Peggy Katherine Gentile, 99 of West Chester, PA died Sunday June 7, 2020 at Barclay Friends.
She was the wife of the late Nicholas C. Gentile, DDS. She was preceded in death by her siblings, Elschen, Victoria, Eugen, and her son, Wolf-Rudiger (Roger) Lucas.
Born November 7, 1920 in Hamborn, Germany, she was the daughter of the late Christian August Lucas and the late Elisabeth Teresa Wolters Lucas. Her given name was Hermina Wilhelmina Katharina Lucas. She was raised in the bustling cultural hub of the Rhineland, Dusseldorf, Germany. In her youth, she rode motorcycles, was an accomplished figure skater and a fashion model. She survived the bombings of World War II which destroyed the family home. After the war, Peggy took a post at the Ramstein Air Base where she met and fell in love with Nick Gentile. In 1957 she emigrated to the United States, married her husband, proudly became a U.S. citizen, and raised their daughter.
Peggy was a homemaker most of her life but did enjoy time spent as the owner of Etc.Etc, a home decor shop in West Chester during the mid-1970’s.
She was a member of St. Agnes Church, West Chester, PA, and a former member of Radley Run Country Club where she was one of the first members of the garden club.
Peggy loved her family, had a fierce spirit, a tough-love attitude, blunt disposition, and a great sense of humor. She was an exceptional cook who loved to entertain. She often hosted themed dinner parties with elaborate decorations and complete meals based on a particular country or festive event. She loved travelling with her daughter, taking many a road trip discovering new places here and abroad, feeding and watching the birds, reading, sewing, and embroidery. Peggy loved animals, especially the Rottweilers that she imported from Germany. She bred, raised, and trained the breed, making life-long friends with other Rottweiler owners in the region. German wines, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Milano cookies and chocolate made her happy in her later years and were sometimes said to be the secret to her long life.
Undoubtedly, Peggy has experienced many of world’s trials and tribulations in her nearly 100 years (wars, Hitler, the 60’s, the 2020 pandemic…), but she navigated through it all with a stoic, no-nonsense attitude. Peggy was a fighter. She tested positive for COVID-19 but did not let it stop her. Through the incredible care and support of the staff at Barclay Friends, she braved the virus like she braved some of the wars she had lived through in her years. It was clear Peggy would not leave this world without a final fight and died peacefully in her sleep, just days after being declared COVID-free.
She is survived by her beloved daughter, Cynthia Gentile Chmelewski, her son-in-law, Michael, grandchildren, Danielle and Nicholas Chmelewski. As well as several nieces, nephews, and cousins here and in Germany.
Services and interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Barclay Friends 700 N. Franklin St. West Chester, PA 19380 or The Salvation Army. 101 E. Market St. West Chester, PA 19382
Arrangements by DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, Inc. of West Chester, PA 610-696-1181 www.DellaFH.com
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