Cover photo for Charles W. Gentner's Obituary
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Charles W. Gentner

November 16, 1963 — May 7, 2023

Portage, MI

Charles W. Gentner

Charles W. Gentner of Portage, MI passed away on Sunday, May 7, 2023 at the age of 59. He was born in Philadelphia, PA on November 16, 1963 the son of Thomas and EmmaJean (Bashista) Gentner. 

Bill may have grown up in Philly, but he wanted to do something different with his life so he decided to go into the United States Navy (USN). He was shipped off to Mississippi and that is where he met the Love of his life: Brenda Parsons. She would change his life for the better and steal his heart forever. They were able to spend 37 years of marriage together. During those years trips to Philadelphia were regularly made and Bill got to introduce, and laugh at, Brenda when she wouldn't get out of the car the first time because of the cat sized rats that came up to her. Brenda and Bill were the example of what a beautiful, loving, joyful, hardworking and sometimes comedic relationship looked like. 

While in Mississippi he welcomed his first child into the world, his baby girl, Melissa, who stole another piece of his heart. Melissa was spoiled beyond belief, and it would upset Brenda when Bill would wake up Melissa after work to watch wrestling with him, even during school nights. 

Eleven years later he got the son he always wanted, William, and another piece of his heart was stolen. The last piece of his heart was taken when William married Brielle. When they moved to Michigan to raise their family, he began his career as a custodian at Portage Public Schools. 

When he gave his life to the lord he decided to dedicate his time and love to the youth of Lake Center Bible Church. He impacted so many people's lives including the students, staff and the youth group. He could put a smile on the face of every person he encountered. 

His love for sports (all Philadelphia teams) only grew when he began coaching Melissa in softball. That joy returned again when William began playing baseball. He made sure to be the loudest cheerleader at every game and everyone knew Bill was there supporting his favorite player. 

For the 5 years he suffered through his cancer diagnosis he fought and he lived life to the fullest. He was able to travel and spend time with his family which he enjoyed the most. He was courageous, strong, resilient, and always had a smile on his face. 

Bill was extremely proud of his children and wife letting everyone know how amazing his family was. 

In accordance with the family’s wishes cremation has taken place and a public memorial service will be held on Friday, May 12, 2023, at Connections Community Church, 11500 US-131, Schoolcraft, MI 49087 with time for visiting beginning at 9:00 a.m. until the time of service at 10:00 a.m. with Pastor Perry Hostetler officiating. Charles will be laid to rest at Ft. Custer National Cemetery at 12:00 noon following the service. 

Memorials made in Charles’ memory may be directed to Diamond Disciples. Envelopes will be available at the church. 

While at www.amsfuneralhomes.com please take time to sign Charles’ guestbook and/or share a memory with his family.

The Gentner family is being cared for by the Avink, McCowen & Secord Funeral Homes and Cremation Society, 129 South Grand Street, Schoolcraft, MI 49087. 269-679-5622

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Charles W. Gentner, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, May 12, 2023

9:00 - 10:00 am (Eastern time)

Connections Community Church

11500 N US-131, Schoolcraft, MI 48097

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Friday, May 12, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Connections Community Church

11500 N US-131, Schoolcraft, MI 48097

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Burial

Friday, May 12, 2023

12:00 - 12:15 pm (Eastern time)

Fort Custer National Cemetery

15501 Dickman Road, Augusta, MI 49012

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