Corporate Executive—Owned Waste Management Firm
Frank J. Gentempo of Union, passed away peacefully at his home on March 4 at age 99. Born and raised in Newark, he graduated with honors from Newark East Side High School in 1932. He was a class officer and lettered in baseball. An excellent semi-pro baseball pitcher with several teams during the 30’s, he was also manager and pitched for Blanchard Bros. Co. in the Newark Industrial Baseball League. He was a superb pool player as well, a club champion during the heyday of the Newark neighborhood clubs, once running off 59 balls during a competition.
During the height of the depression he worked as department manager for Blanchard Bros. & Lane, Newark leather tanners, and held a clerk’s position with the U.S.Post Office . In 1942 he was recruited to join a small waste services company in Elizabeth. Eventually as CEO , Frank built his Elizabeth Disposal Company to become a major corporate waste services company in NJ. He developed numerous important industry equipment advances. After a merger he became Regional Vice President with Browning Ferris Industries and more recently was appointed and served on the State Solid Waste Advisory Board.
He served on both the Union Township Planning Board, and Union Township Zoning Board. . During the 1950’s he was President of the Elmora Lions Club in Elizabeth. He was a long standing member of the Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce. A fierce competitor, sports included, he was the manager and catcher of a fast pitch softball team in the Elizabeth Industrial League, winning the league title twice. He coached the grammar school baseball team at St. Genevieve’s parish, where he was a parishioner since 1942. Frank was an active Rotarian for more than 40 years in Elizabeth. An avid bowler and as President of Rotary bowling he developed the 2 season program for the Rotary leagues. Rotary presented him with the Paul Harris Fellow Award in 1997. Late to the game of golf, he was a member of the Suburban Golf Club for four decades, loved the game and the camaraderie of the club. He was a friend and supporter of Seton Hall Prep and Benedictine Academy. Frank enjoyed his years with the Union Township seniors program. Equipped with an encyclopedic knowledge of the American songbook, he was always prepared to sing a song, tell a joke, share a story or debate a speaker. He had the gift of memory. He could recite several complete Shakespeare passages including the speeches of Brutus and Marc Antony from Julius Caesar . He relished to the end reciting the poems “The Face On The Barroom Floor”, “Dangerous Dan McGrew”,”Casey At The Bat”, and others. He became expert on Napoleon, Lincoln and Michaelangelo.
Frank was pre -deceased by his wife of 71 years, Rose, a brother Joe, and four sisters Katy, Victoria, Margaret and Bessie. He is survived by his children, Joan Von Bushberger, Mary Leonardis, and Jack Gentempo, daughter-in-law Paula, 8 grandchildren, and 12 great grandchildren. He leaves numerous relatives and friends . He rejoins countless relatives and friends.