Dr. Pauline "Pat" Lea Bertrand Gentle, Ph. D
Born in Central Falls, Rhode Island to Alfred and Lea Bertrand on June 28, 1942 Pauline grew up in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. She was bilingual, speaking French throughout grammar and high school at St. Jean de Baptiste Academy. Pat played the organ at her parish church, took piano lessons for several years, and was an active member of the Boston Junior Symphony. She graduated summa cum laude from high school with a full academic scholarship to attend Regis College. However, family finances forced her to begin work at a local Credit Union. Pat met John when he was attending Providence College and later married Lt. John A. Gentle in September 1965 and joined him in Ft Knox, Kentucky, and where shortly thereafter, taught the officer's club staff how to make iced coffee (unknown in the south, but extremely popular in the northeast).
When John finished his active military commitment, Pat and John returned to Pawtucket where they set up house and she gave birth to two children – Bonnie Ann and Christopher Allan. After moving to Bridgewater, Massachusetts in1970 Pat became an accomplished and frugal homemaker as she learned how to use and made good use of her grandmother's sewing machine. In 1970, she gave birth to Patricia Lynn and, with John, founded the St. Thomas Aquinas parish's Young Married Couples Club.
After moving to Toledo in 1976, Pat gave birth to Joanne Marie in 1978 and, with the two older children in Little Flower School, she became active in Little Flower Mothers Club, serving as its Treasurer and later as President in the 1980's. During this time Pat was also Den Mother, Pack and Troop Committee Member, Trainer and Merit badge Counselor and Commissioner; and later as a Girl Scout leader, Organizer, Trainer, and as a Service Unit Director for the Sacajawea Service unit. Pat was subsequently recognized by the Catholic Scouting organization with the St George and St Ann Awards.
Pat had several part time positions serving as a Program/Volunteer Coordinator for the International Institute and the first Executive Director of Heartbeat. After several years as Front of House Director for the Stranahan Theatre she decided at the age of 58 to fulfill her lifelong vision of becoming a Doctor and began her academic adventure at Lourdes College in 2000 graduating in 2002 with a BIS in Multicultural Studies. She immediately enrolled at UT and received her Master's (MLS) in Liberal Arts in 2004 and subsequently found a university in England which offered an online Doctoral program in Cultural Arts History. In the summer of 2008, Pat received her Ph. D in Cultural Arts History at the famous Canterbury Cathedral upon completing and defending a 350-page doctoral dissertation on the Visual Perspective of St Paul.
Always proud of her French-Canadian heritage and her Boston and Pawtucket Red Sox baseball teams and the New England Patriots, Pat never shirked from a challenge nor her insatiable taste for clams and lobster during her annual beachfront vacations in Narragansett, Rhode Island. She was a voracious reader and craft enthusiast, especially working with wood, making bird houses and feeders. As an accomplished seamstress, made quilts for all the beds in her Vermont home and presented each of her children and grandchildren (Ciara Stevenson, Samantha and Joshua Gentle, and Madeline and Grace Haight) with commemorative quilts. Last month she finished a number of lap quilts for hospice.
Preceding her in death were her parents; her brother, Richard; her firstborn, Bonnie Ann; and an unnamed grandson. Surviving are "the love of her life, John," and their children, Chris, Patti and Joanne, her son-in-law Dan, and the grandchildren that lovingly called her Mémère. There were no boundaries in Pat's love for all of them.
A gathering of family and friends will be from 3 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m., with the Rosary being recited at 8 p.m., on Thursday, November 1, 2018 at Thos. I. Wisniewski Funeral Home, 2426 North Reynolds Road, Toledo, Ohio. Friends are again invited to visit on November 2, 2018 at 10 a.m. at the Little Flower of Jesus Catholic Church on 5522 Dorr Street, Toledo, Ohio, where the Mass of Resurrection will be celebrated by Father Dave Nuss at 11 a.m. Interment at Resurrection Cemetery will immediately follow Mass. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Pat's name to Little Flower Church.