Dr. James N. Trentalange of Stuart, Fla., passed away peacefully at home with family by his side on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, 2021. He was 82 years old.
He was born on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2, 1939, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, N.Y., to Dr. James G. Trentalange and Ellen (Ianziti) Trentalange. He attended St. Anselm’s Catholic School and Brooklyn Prep until the family moved to Garden City, Long Island, in 1952. Following the family’s move to Garden City, Jim attended Chaminade High School, Class of ’56, in Mineola, where he formed many lifelong friendships.
Following graduation from Chaminade, Jim attended Georgetown College, where, after only two years, he was accepted to the Georgetown University School of Dentistry graduating Class of 1962. Upon completion of dental school, Dr. Trentalange entered the U.S. Army Dental Corps as first lieutenant, serving from 1962 to 1964, attaining the rank of Captain.
Returning to his beloved Garden City, Jim married, started a family and worked with his father, Dr. James G. Trentalange, while he pursued his master’s in orthodontics at Fairleigh Dickinson University, graduating with his M.S.D. in 1967.
Dr. Trentalange joined and expanded his father’s orthodontic practice in Garden City, moving the practice to his home and eventually taking over upon his father’s retirement. He was an attending dentist at Winthrop University Hospital and Nassau County Medical Center.
Dr. Trentalange became a beloved fixture in Garden City, creating hundreds of beautiful smiles, coaching the Garden City Rams and actively participating in St. Joseph’s Parish Council and Chaminade alumni events, including the inaugural Chaminade golf and tennis outing.
In 1980 Jim married Susan (Higgiston) Viault and they combined their seven children, adding to the family an eighth of their own in 1981. Family was always the true love of his life and Jim was so proud of all the children and the 15 grandchildren they have produced!
Dr. Trentalange, known to his friends and family as “Doc,” was a gregarious character who was never too shy to look in a stranger’s mouth and let them know he could improve their smile. He was adored by his family and friends and was often the center of attention at family gatherings and other events, where he would recall stories of his youth in Brooklyn, his high school and college years as well as the fun times he had at the golf club. Amongst his friends he could be heard singing the praises of his children and grandchildren.
Doc’s other well-known love was golf. He was known for often admitting he only straightened teeth and played golf. Doc held longtime memberships in the Garden City Golf Club and the North Fork Country Club in Cutchogue, N.Y., where he and his wife, Susie, maintained a second home and where they relocated the family in 1986, while still maintaining his orthodontic practice in Garden City until 2001.
Dr. Trentalange opened an orthodontic practice in Cutchogue in 2000, retiring in 2016. He was president of the Cutchogue Chamber of Commerce and one of the founders of the Cutchogue St. Patrick’s Day parade. He was also very active in keeping the little North Fork Catholic School (Our Lady of Mercy) open for an extended 10 years.
From 2005 to 2012 Dr. Trentalange became a clinical instructor for orthodontic dental residents at St. Barnabas Hospital in the Bronx.
In 2017 Jim and Susie moved to Stuart, Fla., where they enjoyed an active retirement and made many wonderful new friends.
Dr. Trentalange is survived by his wife of 40 years, Susie (Susan Higgiston); children Diana Trentalange Johnson (Kenn), Dr. James W. Trentalange (Leslie), Michael Trentalange (Barbara), Mark Trentalange (Heather Merrigan), Lisa Nemschick (Raymond), Deborah Murtaugh (David Murphy), Russell Viault (Leah) and Patrick Trentalange LCSW-C (Katelyn); and in true “Doc” fashion, love for Stephanie Alongi and Hunter Murtaugh, former daughter- and son-in-law; as well as his 15 grandchildren, who brought great joy to his life: Lena, Walt, Sam, Flynn, Richard, Perran, James, Georgia, Nora, Charlotte, Mia, Kate, Liv, Gavin and Liam; and sisters Lea Carlon (Joe), Ellie Fischetti (Joe) and Mary Trentalange (Tom). He was predeceased by his sisters Christine Kane (Ray) and Lynne Torre (Frank). Dr. Trentalange is also survived by numerous loving nieces and nephews and many longtime friends.
Due to COVID restrictions, a celebration of “Doc’s” life is planned for this summer in Cutchogue. Memorial donations may be made to Chaminade High School in Mineola, N.Y.
Funeral arrangements were handled by Martin Funeral Home Crematory in Stuart, Fla.
This is a paid notice.