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Grandpa's Eulogy
By Leanne T. Gentile
Copyright 2001 Leanne T. Gentile

 An essay about the writer's grandfather, Louis Gentile, who died on 4/3/2001. She read the eulogy at his funeral mass held at Saint Gregory the Great Church in Harrison, NY on 4/6/2001. It was also read on 4/19/2001 on the Senior Musings radio show (WVOX 1460 AM) by her relative Sal Parisi.

I wanted to say this eulogy today as a gift to my grandfather. Of course, he deserves so much more than I could ever give him.

I always felt a special bond between me and Grandpa. At dinner my seat was always next to him. He would always have little conversations with me and serve only me food.

My Grandfather was the type of Grandpa who dressed up as Winnie the Pooh in 95 degree weather and bought me a 3 foot chocolate rabbit for my first Easter. (It was taller than I was.)

My sister, Jessica, remembers the way he would call her Jessie and how he would make her breakfast when she slept over there. She also remembers him giving her a stuffed dog with backward feet that he got from Playland.

For my brother, Paul, he was the type of Grandpa that picked him up from work without asking any questions when he was stranded for a ride, and collected stamps for him ten years ago. He always said that he would give them to him when he turned 21. But, for some reason, he decided to give them to him 5 years earlier on his 16th birthday. At that time, none of us imagined that it would be the last birthday of Paul's that he would see.

He told Tina that she was so gorgeous that he wanted to marry her, so they had a little ceremony and exchanged rings. Many people say that he shouldn't have had the knee surgery, but he wanted it so he could play with Tina without being in pain.

And who could forget the proud look on his face when he held little Frankie. When he was sedated and he finally woke up a little, one of the first things he said was Happy Birthday because he had missed Frankie's first birthday when he was drugged.

Of course, before he was a Grandfather, he was a loving Father to my Dad, my Aunt Mary, my Aunt Donna, and my Aunt Debbie.

He would make his family pancakes every weekend, alternating regular and French topped with peanut butter, jelly, and syrup (which might sound gross to anyone not in our family).

He would plan different trips to take on Sundays; he always believed that Sundays were family days.

On these trips, he would always take "shortcuts". Of course, these shortcuts always took twice as long as the normal length of the trip. Then again, he was taking side roads to avoid tolls.

In the car he would make up songs about each of his kids to keep them occupied.

And my Grandmother has more memories than any of us.

One of my memories of his love for her is a few years ago when he bough a bracelet as a surprise for her. Before he gave it to her, he showed it to me and I could tell how proud he was to give it to his wife.

My Grandpa loved hot-dogs and plain cheese sandwiches.

He also loved Rye Playland from bringing me home stuffed animals when I was little to enjoying the shows recently.

He was a chef and would always bother my Grandmother while she was cooking. One time she had a fit when he threw hot-dogs in her sauce.

He used to say always that nobody could make French pancakes as good as his.

He loved to cook bread, tons of bread.

And Grandpa couldn't have enough barbecues.
He even loved cooking shows, along with war films.

My Grandpa was a very loving man. Everybody was Angel or Sweetheart. You couldn't come over or leave his house without giving him a kiss.

Even in the hospital he was always blowing kisses.

As a matter of fact, on his last night with us, the only motion he could make was to blow kisses.

With All My Love, Leanne T. Gentile (4/06/01)