Helen Jean Gentilli

May 22, 1929 - March 14, 2023


Obituary For Helen Jean Gentilli

Madison - Helen Jean Gentilli (Kroncke) age 93, passed away peacefully in her home on Tuesday, March 14, 2023 surrounded by her family. Helen was born on May 22, 1929 and was lovingly adopted by her parents Art and Doris Kroncke of Sun Prairie. The family home was situated on the property which is now the old Sun Prairie High School, and the street was named Kroncke Dr. in honor of her grandfather.

Helen loved figure skating in her youth, playing the saxophone and was a cheerleader for the Sun Prairie Cardinals. She frequented Madison with her friends during this time and met the love of her life, Jack, hanging out on State St. She recalled with great fondness how handsome he was, and he said he knew he would marry her the first time he saw her. Their love story was something very special. Dad never stopped reveling about our mothers' beauty and wrote beautiful letters and poems to her, up to his passing at 90. She worked as a dental assistant in downtown Madison early in her career and then for the State of Wisconsin Department of Vocational, Adult and Technical Education.

Mom was a woman of many passions. Rarely would she miss watching sports -always attending our games and school plays and following the Brewers, Packers, and UW football. She was a Cub Scout den mother, and supported us in tennis, golf, swimming lessons. She loved music and was able to pick out a tune on the piano by ear. The Big Band sound of the forties and Frank Sinatra were a few of her favorites. Her garden was filled with color - purple iris, hydrangea and lilies of the valley. Later in life mom delved into painting, creating beautiful scenes of wildflowers on canvas and glass vases. We will cherish them forever. Winters spent in Clearwater Beach, Fl gave mom and dad great joy.

Helen was preceded in death by her husband of 68 years, Jack; parents Art and Doris Kroncke; and daughter in law Beth. She is survived by her three children, Tom, Chris and Barbara (Bill Kokott); three granddaughters, Kara, Lindsay and Jaimie, and great-granddaughter Payton; and her cat, Callie, who gave her great comfort and unconditional love.

A service will be held at Midvale Lutheran Church, Midvale Blvd on Monday, March 20, with visitation from 10:30 - until the time of the service at noon. A luncheon will follow. A private burial will be held at Resurrection Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, our family would be grateful to receive any photos of our mom we have not seen. If possible, email a copy to

To view and sign this guestbook, please visit:

Ryan Funeral Home & Cremation Services 5701 Odana Road 608-274-1000


20 Mar


10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Midvale Community Lutheran Church 4329 Tokay Blvd Madison, WI 53711 Get Directions »
20 Mar

Funeral Service

12:00 PM

Midvale Community Lutheran Church 4329 Tokay Blvd Madison, WI 53711 Get Directions »
by Obituary Assistant

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  • March 21, 2023

    I'm so sorry to hear about the passing of your mom. I fondly recall so many stories about the adventures and lifelong friendship between her and my mom, Gerry Mickelson. My deepest condolences to all of you.

  • March 21, 2023

    I ❤️ U so much. We worked together @ Bank building @ Hilldale. So many years ago. Nvr forget UR kindness & gentle soul. See U again. W/❤️, Barb Williams.

  • March 20, 2023

    Chris, So sorry to hear about the passing of your amazing mother. Cherish all those loving memories of your childhood and beyond. Treasure and enjoy being with your family at this difficult. See you in the fall, your new tailgate friends - Kathi Russell and Ann Neale

  • March 20, 2023

    Tom, Chris and Barb-Wishing you comfort and peace during this difficult time.Sending love, thoughts, and prayers to you and your family during this tough time. Mary

  • March 19, 2023

    We will dearly miss Helen. Peter Davis and Meaghan Healy

  • March 19, 2023

    Great neighbors are to be cherished. Helen was just such a neighbor of mine for 48 years. She (and Jack) helped raise my 3 kids, helped them get jobs as teenagers, taught them how to drive stick shift, and always had a friendly word to share. Helen will be missed. Peter Davis

  • March 19, 2023

    Barb and family... please accept my condolences and deepest sympathy. It's been many years since we've seen each other. I saw this and had to reach out. I hope all is well otherwise, and I pray for God's peace and comfort at this time.

  • March 18, 2023

    Tom, Chris and Barb, My deepest condolences to your family. I am thankful for knowing Helen and I will cherish memories of her and your dad. May the special memories you have bring you peace and comfort in the days ahead. Phil Stoddard

  • March 18, 2023

    Heartfelt sympathy to all of Helen's family. George Kroncke

  • March 18, 2023

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