Harland “Perk” Gentilin passed away on September 29, 2019, in Bridgetown, Barbados where he had been living for the last fifteen years. He was 83 years old and leaves us all with many fond memories.
Perk was born on August 25,1936, in Chicago, Illinois where he lived until his parents and four siblings moved to Forest Hills in Queens, New York. After attending college in Arizona and Ohio, Perk served in the United States Army and attained the rank of Sergeant. He toyed with the idea of becoming a lawyer but instead used his life experiences and keen mathematical mind and entrepreneurial skill set to own and run his own businesses. He started with a franchise restaurant in New York City called Chicken Delight and retired after having sold the last of his businesses, Kingston China and Bar Supply in Kingston, New York.
Perk moved to Woodstock, New York in 1972 to raise his young family. He and Ann, his wife, bought Mower’s Market and endeared themselves to the Woodstock community, being one of a few interracial couples. Eventually, he ran and served as a Town Councilman from 1983 until 1986. Perk was a 4H mentor, he was a member of the Woodstock Investment Club, and he was a member of the vestry at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church for many years. He was a community-minded man who cared deeply about raising his children and providing for his family. He was a humorous man, always cracking a joke and offering a smile to everyone he encountered. He was the epitome of honesty and truthfulness, and he enjoyed talking about politics and world history. He was always reading the newspaper, preferably the New York Times, twirling his mustache and working on the crossword puzzle.
Perk is survived by his wife of 49 years, Ann Gentilin, his four children and their spouses, Juliet (Jess) Kletz, Marc Gentilin, Roxanne (Brian) Burke, and Noah (Leah) Gentilin, his four grandchildren, Isabel, Sophia, Jonah, and Haley, and his (two remaining) siblings, Ronald Gentilin and Mimi Scribner. We are planning a celebration of Perk’s life in Woodstock this summer.