Joseph J. Gentile Sr., Factoryville, died Friday morning in Hospice of the Sacred Heart in Dunmore. He is survived by his wife, the former Mary Ann Ross. They would have celebrated 64 years of marriage on Sept. 7.
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Born in Dunmore on July 2, 1930, son of the late John and Rose Pane Gentile, Joe was a graduate of Dunmore High School. He attended St. Thomas College, now the University of Scranton, leaving 30 credits shy of graduation and forgoing plans to attend law school in order to care for his ailing sister and family. A proud member of the Marine Corps, Joe served his country during the Korean War. He was a member of Our Lady of the Abingtons Parish, the Knights of Columbus and the Free and Accepted Masons Lodge 291.
Starting with one oil delivery truck in 1960, Joe worked tirelessly to build what would become an oil conglomerate of home heating, wholesale distribution and retail outlets. He began as a one-man operation, delivering and servicing oil by day and spending nights bartending at the Long Branch in Dunmore. By 1976, he had purchased a Mobil Oil distributorship in Scranton, which he eventually grew into dozens of convenience store locations spread out across Northeast and Central Pennsylvania.
Joe was founder and president of Dunmore Oil Co., one of the largest fuel providers in the Northeast and the parent company of Joe's Kwik Marts. He was also a founding partner and president of Five Star Equipment and, with his sons, helped form Airline Petroleum Co. He was a longtime member of the First National Community Bank board of directors, where he remained loyal since taking his first loan to purchase the oil truck in 1960.
An avid outdoorsman, Joe thoroughly enjoyed hunting, trap shooting and riding horses with family and friends. He and his closest friends formed the Lithia Valley Wranglers, spending weekends horseback riding at his beloved Factoryville ranch. He was a member of the Amateur Trap Shooting Association, garnering many first-place awards in Pennsylvania state competitions. He graciously hosted friends and strangers alike every Wednesday for trap shooting at Lithia Valley, where he will be greatly missed.
When he wasn't outdoors, Joe enjoyed nothing more than spending time with his family, his greatest source of joy and pride. Keeping with Italian tradition, he especially loved being with his family around the dinner table. He always made sure his entire family had the very best in life. His generosity extended to many local charities and organizations, oftentimes as an anonymous donor.
Also surviving are his children, a daughter, Beverly Chermak and husband, Daniel, Clarks Green; a son, Joseph J. Gentile Jr., Clarks Summit; and a daughter-in-law, Jennifer Gentile, Madisonville; nine grandchildren, Melissa Liput and husband, Ron, Clarks Green; Lauren Olivetti and husband, Nicholas, Philadelphia; Christal Gentile, Dunmore; John J. Gentile Jr. and wife, Anne, Madisonville; Amanda Gentile, Philadelphia; Brooke Beier and husband, Justin, Olyphant; Joseph J. Gentile III, West Abington Twp.; and Jake and Billy Gentile, both of Clarks Summit; six great-grandchildren, Tyler Liput, Elle Olivetti, Daniel Olivetti, Grace Gentile, Milania Beier and Luciana Beier; two sisters, Angela Kirwin, Pottsville; and Lenore Samela, Annandale, N.J.; several nieces and nephews.
He was also preceded in death by a son, John J. Gentile Sr.; and two sisters, Alice Bakie and Jean Ann Gentile.
Special gratitude is extended to the Hospice of the Sacred Heart and Dr. Louis D. DeNaples Jr.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday at 10 a.m. in St. Gregory's Church, North Abington Road, Clarks Green. Entombment with military honors will follow in Cathedral Cemetery in Scranton.
Friends may call at the church Monday from 4 to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the
and the Hospice of the Sacred Heart.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Carlucci-Golden-DeSantis Funeral Home Inc.
To send the family an online condolence or for more information, visit www.thedunmorefuneralhome.com.
Carlucci Golden DeSantis Funeral Home
318 East Drinker Street
Dunmore, PA 18512
Published in Scranton Times on Aug. 24, 2014