Francis A. Gentle Obituary

Francis A.  Gentle
Francis A. Gentle

June 19, 1943 - July 14, 2020
Born in Passaic, New Jersey
Resided in Phillipsburg, New Jersey


Francis A.; Frank; Mr. Gentle; Coach; beloved husband, father, grandfather and teacher; passed away on July 14, 2020 at home.

A master Physical Education and Health teacher, who spent the majority of his career in the Montclair Public Schools, most notably associated with Nishuane School. In some cases, he taught three generations of families. His students included his own children, and many student teachers as well.

Frank was born on Father’s Day June 19, 1943 and raised by his parents Anthony and Rose Gentle, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. He attended Franklin Elementary school and graduated from East Rutherford High School in June 1962.

Frank and Susan began their life together as high school sweethearts, Frank writing in the 1960 yearbook; "Susan, it took me four months to sign your yearbook. Little did you know that we would fall for each other in a serious way. I am having a wonderful time living my life with you, for I’m positively in love with you, and only hope we can remain so."

After high school, Frank attended the Panzer School of Physical Education and Hygiene at Montclair State College, Graduating with a B.A. in Health and Physical Education, K- 12, in June 1966.

Frank and Susan were married on June 27, 1964, and lived in Montclair, Bloomfield and East Rutherford before moving back to Montclair in 1981. Upon retirement, Frank and Susan resided in Phillipsburg, NJ, Harmony Township.

Frank began his teaching career with the Montclair Public Schools, starting at Glenfield School in September 1966. He also taught at other schools in the district before becoming "Mr. Gentle" at Nishuane School in September 1968. Nishuane School became Frank’s second home, he loved teaching and working with his Nishuane Family. He was a "one of a kind", garnering many awards for teaching, innovation, and professional advocacy. He also taught Elementary Physical Education as an Adjunct Professor at Montclair State College, supervising student teachers. He was most proud of the exemplary teachers he had mentored.

‘Mr. Gentle" was known and respected throughout the state, but was loved and revered by students, colleagues, and parents in the community. Frank did not want to leave teaching when he retired in 2004. He wrote in his application for continuing in education; "This is a time for new beginnings in my life. The love of teaching, being with children while helping them to learn, is a passion, which continues to excite me. It is my desire to continue to use my zest and enthusiasm for teaching to make a difference for children in education."

Frank joined the staff at Spring Run school in Flemington, NJ; a division of The Center for Educational Advancement until 2013.

Throughout his life Frank liked his cars, but most especially his motorhomes. Driving to different places with family, filled him with joy and satisfaction.

Frank considered his children and grandchildren his "jewels," and his greatest accomplishment. They were the light of his life and his inspiration for living!

Frank is survived by his wife of 56 years, Susan; a brother Serafin(Joe); a sister Angela;
Children: Timothy, Christopher, David, Melissa, Rebecca, Stephen, Sean, Carmelita, and Salaam.
Grandchildren: Joseph, Isaac, Grace; Zachary, Noah, Gabriel; Alyssa, Veronica, Wesson; Ava; Zackary, Francesca, Francisco, Azariah, Geneva, Giovinnie, Destinee.
Frank has an extended family whom he loved dearly.

Below are the organizations Frank supported for their work in the community.

YMCA of Montclair Home Page/

Harmony Township Volunteer Fire Company
440 Brainards Road Phillipsburg, NJ 08865

Due to Covid restrictions plans for Celebration of Life or
Memorial service will be held at a later time.






111 North Gaston Avenue      Somerville, New Jersey 08876      908-725-3111       
© Copyright, 2008 - 2020 Bruce C. Van Arsdale Funeral Home and FuneralNet. & TA
Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved.