David Lee Gentry, 76, faded off into his final sunset in life on Wednesday, June 2, 2021, at home in Paris, TX, after a short battle with cancer.
David was born on November 20, 1944, to his parents, Delbert Lee Gentry and Jewel Juanita Gustin Gentry, in Hugo, OK. He attended school in Hugo until the family moved to California for a short time. Upon returning to Hugo, David graduated from Hugo High School in 1963. David had enlisted in the US Army On September 13, 1962, and served till honorably discharged in November, 1966, with the rank of Sargeant. He then accepted an assignment to become a commissioned officer and served in the US Army Reserves until his retirement on January 9, 1989, after 26 years, 4 months and 3 days service holding the rank of Major in the infantry. David was fortunate to have served his entire military career stateside, but always told us that he had trained many a young soldier that went to Viet Nam that he never got to see come home. David served his country with pride and to the best of his ability and said one of his biggest highlights of his career was being the host Chief for the base visit by the WWII 5-star General Omar Bradley while he was stationed at a base in San Antonio, Texas.
Education and teaching were very important to David, he had almost 34 years of service in Oklahoma and 13 years of service in Texas before his health forced him to retire. David served in many capacities throughout his education career some of which included being a high school teacher and VICA sponsor in Durant, Ok, high school principal at Ft. Towson, Ok, Adult Education Coordinator in Ponca City, Ok, Business Technology Teacher at Paris, Tx and back to a school room teacher shortly before his retirement in 2012. David always had an insatiable yearning to learn, so after graduating from Southeastern State University, he continued to build his education resume at Central State University, Oklahoma State University, Pioneer Vo-tech and numerous online courses to keep and expand his credentials and to keep abreast of the latest technologies.
David was multifaceted in his work resume through the years beyond education and the military. Some of his jobs included working as a butcher at a slaughterhouse, construction concrete framer, real estate salesman and broker, computer technician and salesman, life insurance salesman as well as a long-haul truck driver for JB Hunt. David also served on many different civic organizations throughout his career, including: Elks Lodge, VFW, American Legion, Ponca City Chamber of Commerce, Paris Chamber of Commerce, Ponca City Real Estate Multi-listing as well as many others.
David was an exceptional baseball player through high school and played Pony league in Hugo before leaving for the military. He also enjoyed tennis and later after moving to Ponca City, enjoyed going snow skiing with the Buller family and friends. David also had a love of cars that was instilled in him while working at his dad’s automotive shop. He cherished several that he owned: a 1957 Chevrolet Bel- Aire 2 door hardtop, a 1963 split-window Corvette stingray and a 1977 Pontiac Trans- Am ‘Smokey and the Bandit’ special.
David married Alice Fay Roebuck on December 7, 1966, and to this union were born two sons, Chris Gentry and Eric Gentry. They were divorced in 1990 shortly before David moved back to Hugo, Ok, to care for his ailing mother Jewel.
After his mother passed, David moved to Paris, Tx, and renewed a friendship from high school with Irma Woodruff and her son, Brien White. Irma and Brien became David’s second family and were with him till his final days at home. Irma and her son were such a blessing to David and Irma was his primary caretaker once his health began to fail.
David is survived by his two brothers, Leonard Gentry and Kenneth Gentry, both of Hugo, Ok, his two sons, Chris and wife Sylvia Gentry of Ponca City, Ok, and Eric Gentry of Plano, Tx, and Irma Woodruff and son Brien White of Paris, Tx. David also had eight grandchildren: Candrick, Christian, Caleb and wife Kayla, Corey and Stephanie Gentry all of Ponca City, Ok, and Emilee and Hannah Gentry of Durant, Ok, and Madison Gentry of Lancaster, Tx. David also had two great-grandchildren, Theodore and Acadian Gentry, both of Ponca City, Ok. He also had two nephews and a niece- Brian, Heath and Nikki Gentry.
David was preceded in death by both parents, Delbert and Jewel, one sister, Carolyn Gentry, two infant siblings and his ex-wife, Alice.
Cremation is being handled by Fry & Gibbs Funeral Home in Paris, Tx, and David will be interned at the Grant Cemetery in Grant, Ok, next to his mother, sister and infant sibling.