Michael J. Gentile

PORTLAND – Michael J. Gentile, a lifelong Mainer and respected member of Maine’s legal community for more than 50 years, died on Oct. 19, 2022. He was 81 years old.

Michael dedicated his life to the law. He was a versatile attorney and skilled negotiator whose knowledge, counsel, and commonsense approach was sought by clients, judges, and lawyers statewide, keeping him at the forefront of Maine business and real estate law since he began his career in 1968. He loved working with businesses large and small, and played an integral role in the purchase and sale of a diverse group of Maine businesses and holdings, from grocery stores and auto dealerships to cable television companies, power production facilities, and ski resorts. In addition to his prominent work as an attorney, Michael was a former judge of probate for Franklin County and was active in the implementation of Maine’s new Probate Code when it was adopted in 1980.

Passionate about public service and making contributions to Maine communities, Michael counseled several Maine municipalities on all aspects of municipal issues and worked for Pine Tree Legal Assistance. In a 1968 landmark case, Michael’s class action suit on behalf of one client resulted in a special statutory three judge Federal court declaring Maine’s debtor collection process unconstitutional, leading to the statewide elimination of debtor prisons.

Born and raised in Auburn, Michael attended Edward Little High School and graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in mathematics before serving as a second lieutenant and artillery officer in the U.S. Army at Thule Air Force Base in Greenland. When he returned to the United States, he earned his law degree at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

An active member of many Maine communities, Michael was a former member of the Jay Planning Board and Maine State Bar Association’s Title Standards Committee. He is a former Trustee of Franklin Memorial Hospital, serving two years as Chairman. Outside his life in the law, Michael had a farm in Jay where he raised sheep and other animals. He was a former member of Maine Sheepbreeders Association.

Michael was a partner at the prominent law firm Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau, and Pachios for more than three decades. He was a member of the Oxford County, Franklin County, and Maine State Bar Associations. In addition, he has been admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court for nearly 30 years.

Michael made a lasting mark on Maine law and business, and leaves behind a large network of colleagues and friends who fondly remember his many personal and professional contributions to Maine communities.

Memories may be shared in his Book of Memories at http://www.wilesrc.com. Cremation care has been provided by the Wiles Remembrance Center of Farmington.

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