RICHMOND, VA – Jack “Carnation” Gillentine passed away peacefully at home in Richmond, VA on February 11, 2019, surrounded by his loving family and friends. Born on January 20, 1929, Jack was a native of Erwin, TN and just celebrated his 90th birthday in big style.
Jack was preceded in death by his wife of 53 years, Glenda Lee Taylor Gillentine. He leaves to cherish his memory a loving daughter, Jacque Minarik and son in-law Andrew Minarik, an adoring son Jason Gillentine and daughter in-law Chris Gillentine, grandchildren Madi, Macy, and Logan Gillentine, Jacob, Nick, and Livy Arsenault, his favorite sister and best friend Bobbie Jean Tucker, extended family, and his beloved companions Ruby and Daisy.
Jack enlisted in the United States Navy during WWII and re-enlisted in the United States Army, where he served as a Korean War Veteran. He taught for over twenty-five years and was appointed supervisor of Health and Physical Education for Norfolk City Public Schools. He had a great passion for coaching youth sports and a love for children. He had a magnetic personality and was good at putting a smile on everyone’s face. He loved his hometown of Erwin and his younger sister Bobbie Jean and family. He especially loved pulling pranks with family and friends. He always put family first, caretaking for his wife Glenda and older brother Clarence until they crossed over.
There was never a job too large for Jack. Once Jack took a dare (for $5.00) to go to New York City on a bus from Erwin at just twelve years old. He stayed at a YMCA, visited the Empire State Building, and saw Count Basie who was playing during the intermission of a movie. Once he completed his adventure he called home. His dad, who worked for Clinchfield Railroad, wired a train ticket via Western Union so he could return. Jack lived his whole life with this sense of adventure. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him.
In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation of a living plant that will be planted in the community garden at St. Catherine’s School, or donating to the ASPCA or Pet Peace of Mind.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, February 16, 2019 at 2PM in Bannard Chapel at St. Catherine’s School, 6001 Grove Avenue, Richmond, VA.