Madison, WI - Michael Joseph Gentilli, age 84 of Madison, WI passed peacefully at University Hospital March 31st, 2014 surrounded by his family and friends.
Mike was born in Milwaukee, WI on April 24th, 1929. The son of Joseph and Lena Gentilli.
Mike was raised in Madison, attended Blessed Sacrament and Edgewood High School.
One of Mike’s fondest memories was playing football on the Edgewood team that was undefeated from 1940-44. Mike also played baseball and basketball and lettered all four years.
Mike was inducted into the Edgewood Athletic Hall of Fame along with his son Pat in 2000.His true talents would not be known until he performed at the Edgefest Follies singing and dancing to raise a few laughs and eyebrows for his alma-mater.
During high school, Mike assisted his fatherat the three Piggly-Wiggly stores in Madison when needed. His dad then purchased his own produce market on Monroe Street. Although Mike’s driver’s license was “still in the mail”, he would drive with his dad to Milwaukee often bringing fresh produce to the store. Mike had many stories to tell of those trips and we all enjoyed hearing them. It was here that Mike began to create the long lasting relationships with his friends that he held dear to him.
Upon completion of high school, Mike joined the service as a navy SeaBee and served his country on the island of Guam during the Korean War.
After his honorable discharge, Mike worked at the Snack Shack and attended the University of Wisconsin. This is where he met the love of his life “St. Mary’s Hospital Girl” Mary Jane Berger. They became best friends, married. Together they raised six children, twin daughters and four sons.
Mike started his business selling petroleum for Philgas and for over thirty-five years, he owned and operated the Motor Oasis Truck Stop in Monona. Mike was the type of owner that brought people to the Truck Stop because of his honesty and integrity. A handshake is all he needed.
When his children were able to do the house hold chores, Mike began playing golf by packing up his clubs in his car saying, “it’s time to go to work” and headed to Odana Hills golf course with his father and friends. Mike has had four holes-in-one and won the State Senior Doubles Golf Tournament. While Mike mastered the course with his straight drives and long irons, his two footers would redefine what a “gimmie” is all about.
The love Mike had for his family and friends is what he had always cherished in his life. There was nothing in the world that he would rather do than to watch his kids and grandkids all together at the house. That charismatic “whistle” of his would be the signal to all that Grandpa is in the house.
Mike is survived by his wife Jane, his daughter Mary (Kevin Retelle) of Madison, sons Michael(Sue) of Woodbury MN, Joseph(Terri) of Madison and Robert(Cheryl) of Belleville: twelve grandchildren and one great granddaughter, daughter- in- law Diane Patenaude and Son-in-law Phil Stoddard, brother Jack (Helen) Gentilli and sister MaryAnne (Art Schuman), along with many loving nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, son, Patrick 1999 and daughter Marcy 2004, sister Kay Clementi and Madeline Gentilli
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at ST. MARIA GORETTI CHURCH, 5313 Flad Avenue, Madison, WI, at 11:00am on Wednesday April 9th, 2014 with Monsignor Michael Burke officiating. The visitation will be held on Wednesday from 9:00am until time of Mass at the church. Private interment will be at Resurrection Cemetery in Madison.
Mikes family wishes to thank the VA Hospital SICU Unit and the UW TLC nurses and doctors for their loving compassion toward his care.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be sent in Mikes name to St. Maria Goretti or Edgewood High School 2219 Monroe, St, Madison, WI 53711
Pops, you will be missed by all. The journey you have had was done “Your Way”
We love you.
To view and sign this guestbook, please visit: www.ryanfuneralservice.com