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In Memoriam, Oct. 17, 2011

October 14, 2011
Joseph J. Gentile, whose philanthropy to charities, churches, veterans groups and his alma maters stemmed from a 51-year career in new-car sales, died Oct. 10. He was 87.
A 1948 graduate of Loyola University, Mr. Gentile donated $3.5 million to build a namesake arena at the school’s Lake Forest campus. He also attended St. Ignatius College Prep and donated $1 million to that institution, generosity that was acknowledged by the 2000 dedication of Joe Gentile Drive in front of the school.
For 10 straight years in the 1970s, Mr. Gentile ranked as Buick Division’s No. 1 salesman in the country. But he said his proudest industry award was his 1995 nomination for the Time Magazine Quality Dealer Award.
While broadcasting the 1982 opening of Joe Gentile Chrysler in Barrington, sportscaster Chet Coppeck dubbed him the Baron of Barrington, a moniker Mr. Gentile embraced. He also owned an Elmhurst radio station, WJJG-AM, on which Mr. Gentile hosted his own morning talk show, with topics ranging from politics to sports.
Survivors include his wife, Carol.