Obituaries » Judith A. Gentzel September 23, 1948 - March 6, 2021 Judith Ann Gentzel died Saturday, March 6, 2021, at Heritage Valley Beaver after a monthslong fight against pneumonia.
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Judy was born Sept. 23, 1948, in New Brighton, Pa., to H. Jack Gentzel and Hilda Winkler Gentzel. When Judy was a toddler, she contracted spinal meningitis, a devastating illness she survived, but only through the best possible medical care at the time and a fierce will to live. It was a strength for which she was known throughout her 72 years on earth.
Judy was preceded in death by her parents; her paternal grandparents, Harry A. Gentzel and Olive Smith Gentzel; her maternal grandparents, Michael Winkler and Marie Huber Winkler; and many beloved aunts, uncles and cousins. Judy also had the good fortune to know and be loved by her paternal great-grandmother, Ella “Nanny” Wilkinson Smith, who lived through Judy’s teen years.
Judy is survived by her sister, Janet Bothel, and brother-in-law, Joe Bothel, of North Carolina; her brothers, Donald Gentzel, of Beaver Falls, and David Gentzel and his wife, Margaret Schiemer Gentzel, of Wexford. She also is survived by her nieces and nephews, Shannon Dishong and her wife, Erin Dishong; Brian Gentzel; Amanda Gentzel, Jennifer Gentzel and Rebecca Gentzel; and her best friend, Diana Cole.
Judy leaves behind many who loved her, and although there are too many to mention here, she would want to include her elder cousin, Robert “Bobby” Bennett, of Beaver Falls, and her McGuire Memorial Home family, including her housemates and the staff members of her Highland Drive and 37th Street Extension houses. While many cared for and loved Judy over the years, there was a core team who remained with her over much or all of more than two decades: Ms. Cole, Tonia Benden, Dawn Goosby, Staci Schiavoni, Valerie Paglia, Cindy Gibbons and Ashley Miller.
Judy moved to McGuire Memorial from Western Center in Canonsburg, where she had lived since her teen years. At Western, Judy met Shelly Battista, and when the state closed the state school and hospital, the two friends moved together to their longtime Highland Drive home and then to 37th Street. It was only recently that they were separated, but they will always be connected, as are our mom, who passed away in 2012, and Shelly’s mom, Dahlia.
It is because of Judy’s life being forever changed by a deadly illness – meningitis – for which there was no vaccine to prevent or mitigate its damage decades ago that we are committed to following the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during this time of COVID-19. Judy will be buried alongside her parents at Sylvania Hills Memorial Park in a private service. A celebration of Judy’s life will be planned for a time when we can gather again safely. Professional services have been entrusted to the NOLL FUNERAL HOME, INC., 333 THIRD ST., BEAVER. Online condolences may be shared at nollfuneral.com.
If you are able, please consider a gift in Judy’s memory to Beaver County Humane Society, McGuire Memorial Foundation or to your favorite charity.
Obituaries » Judith A. Gentzel
September 23, 1948 - March 6, 2021
Judith Ann Gentzel died Saturday, March 6, 2021, at Heritage Valley Beaver after a monthslong fight against pneumonia.