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Jesse Charles Kent Jr.

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BURLINGTON - Jesse Charles Kent Jr. of 1905 Woodhue Drive, Burlington, N.C. (formerly of Tarboro), passed away July 17 in his home after a lingering illness.
He was a retired auditor with the N.C. State Utilities Commission in Raleigh, N.C. He was also retired from the City of Tarboro and maintained his own business in accounting and tax service until he moved to Burlington in 2007. He was born on Feb. 9, 1923 to the late Jesse Charles and Lizzie Deal Kent.
He was preceded in death by his loving wife, Margaret; daughter, Jinx Perrou and husband Bruzz; grandson, Tony Perrou; brothers, Levy, J. Van, and John Kent; and a sister, Esther Coker.
Kent is survived by three children, Carol Story (Sam), Marion Kent (Tammy), and Susan Smith (Deryl); grandchildren, Tina Brown (Robbie), Mary Chester (Greg), Margaret Ann Pryor (Jimmy), Grace Creech, Charles Kent (Mary), Jessica Kent, Rob Crisp (Amanda) and Sarah Crisp; stepgrandchildren, Ashley Rowe (Jamie), Trey Story, Sid Williams and Blair Scott (David); eight great-grandchildren; a brother, William Kent (Dot); a sister, Addie Harris; sisters-in-law, Betty Ruth Kent, Hazel and Betsy Freuler; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Kent was a veteran of World War II and served in the U.S. Army as a member of the 737th Tank Battalion under General George S. Patton. He received basic training at Ft. Lewis, Washington in 1943 and embarked on the S.S. Exchange overseas from Camp Miles Standish, Boston, Mass. in February 1944. Kent fought in such major campaigns as the Battle of the Bulge, the Battle of Mortain and the Invasion of Normandy, landing on Omaha Beach.
Serving as Communications Sergeant, Kent and his battalion fought in five successful campaigns which included Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, and Central Europe. His unit, referred to as Patton's Spearheaders, received 22 commendations from higher headquarters and was awarded two Distinguished Service Crosses, 22 Silver Stars, 188 Bronze Stars, and over 400 Purple Hearts, two Croix de Guerre and a Presidential Citation for action and victory at Mortain, France. Kent's personal medals and citations include the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, French Croix de Guerre, Presidential Citation, and the Army Occupation Medal.
After being honorably discharged from the Army in 1945, at the end of the war, Kent returned home to Tarboro where he joined the Army National Guard achieving the rank of Command Sergeant Major in 1967. During his service in the National Guard, Kent was awarded the Armed Forces Reserve Medal, the Armed Forces Reserve Components Achievement Medal, and the N.C. National Guard State Award and continued serving his country for over 40 years. His service to his country, defending its honor and freedom, was among his proudest accomplishments in life and he continued to attend his yearly Tank Battalion reunions through June 2011, visiting his buddies and swapping war stories.
Kent was a member of First Baptist Church of Tarboro, where he served as a Deacon, choir member, Sunday School Teacher, and on numerous committees. He was a member of the VFW and a Gideon. Kent will continue to be loved and remembered for his cooking, playing the harmonica, his witty stories and jokes and his love of westerns.
His family wishes to thank Hospice of Alamance-Caswell, especially Loudell King, Tammy Deal, Kim Miles, Carolyn Burrus and his CNAs. A special thank you to Johnnie Wright, Lee Davis and Karen Mann for their loving care and many acts of kindness during his illness.
A funeral service will be held at First Baptist Church, Tarboro, at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 21, 2013, with visitation in the sanctuary one hour prior to the service.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to First Baptist Church Choir, 500 Main Street, Tarboro, NC or to Hospice and Palliative Care of Alamance-Caswell, 918 Chapel Hill Road, Burlington, NC 27215.
Rich & Thompson Funeral and Cremation Service in Burlington submitted local information.

Published in TheTimesNews.com from July 18 to July 19, 2013
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