August 5, 1948 ~ May 19, 2022

Born in: Waterbury, Connecticut
Resided in: Asheville, North Carolina

Bonnie Gentile, 73, of Hendersonville NC ascended into heaven on Thursday May 19th after an extended illness where she was welcomed by her mother, father, brother and a host of friends and relatives.

She was born on August 5th, 1948 in Waterbury CT and grew up in Watertown and was a member of the class of 1966 at Watertown HS where she graduated with honors. At a young age, she was an accomplished dancer and had to turn down a role on the show “Hollywood Agogo” because she was too young at the time.

Best known as the “Holiday Lady” she received numerous awards, including a lifetime achievement award from the City of Waterbury’s Beautification Committee and a proclamation from the State of Connecticut for her unique holiday decorating displays and the meticulous upkeep of her yard and gardens at her long time residence at 186 Country Club Road. A survivor of breast cancer, Bonnie had strong faith and visited holy shrines and sites throughout Europe including Lourdes, Fatima, Vatican City and Medjugorje. Her greatest love was her family. As a mother, she seldom missed one of her son’s games from T Ball on up through college. She often volunteered to keep the scorebook at both baseball and basketball games to help out the team. She also appeared as an extra in the movie “Stanley and Iris”, which was filmed in and around Waterbury.

For over 30 years, she worked as a merchandiser, first for Time-Life publications and later for Ghirardelli Chocolates. She turned many of the people she worked for and with into friends with her friendly demeanor and positive attitude. At Ghirardelli her work earned her an award as one of the company’s top merchandisers. She also worked for over a decade in the pro shop at Farmingbury Hills Country Club in Wolcott CT and always greeted customers with a radiant smile.

Bonnie also enjoyed spending her free time at the Foxwoods Casino Resort in CT and travelled with the casino on many adventures from cruises to other casinos nationwide.

In her later years, she moved to Hendersonville to be closer to her son and grandson and continued to live life to the fullest each and every day right up until her passing. Those who knew her grew to love her and her energy and love for life will be missed by many.

She was preceded in death by her father Robert Meyer, her mother Irene (Slovinski) Meyer and her brother Glenn Meyer. She leaves behind her husband John, son Christopher and grandson Matthew as well as many extended family members. The family will have a private celebration of life but memorial gifts can be made online at or mailed to Friends of the WNC Nature Center, PO Box 19151, Asheville, NC 28815.

Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian is assisting the family.

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  1. I only knew Bonnie briefly but she always greeted me with a warm smile and bright eyes. She had many ,many friends, and will be missed by all her knew her.

  2. Although only knowing Bonnie less then a year, she was one of the first smiling faces I met at The Skyland. She brought joy to her neighbors and was a breath of fresh air to every one who spent time with her. I am humbled to have gotten to know her better the past 2 months & enjoyed lunch just a few days before. She will be missed, and remembered by me as making a most graceful exit from our World, embracing every day!
    My sincere condolences to Chris, Matthew & John. Rest in Eternal Peace Bonnie.
    ~ Donna Berard

  3. Bonnie Gentile became known to me when I would pass the most beautifully decorated porch anyone could ever see. As Chairman of the Litter Control and Beautification Commission of Waterbury, Bonnie’s home kept getting Beautification Awards because each season was uniquely and beautifully decorated by this talented woman. So, we decided to give her a lifetime Beautification Award! I got to know her after that and found her to be such a wonderful woman, wife, mother and then grandmother. She always glowed with pride about her husband, son and grandson! I am so sorry to read of her passing. I considered Bonnie to be a friend. She was Bonnie 1 and I was Bonnie 2.

  4. Donald & Elena Banks
    Jack, Christopher and Matthew. Our condolences to you on your loss of Bonnie. So many fond memories of us from high school to our trips to the casino and girls days/nights out. She was always smiling or laughing,always happy and upbeat. We knew she was so happy in NC. Now she starts a new adventure with her mom,dad and Glenn. I know she missed them terribly but she is at peace. God bless you all. Jack, call Harold. You are overdue for a visit to see him.

  5. Our condolences on the passing of Bonnie. We so enjoyed the holiday theme house decorations. Living on Country Club Road (433 and still do) it was always a focal point when driving by. Now she’ll be decorating in heaven! May she Rest In Peace.

  6. My friend Bonnie will truly be missed. The world has a void in it when Bon passed. I will always remember her. My prayers to Jack,Chris and Matty.

  7. To the family, I am sorry for the grief that you are feeling.
    Knowing of God’s enduring love for you, continue to look to him when he ” will wipe out all tears from eyes, death, suffering, and pain will be no more. ” Revelation 21:3,4
    He says death is an ” enemy that will be brought to nothing. ” 1 Corinthians 15:26
    How comforting to know that this will be a thing of the past and through Christ Jesus a resurrection for our loved ones.


  8. To Jack, Chris and Family,

    This is from Bonnie’s old partners at Farmingbury Hills, Craig and Joe. We ran that golf course together for a long time, with great respect for each other. Bonnie was always the glue to our operation, and everybody loved her – and we loved her. We’ve missed Bonnie the last few years since she moved to North Carolina, and we’re so sad she’s gone.

    God bless you and your family.

    Craig & Joe


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