Thomas “Tom” A. Centola, Sr. passed away on Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at the age of 98. He was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 6, 1920.
Tom was the son of the late Celestino and Clorinda Centola originally from Formia, Italy who then immigrated to New York City in the early 1900’s. He was one of nine children.
He was married to the late Katherine Steele Centola, Rome, Georgia on July 7, 1946 at the Church of St. Clement in Queens, New York. They met in 1944 during WWII when he was stationed as an Army Surgical Technician at Battey General Hospital in Rome, Georgia. She was a volunteer hostess for the United Service Organization. They later moved back to Rome, Georgia where they made their home for 61 years.
He graduated from John Adams High School in Queens, New York and also attended the University of Georgia and Shorter College.
Tom retired from the General Electric after 29 years with the company.
During his life in Rome he was actively involved in many organizations and community activities. He was a member of the Rome Elks Lodge 694 where he served as Exalted Ruler and Chaplain. He was also a Charter Member of the Knights of Columbus, Council 4410 where he was a Fourth Degree Knight. He volunteered at the Knights of Columbus Labor Day BBQ which recently celebrated its 51st year at the Rome Civic Center. He was a long time member of the American Legion Shanklin-Attaway Post No.5 where he served as Chaplain. He always looked forward to reading the Benediction and laying of the wreath on Veterans Day at Myrtle Hill Cemetery.
In his spare time and to keep in shape he enjoyed walking. In 1973, he started walking for the March of Dimes and the American Diabetes Association. He was an enthusiastic volunteer and helped raise funds for diabetes research.
He was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church where he played the mandolin with the folk group at Mass and also played in the Parish Bell Choir. Tom was a Grandad at St. Mary’s School where he volunteered for many service projects.
He is survived by his son Thomas “Bubba” A. Centola, Jr. (Camille) Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; daughter Donna Centola Coursey (Steve) Jacksonville, Florida; grandchildren Elizabeth Centola, Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, Vince Coursey (Michelle) St. Augustine, Florida, Katherine Coursey Katzburg (Kirk) Forest Hills, New York, David Coursey, Forest Hills, New York; great granddaughters Caelyn and Chloe Katzburg, Forest Hills, New York; brother Larry Centola (Mary) New Hyde Park, New York; sister Julie Clifford, San Jose California including nieces and nephews; sisters-in-law Juanita Mize and Norma Jane Hurley, Rome, Georgia including nieces and nephews.
Preceded in death by brothers Gary Centola, Alex Centola, Frank Centola, Ray Centola; and one sister, Rose Centola.
A Rosary Service led by Deacon Stuart Neslin is planned for Tuesday, February 5th at 5 pm at Daniel’s Funeral Home. Visitation with family will then take place until 7 pm. A Funeral Mass celebrated by Fr. Valery Akoh, Parochial Vicar, will take place on Wednesday, February 6th at 10:30 am at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Honorary pallbearers will be the Knights of Columbus with an Honor Guard by the Fourth Degree Assembly of the Knights. Immediately following the Funeral Mass, a Graveside Service and Interment will take place at Eastview Cemetery where the American Legion will serve as Honor Guard. Family and Friends are then invited to a Reception on the Main Level of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, in the foyer and conference room areas.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Thomas A. Centola, Sr. to St. Mary’s Catholic School and the American Diabetes Association.
The Centola family would like to thank Heyman Hospice and Caregivers for their attentive and loving care of our Daddy.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.Daniels-FuneralHome.com for the Centola, Sr. family.
Arrangements by Daniel’s Funeral Home, 901 East 2nd Avenue, Rome, Georgia 30161, 706-232-3646.