Thursday, April 12, 2007

Joe Lentine, R.I.P.

Anyone living is Northeast Ohio knew the jingle for Lentine's Music -- "When you think of music, think of Lentine's". I worked at the main store in Akron for 10 years, until they went out of business this past February. Joe Lentine worked at the store until the day it closed. He will be missed. Here is his obituary.

Joe Lentine, owner of five music shops
A talented musician, he taught in Akron before opening stores

By Linda Golz
Beacon Journal staff writer

Joe Lentine was known as a musician, a businessman, an outdoorsman and a family man, but to those who knew him best, Joe was a people-person.

Joseph P. Lentine, 85, died Monday of a heart attack.

``There's not enough adjectives to describe this man,'' said James Stahl, owner of Central Instrument Co. in Cuyahoga Falls and Mr. Lentine's longtime friend and business competitor. ``Even though we were rivals, he was an inspiration. I just followed him. If he did it, I knew it was the right thing to do.''

Stahl said area musicians were coming to his store to express sorrow and surprise over Mr Lentine's death.

For 32 years, Mr. Lentine was a band teacher for the Akron Public Schools, where he touched the lives of not only the music students, but other students as well, Stahl said.

When he retired in 1977, he opened Lentine's Music on North Main Street with his son, Michael, and continued to work there until the five stories closed earlier this year.

Mr. Lentine could play most instruments, though his wife, Vilma, said he mostly played the piano at home and the bass violin with bands.

Vilma Lentine said her husband had been ill on and off the past couple of years, but he had always rebounded.

``He was always able to bounce back. We have five acres of land he mowed,'' she said.

``He loved to go gambling.''

She said they often took gambling excursions to West Virginia and Erie, Pa.

He also liked to garden, go fishing, boating and golfing, and spending time with his family, his wife said.

Mr. Lentine was born in South Fork, Pa., on May 31, 1921.

Survivors include his wife; sons Martin, Michael and Matthew; and six grandchildren.

Calling hours will be 4 to 8 p.m. today at the Dunn-Quigley Ciriello & Carr Funeral Home, 39 S. Miller Road, Fairlawn.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. Friday at Guardian Angels in Copley Township. Burial will be at Holy Cross Cemetery.

The family suggests memorials to Copley Fire & Rescue, 1540 S. Cleveland-Massillon Road, Copley, OH 44321.

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