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Mr. George R. Dentino

Obituary for Mr. George R. Dentino

June 23, 1944 - August 10, 2017
Mansfield, Massachusetts | Age 73


George R. Dentino, age 73, passed away in the Philip Hulitar Hospice Center in Providence, Rhode Island on Thursday, August 10, 2017. He was born at Norwood Hospital on June 23, 1944, the son of the late Guy and Emma (Procaccini) Dentino. When he was about 15 months old he developed polio in his right leg. His mom & dad had to take him to Children's Clinic every week for 5 years to be treated. During that time his mother, Emma, spent 6 hours daily, exercising and bathing his leg. He also had to sleep with a cast on his leg for 4 years to stretch his tendons. When George was six, he went to the Dedham Clinic once a week and Boston once a month for treatment. His mother continued exercising him for three hours a day. At eleven years of age he was cured and did not need any more treatment. It was then he developed an interest in hockey. Walpole Police Chief William Hagblom taught him the fundamentals. His father took him to the Lynn Arena once a week to get ice time for 1-2 hours. He also sent him to a hockey school in Boston where he was named "Most Improved." George played on Walpole's Junior Suburban League for 3 years and won the title when George was in the ninth grade. He scored 11 points in eight games. From there he went to the varsity team and being such a great stickhandler, he assisted in many goals as well as scoring many himself.

As a child, he always played cops and robbers or cowboys and indians with his sister and the neighbors. As he grew up he started loving sports and was one of the first players to play Little League in Walpole. He played baseball every night with the neighborhood kids and ice hockey at Brown's pond all winter with his childhood friends, John Sanzi, William DeGiacomo, and Michael Mortelli. His favorite indoor toy was an electric football game that he played with his sister continually. He was a huge follower of the New York Giants football team until the Patriots arrived. He then became a season ticket holder for many years.

As a youngster, he loved to go on vacations to Berlin, New Hampshire and Hartford, Conn to see his cousins. One of his favorite vacations was when he went to New York and saw the Red Sox play at Yankee Stadium. Sundays were spent going to church and then to his grandparents' house in Walpole along with all his aunts, uncles, and cousins. He loved these get togethers where everyone would talk sports and play baseball. He was a proud member of the "Jimmy Piersall Fan Club" with his sister and cousins. George graduated from Walpole High School in 1962.

While George grew up in Walpole, as an adult he made his home in Mansfield. By profession he was an engineer and builder extraordinaire. His early years brought him to the Carolina's and then closer to home to both the North and South Shores of Massachusetts, Boston proper, the Cape and other areas of the Commonwealth. One of his favorite projects was the restoration of the Chatham Public library where there is a plaque that bears his name.

George loved his children more than anything else and the bond between them was unbreakable. He always made it a priority to ensure they had plenty of fun-filled and enjoyable things to do, while at the same time, instilling a strong work ethic in them and teaching them valuable life lessons. There was never a dull moment when his kids were around and he always made sure of that. Virtually every weekend involved a barbeque of sorts and endless swimming in the pool.

He taught his two sons how to ice skate at a very early age and took them skiing every year to Vermont and New Hampshire from the age of three and up. Places like Mount Snow which held the annual Teddy Bear Race they always participated in, Smuggler's Notch, and Loon Mountain. Between walking, ice skating, and skiing, nobody is quite sure what his kids learned first.

Throughout much of the 1980s, George played in a volleyball league at the Attleboro YMCA. Every summer during that time, George held an unforgettable pool party at his house that his sons looked forward to each year. But before the party was to take place, there were always the "Pre-Party Pool Preparation Procedures" that had to be followed, George's way of injecting some fun into what was essentially a lesson on how to open the pool each season.

Every year, he always made sure to bring his children to Billy Burr's Fun-O-Rama when the carnival came to Walpole. After the carnival discontinued its operation, and the pool parties ended, it became the New England Fair and Balloon Festival as the two summer priorities. If there wasn't a soccer or hockey game to bring the kids to, he would find something fun to fill their time with like playing Indoor Hockey in the living room, Laser Tag around the house, Lawn Darts, or a variety of other activities in the yard.

In addition to the strong work ethic that he instilled in his two children, he would never allow either of them to give up on anything. That was simply not an option. Whether down by a goal with two minutes to go in a championship hockey game or behind by 30 points in an intramural basketball game with five seconds left, he always expected 100% effort right up until the game was over.

George never accepted the status quo and held a strong belief that regardless of how perfect something might seem, it could always be improved in some way, and that is how he lived out every single aspect of life.

As his children grew older George stayed closer to home but his passion for sports continued. He was an avid hockey player and fan and felt kids needed the opportunity to play organized hockey. To that end, the Colonials then the Tri County Saints were born with George as one of the founding fathers. For years he coached in both the house league and travel teams and was asked to coach an all-star travel team out of Hingham Ma. Several of his skaters went on to play professional hockey.

In the late 1990's George grew concerned with Mansfield's local government. When seeking information obstacles were constantly placed in his path but he was not daunted. To the chagrin of the inner circle, George took to Cable Access to get his message out and ultimately developed a loyal following. His dream of becoming a selectman was realized and his profession served him well because of his knowledge of building and labor costs, OSHA requirements and contract negotiations during a time of expansion and growth in Mansfield.

As a selectman, George was a colorful character. If there was a parade scheduled, he was marching in it tossing candy along the parade route. The Halloween parade was his favorite and one year he even dressed as a ballerina, complete with a pink tutu. George attended most Eagle Scout awards presentations. He assisted a group of high school "kids" in identifying a perfect location for the Haunted Hollows fundraiser and supported them every year. Over the years he sat on numerous committees and was a hands-on selectman. He was a member of the TIF Committee (tax increment financing) which brought new business into the community, the Capital Improvements Committee and the Regional Waste Water Sewer agreement, the first in the state. Over time George mellowed in his approach but he never wavered from his beliefs of one town, one budget, accountability and responsibility. As Chairman Trowbridge stated, "George was bigger than life."

Loving father of Jamie A. Dentino of Walpole and Lance M. Dentino of Mansfield.
Brother of Patricia L. Giordano and her husband Joseph of Cotuit.
Beloved lifelong companion of Pamela A. Gagnon of Mansfield.
Also survived by many nieces and nephews as well as his beloved dog, Cooper.

Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend George's Life Celebration on Thursday, August 17, 2017 from 4-8 PM and Friday, August 18, 2017 from 9-9:30 AM in the James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, 48 Common Street, Walpole. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in Blessed Sacrament Church, 10 Diamond Street, Walpole on Friday, August 18, 2017 at 10:00 AM. Interment will follow in Saint Francis Cemetery in Walpole. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to: The Philip Hulitar Hospice Center, 1085 North Main Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02904.

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James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home

48 Common Street
Walpole, MA 02081
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