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John D. Kent died on April 23, 2013 of a brief illness.
He was born in Chipley, Florida on November 17, 1919. He was a 93 year old disabled military veteran who was very proud of his service, originally joining the U.S. Army at Fort Benning, Georgia during the WWII era and then transferred to the U.S. Air Force, from which he retired as a Master Sergeant. He worked with the medical group and also in administration. His duty sent him to Europe where he spent time in Germany, Italy and England. In Italy, he met his wife of over 60 years, Dinah Machetta, who precedes him in death. John had an amazing memory with great attention to detail. He related very interesting information from his past years of growing up on the farm and life during the depression. He was very grateful for the Leadership of Pres. Roosevelt during those years.
As a young man he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps in order to find work before he was old enough to enlist in the Army. He was so young looking that his parents had to sign the forms so that his age could be verified. During his life, he was thoughtful of others and was a kind, gentle, Christian man. He was a member of Youngstown Baptist Church serving as a past Deacon and Sunday School Teacher. He belonged to Harry Jackson Masonic Lodge (Hiland Park) and was a past master. As well as belonging to the Shrine and the Fraternal Orders of the White Shrine and Amaranth. He was a past president of the parliamentary club and served as a trustee on the Board of Gulf Coast Electric Cooperative.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Jarous R. Kent and Minnie Lee Swails; one brother and five sisters.
His survivors include three daughters, Suzanne St. Angelo Tipps (William "Rusty") of Fountain, Cheryl Rutherford of Fountain, Anita Tanksley (John) of Columbus, MS. He has four grandchildren, Diane St. Angelo of Panama City, Vicki Shawn Hallman, Lori Paone, all of Columbus, MS, Christi Northcutt, of Greensboro, AL. He has six great grandchildren and five great great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister-in-law, Carla Re, husband Vittorio and son, Alfredo of Novarra, Italy; former son-in-law, Paul St. Angelo; special nephew, Burton Kent (Martha) of Chipley, Florida; niece, Jerri Pate of Tallahassee, Florida.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday in the Wilson Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Virgil Tillman officiating. Interment will follow in Evergreen Memorial Gardens with full military honors. The family will receive friends at the funeral home on Saturday from 1 – 2 p.m. prior to the service. The family would like to give a word of appreciation to special friends, Essie Lee Barnes, Rose Campbell, and Cynthia Barfield for their help and kindness. Also, our dear neighbor who always said "yes" when asked to help, Eleanor Hazen. Special thanks to Bill and Sharron Gatch for all of their help.
Wilson Funeral Home
Family Owned Since 1911
214 Airport Road
Panama City, Fla.
Wilson Funeral Home - Panama City
214 Airport Road Panama City, FL 32405
Published in Panama City News Herald on Apr. 26, 2013