Harold “Dean” Gentry, age 76, son of Earl Elmer and Amelia Marie (Goldsberry) Gentry, was born Sept. 28, 1935, on the family farm in the White Rock Community. He passed away Nov. 21, 2011, at Texas County Memorial Hospital in Houston, Mo.
Dean was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen (McGownd) Gentry; one daughter, Deborah Sue; and one son, Gary Dean, and wife, Brenda, all of Houston, Mo.; three grandchildren and one great-grandchild, Jerad Dean and wife, Brandi, and their daughter, Nova Lynn, of Houston, Mo.; Jena Lee Yotter and husband, Ryan, of Lee’s Summit, Mo.; Janell Lynn and fiancé, Doug Mills Jr., of Houston, Mo.; twin brother, Darrel “Gene” and wife, Jackie; brother, Robert “Bob” Earl, and wife, Pat, all of Houston, Mo.; sister, Betty White, and husband, Paul, of Coffeyville, Kan.; and sister, Bonnie, of Ozark, Mo..
Dean married Mary Ellen on May 18, 1957, at the Church of Christ in Houston, Mo. They enjoyed 54 wonderful years together.
Dean had a passion for building and construction from a very young age. He began helping local farmers and contractors doing small projects, such as milk barns, around the White Rock Community.
In 1960, Dean and Mary Ellen established Gentry Construction Co. Dean operated the company and Mary Ellen supported him as his bookkeeper. The company started out building houses and churches in the surrounding community. As the years went on, gradually the company began doing larger projects and commercial work. In the fall of 1999, the company became a corporation and continued to expand. The company is still thriving and growing under the leadership of Dean’s son, Gary, and grandson, Jerad. To this day more than 260 projects have been completed.
Dean’s love for farming started with his grandparents and continued through the generations. He was an active member in the FFA chapter at Houston High School, where he graduated in 1953. He won many awards while participating in the FFA. Dean bought his first farm just outside the city limits of Houston, Mo., in the early 1970s and raised beef cattle for nearly 30 years. That same farm is still a Gentry beef cattle operation today. One of Dean’s greatest loves was watching his son and grandson follow his passion of building and farming.
Dean took his stand for the Lord when he was baptized into Christ nearly 55 years ago. He was very active in the services at the Highway 17 Church of Christ in Houston, Mo. He was ordained as an elder more than 25 years ago. In 1981, Dean’s construction company built the Church of Christ building on Highway 17.
Dean was an active member on various boards within the community, such as the First National Bank board, the park board and the Houston Development Co.
Dean was a big sports fan. He enjoyed watching Lady Bear basketball on television. He especially enjoyed watching his granddaughter, Janell, play volleyball. Some of his hobbies included collecting various baseball cards, old coins and carnival glass. He enjoyed spending evenings looking through his collections.
Dean was a big supporter of the community. He could always be found at various community events and benefits. He was known by many people, especially his family, for his giving nature.
Dean lived a full and blessed life. He was a wonderful husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and friend. His faith in God, hard work ethic and generosity made him the man that he was. He is loved and missed by all who knew him.
Services are 1 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 23, at Evans Funeral Home, Houston. Ministers Allen Bailey and Don Pruitt will officiate. Burial is in Pine Lawn Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to the Houston FFA chapter.