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Longtime Taylor Street pharmacy owner, Oak Brook man dies

Michael L. Gentile (Submitted photo)

Michael L. Gentile (Submitted photo)

Michael L. Gentile ran a drug store on Taylor Street in Little Italy for four decades, taking over the business from his father in the early 1960s.

Through hard times and gentrification, Gentile’s Pharmacy catered to the needs of the changing Near West Side neighborhood, first serving immigrants and people down on their luck, then later young professionals who scooped up lofts, and students from the nearby University of Illinois at Chicago.

Mr. Gentile resisted his family’s suggestions to sell his business when things got rough. He built up such a loyal following that last July, seven years after he closed the drug store, people recognized him on the street after his 70th birthday celebration.

“He walked out of the restaurant that night and people kept coming up to him giving him hugs,” said Salvatore Perry, a friend of Mr. Gentile’s who opened RoSal’s restaurant on Taylor Street in 1990. “That’s because Mike was such an easy touch. He was one of those great guys, who took the time to visit with people and listen to their problems. Everybody loved him.”

Mr. Gentile, 70, died of cancer Monday, Sept. 12, in his Oak Brook home.

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.

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