THE family of Barry’s most notable jeweller have paid tribute to him following his death.
Paul Gentile, who died on Saturday April 8 aged 69, opened his first premises on Holton Road in 1978 and worked in the family business for more than 54 years.
He opened his second Barry premises opposite King Square in 1989 before opening a shop in Cardiff 1990, another in Newport in 1995 and a fifth in Cwmbran in 2010.
Son Michael, aged 44, said: "It is with great sadness that Paul peacefully passed away on April 8 with his family at his side.
"Paul was a well-respected gentleman and, as a jeweller, he loved getting involved with the local community, supporting many charities and clubs."
Mr Gentile grew up in Llanrumney, Cardiff, but lived in Dinas Powys. He began his training as a goldsmith aged 15, working many years in Cardiff before opening up his own business in Barry.
He was a member of Barry Round Table, the town's Rotary Club and Brynhill Golf Club and was a long-time sponsor of Barry Rugby Club.
Mr Gentile worked closely with son Michael, who said he regarded him as both a father and friend, for more than 30 years until illness slowed him down.
Michael said: "Even through this period of time he could be seen interacting with his customers and friends in the shop or within the town. He was a people person.
"He’d stop and chat to everybody. Walking down Holton Road was never a five minute walk.
"The response in Barry has been quite humbling with everybody’s comments and thoughts."
He added: "His legacy is to leave a business still running as a family business."
Mr Gentile is survived by wife Maria, sons Michael and James, and five grandchildren Luca, Angelo, Gabriel, Sebastian and Charlotte to whom he was known as 'Pappy'.
The King Square shop will be closed on Tuesday, April 25 when a slow drive past will take place at about 9.45am, giving staff members the chance to wave a final farewell. His funeral will be held the same day at St Mary’s RC Church, Dinas Powys.