The Richmond Register


July 2, 2014

Richard Lee Gentry, 88

RICHMOND — Richard Lee Gentry, 88, a veteran of World War II, a member of the Richmond Church of Christ, and a resident of the Saint Andrews Retirement Community, died on Tuesday, July 1.

Lee was born February 12, 1926, at Level Green (Rockcastle County), Kentucky, a son of the late Richard and Maude Gentry.

After graduating from high school, he attended Berea College and then joined the U.S. Army Air Corps just before World War II ended. Upon his discharge, he enrolled in Eastern Kentucky University where he earned a B.S. degree in 1948 with a double major in mathematics and physical education. While at Eastern, he met Arevia “Hannah” Weddle, whom he married June 28, 1946. He went on to receive his M.S. in physical education from Eastern and an Ed.D. from the University of Kentucky.

Lee’s teaching career, all in Kentucky, began at Livingston, where he also coached basketball. From Livingston, he moved to East Bernstadt and then to Marion where he was superintendent of schools.

In 1956, the family moved to Frankfort where Lee served as state Supervisor of Health, Safety and Physical Education for eight years. In 1964, President Robert R. Martin recruited him to teach at Eastern Kentucky University. There he primarily supervised student teachers of physical education.

While at Eastern, Lee was an active member of the Kentucky Association for Health, Physical Education and Recreation, serving as secretary/treasurer and president of this organization. He received a Life Membership Award in 1964 and the W. H. Mustaine Award in 1974.

During his 19 years at Eastern, Lee served as the faculty representative on the board of regents and served on the Arlington Board of Directors. He chaired the Department of Physical Education from 1980 until his retirement in 1983. The College of Education inducted Lee Gentry into its Wall of Honor in 2009.

Lee took a leadership role in community affairs before and after his retirement. He spent 18 years on the Richmond Parks and Recreation Board and also helped organize a senior golf league at Arlington. A long-time member of the Richmond Church of Christ, he served as an elder and started the Elderberries program for seniors.

Lee Gentry is survived by: his wife of 68 years, Hannah Weddle Gentry; two daughters, Carol (John) Williams of McKinney, Texas, and Ellen Rini of Richmond; five grandchildren, Gavin (Megan) Williams of Plano, Texas, Zane (Jodi) Williams of McKinney, Texas, Sarah (Philip) Rini Gump of Richmond, Lucy Rini of Frankfort and Woody Rini of Richmond; two great-grandchildren, Buck and Gentry Williams of McKinney, Texas; a sister, Nina Kline of Cincinnati, Ohio; and special friends Earl and Lucille Adams of Danville.

He was preceded in death by: his parents, Richard and Maude Gentry, and five siblings, Billy Gentry, Bobby Gentry, Norma Stevens, Norene Manis and Nellie Ratley.

Pallbearers will be Woody Rini, Gavin Williams, Philip Gump, Chris Collins, Zack Gentry and Ben Taylor.

Honorary pallbearers will be Titus Black, Larry Bond, Tom Brown, Mike Grimes, Jack Hall, Shirley Kearns, Joe Koger, Ron Lawson, Al Morris, Odell Phillips, Byno Rhodes and Jim Stull.

Visitation will be from noon to 4 p.m. Friday, July 4, at the Oldham, Roberts, and Powell Funeral Home.

The funeral will be 12:30 p.m. Saturday, July 5, at the Richmond Church of Christ. Visitation at the church preceding the funeral will begin at 11 a.m. Burial will follow the funeral at the Richmond City Cemetery.

Remembrances in lieu of flowers can be made to: Richmond Church of Christ Vision Fund, 1500 Lancaster Road, Richmond, KY 40475 or the McCready Telford Foundation,  300 Stocker Drive, Richmond, KY 40475.

Condolences may be expressed at


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