GENTILE, Tony, 91, of Wintersville, Ohio died at home on Father's Day in the loving arms of all his children and many of his grandchildren.
Born on November 1, 1920 in Fontecchio, Italy, the son of Gregorio and Antonietta Gentile, he immigrated to the United States at age 8.
He attended Youngstown State University before serving as 1st Lieutenant with the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945. He was assigned to the 11th Tank Battalion of the 10th Armored Division and was sent oversees in Oct. 1944. He fought in the Battle of the Bulge under General Patton, and continued his service until the liberation of concentration camps.
In duty to his country he received Silver and Bronze Stars for his courage, devotion to duty, and gallantry in action. He was wounded twice and was awarded two Purple Hearts.
After the War ended, he became the military governor in Shoengau, Germany where he was in charge of over 2000 displaced people of 18 nationalities who had been liberated from concentration camps. He was honorably discharged, joined the U.S. Army Reserves, and was promoted to captain.
Gentile entered into business, first as co-owner of the Pike Inn restaurant in Bloomingdale, Ohio. He became involved in the coal mining business in 1952, and after various positions at several coal companies became chairman of the board of Ohio River Collieries Company, as well as president of Bannock Coal Company.
During his career, he served as founder, vice president or president of 13 coal companies in three states, and was often a spokesperson for the coal industry in the media.
His knowledge and understanding of the coal industry culminated in being elected as chairman of the Mining and Reclamation Council of America in Washington D.C.
He lobbied on behalf of the industry and testified before Congress on many occasions.
In addition to his involvement in the mining industry, Gentile was involved in several development companies and served in officer capacity in a number of business endeavors, earning him recognition and respect in the business world. He served on boards of the People's Bank Shares, Union Bank, and Mountain State Resources. He was a past member of the U.S. Small Business Administration Board of Advisors, American Mining Congress, and the Ohio Academy of Science, as well as, a member of the American Institute of Mining and Metallurgical Engineers in Washington D.C.
In 1965, he accompanied Ohio Gov. James Rhodes on a trade mission traveling to nine European countries. He was then honored with an Executive Order of Ohio Commodore, dedicated to bringing industry to the state.
In 1967, he was an American delegate to the International Mining Congress held in Moscow and in 1977 the Governor awarded him the Conservation and Reclamation Award for the State of Ohio.
Gentile's astuteness as a businessman, artist, philanthropist and humanitarian earned him respect throughout the Ohio Valley and beyond. He is known and respected most for his dedication to service leadership in the region. He was awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from Franciscan University, and an honorary Bachelor of Science Degree from Youngstown State University.
He received many civic awards including the 2000 Ohio Businessman of the Year Award; Wintersville Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year Award; Lou Holtz Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame; American Heart Association Macedonia Visionary Award; Ohio Cancer Research Grand Illusions Award; Humanitarian Award, Jefferson Lodge; Civic Leader Award of the Weirtonian Lodge of the Sons and Daughters of Italy; Community Service Award, Jefferson Lodge; and Wintersville Fire Department Appreciation Award.
He was an ardent supporter of the arts, and has earned the respect of the community by his tireless support of local education and medical institutions. He is a past member of the Board of Franciscan University of Steubenville, vice president of the Jefferson Community College Foundation, past member of the Board of St. John's Medical Center and past Chairman of the Board of Ohio Valley Hospital.
Tony was the beloved husband to the late Nina DiScipio Gentile.
He is survived by his son, Robert of Arlington VA; daughter, Anita Gentile Rice and husband, Ron of St. Clairsville; daughter, Rita Gentile Dutton and husband John, of Bannock; son Tom and wife, Sarah of Wintersville; 11 grandchildren, Chad Rice and wife, Kimberly of Chicago, Ronna Rice Kennedy and husband, Jay of Tampa, J.P. Dutton and wife, Stacey of St. Clairsville, Tony Rice of Chicago, Ann Marie Rice Bain and husband Ryan, of Chicago, Gregory Dutton of Pittsburgh, Christopher Dutton of Columbus, Nina Dutton of Pittsburgh, and Tony, Nolan and Julia Gentile of Wintersville; and nine great-grandchildren, Alex, Charlie and Joseph Kennedy of Tampa, Lily, Mia and Anna Rice of Chicago, Grace and Jack Dutton of St. Clairsville, and Anthony Bain of Chicago.
Family and friends will be received Tuesday from 6-8 p.m. and Wednesday from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. at Mosti Funeral Home, Sunset Chapel, 4435 Sunset Boulevard, Steubenville. The vigil will be held at 3:45 p.m. on Wednesday. The funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Blessed Sacrament Church, 852 Main St., Wintersville.
Memorial contributions may be made to Franciscan University of Steubenville; Ohio Valley Hospice Foundation of Rayland, Ohio; or Blessed Sacrament Parish of Wintersville, Ohio.
Offer condolences at www.mostifuneralhome. com.