Charles Raymond Gentzel, (Col., USAF Ret.) Charles Raymond Gentzel, (Col., USAF Ret.), 93, of Naples, FL, passed away Saturday, October 5, 2019. Formerly of Berlin, MD, he had been a Naples resident for the last 19 years. He was born May 14, 1926 in Irvington, NJ, the son of Charles Elmer and Theresa (née Fallenstein) Gentzel.
Charles served in the Army Air Corp. during WWII. He was awarded a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Newark College of Engineering joining the Air Force upon his graduation where he served for 29 years. He was a fighter pilot in Korea, a project officer in the Space Re-Entry Program Division, and project manager for the Gunship program during Vietnam. Upon his retirement from the service he worked as a contractor for the Navy and then was appointed to the Senior Executive Staff in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition and Technology) where he served for 11 years.
He was a member of the Port of the Islands Gun Club and enjoyed playing bridge.
Col. Gentzel is survived by his loving wife of 47 years, Donna M. (née Howard) Gentzel; his beloved children, Robert Gentzel of Cary, NC, Katherine (Steve) Strong of Annapolis, ND, Kenneth Gentzel of Rockville, MD, Paul (Rose) Gentzel of Edgewater, MD, Jennifer Gentzel of New Market, MD and Charles (Wendy) Gentzel of Fuquay-Varina, NC; twelve cherished grandchildren; and five treasured great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Katherine (née Gibney) Gentzel in 1967.
A memorial service will be held Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. at the North Naples United Methodist Church in the Village Chapel, 6000 Goodlette Road N, Naples. Burial with Military Honors will take place at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (stjude.org), Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation (tunnel2towers.org) or Avow Hospice (avowcares.org).