James C. Centola "Tracks"
Irondequoit-November 19, 2021, 23 days shy of his 99th birthday. Predeceased by wife of 55 years Dorothy S. (Norton). Survived by son Guy J. Centola. Son of Benedict and Diana (Zambito) Centola of Norton St. near Portland Ave. One of ten brothers and one sister and the sole survivor and one of only two to graduate high school (Franklin class of 1941).
Jimmie was a WWII veteran, rising to the rank of sergeant in only three years, and was in one of the first radar units in London, and was in a back up demolition crew at the Battle of the Bulge.
Wartime experiences abound. He was allegedly given the nickname "Tracks" by his fellow soldier Charles Buchinsky who went on to be the actor Charles Bronson. Jimmie claims to have worked one summer before the war at a warehouse with Issur Danielovitch (the future actor Kirk Douglas) who might have been passing through doing summer stock theater. Recollections include being in charge of SS prisoners of war on work duty in warehousing and having his interpreter Billy Kuhn, son of Fritz Kuhn, former head of the German American Bund. Jimmie remembers being cheered up as a homesick GI by actor Guinn Big Boy Williams who also was serving the cause.
Jim went on to have a 33 year career at Distillation Products, a division of Eastman Kodak, rising to the post of traffic manager.
Jimmie worked his father's farm on Rudman Rd. when he acquired his yen for brush clearing. Interests included cooking, watching golf, reading, playing poker, long walks, give and take with his brothers on their porches and in his driveway, convening at Irondequoit Mall with his brother, retired city policeman George, and having lunch with his friend and co-worker, chemical engineer Lew Jacobs.
A thank you to neighbor Saroeun Oeun whose help has been greatly appreciated over these last several years.
Veteran services will be held at the grave site, Lasting Light Mausoleum, White Haven Memorial Park, Wednedsay November 24th at 1pm.
Postscript; Thank you for being the best father in the world-why-you gave me security.
Please take time to enjoy the poetry Jim Centola composed during and after the war.