-law, Nelida M. Diaz of Waterbury; and countless extended family.

Arrangements: A funeral service for John will be held on Saturday, June 5, 2021, 10:00 a.m. at Chase Parkway Memorial/The Albini Family Funeral Home, 430 Chase Parkway Waterbury. For those attending John’s funeral service, please arrive at the funeral home at 9:30 a.m. Saturday morning. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery in Waterbury. Calling hours will be held Friday evening from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the funeral home.

In lieu of flower, memorial contributions can be made in John’s memory to:

St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital

501 St. Jude’s Place

Memphis, TN 38105