October 6, 1915 - December 3, 2019 Mary Etta Hughes Gentry departed this earthly life on Tuesday, December 3rd at the age of 104 years. She was preceded in death by her husband, R. Holton Gentry and daughter, Mary Ann Gentry. Left to cherish her memory are her immediate family Hughes and Sue Gentry, Joe and Kathy Gentry, Geoff Gentry, Beth and Tony Dunsky, Jen and Chris Shields, and Cliff and Amy Gentry. Others who loved her are her only niece on the Hughes side of the family, Joycelyn Arthur and many special relatives from the Gentry side of the family and countless dear friends. Mary Etta was born in Lynchburg, Virginia, graduated from R.J. Reynolds High School and received an education diploma from Appalachian State Teachers College. She taught First Grade for 33 years at King School, King, NC. She loved her students and taught many generations. She looked forward to seeing her former students and listening to their stories. She said she thought like a first grader and she used beautiful first grade printing on everything except her signature. She was recognized as the Teacher of the Year for King Primary School in 1974-75. She was devoted to her church, King Moravian, joining along with her family in 1946. She served in many ways; she was a pianist for Sunday School and Worship during the early years, served on the church board, president of Women's Fellowship, Lifestyle Stewardship chairman, president of Senior Friends, and taught Sunday School for more than 50 years. She was an encourager to all but especially the children in the congregation. She had a long prayer list and people asked to be on it because she prayed faithfully. She read through the Bible many times, covering two chapters a night. Mary Etta loved traveling on trips all over the United States and parts of Europe with family and friends. She enjoyed volunteering for blood drives, with Salvation Army, and the King Fair. She volunteered with King Outreach Ministry from its beginning until she was 102. She liked being busy and wanted to contribute. Her accomplishments included being Stokes County Mother of the Year in 1973, being nominated for Jefferson Award for Extraordinary Public Service in 1998, King Woman of the Year in 1998-99, and Retired Leader of the Year of the King Chamber of Commerce for 2015. The honors were nice but what she was the proudest of was her children and grandchildren. The Celebration of Life will be held at King Moravian Church on Saturday, December 7th. The body will lie in state from 12:00 PM till 1:00 PM when the service will begin. A reception will follow in the church's fellowship hall. The immediate family will attend the burial at God's Acre. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to King Moravian Church General Fund or King Outreach Ministry. The family wishes to thank Priddy Manor, LifeBrite Hospital and Mountain Valley Hospice for their excellent care of Mary Etta. Online condolences may be made at www.hayworth-miller.com. (Hayworth-Miller Rural Hall)
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