John Anthony Gentilella

Winter Garden, Fla. – John Anthony Gentilella, a man of exceptional talent and kindness, passed away peacefully at his home at the age of 95, Sunday, April 21, 2024, surrounded by his loving wife Janice (Rando) Gentilella, family and close friends. Born May 20, 1928, in New London, John was the son of John and Theresa Gentilella who immigrated from Italy. He graduated from Chapman Tech High School in 1946, and retired from Prudential Insurance in 1988, and moved to Florida.

John was an avid private pilot, a state record-holding runner, and a master craftsman and builder. His life was a portrait of dedication creativity and service. John served in the U.S. Army Infantry in the Korean War. His virtuoso piano playing likely save his life when he was pulled from the infantry and given the position of lead piano player in the USO band, entertaining and uplifting the troops. John’s accomplishments as an athlete were as notable as his music, having broken many Connecticut state records for running the mile. His professional skills as a craftsman led to the creation of lasting structures, each a testament to his meticulous care and artistic vision.

He is survived by a sons, Marc Gentilella (Erin Kelly) of Stonington, and Bruce Gentilella (Kathy) of Daytona Beach, Fla.; step-children: Sheila Gentilella-Coleman (Kathrine Thompson) and Craig Coleman of Montverde, Fla.; grandchildren: Michael Gentilella (Rose), David Gentilella (Ursula), Jessie and Grace Gentilella and Cynthia Reyes-Coleman (David); and great-grandson Nathaniel Reyes.

John leaves behind a legacy of love and generosity. He was a mentor and friend who was always ready to lend the helping hand and share his talents with others. John will be remembered not only for his extraordinary humor, skills and achievements, but also for his unwavering kindness and joy he brought to the lives of others. His spirit will forever inspire those who had the privilege to know him.

A service will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 27, at Woodlawn Memorial Park and Funeral Home, 400 Woodlawn Cemetery Road, Orlando, Fla.

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