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Brenda (Brandon) Gentry

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Brenda (Brandon) Gentry Obituary
Brenda Brandon Gentry

AGE: 71 • Wilmington

Brenda Brandon Gentry, 71, of Wilmington, Del., died peacefully in her sleep at her family-filled home Sunday morning, Nov. 1, after a short final battle in her longer fight with cancer.

The daughter of Arthur E. and Kitty Walker Brandon, Brenda was born in Roxboro, N.C., on May 19, 1944. She graduated from Roxboro High School and Croft Business College before tackling what was to become her true calling in life, raising a family of four boys, five if you include her husband.

Brenda and Michael Gentry began dating in 1957. His eighth grade prom was their first formal date. On June 27, 1964, Brenda caved in and married Michael. They went on to have four sons, raising them first in Grifton, N.C., before moving north in 1981 to Wilmington after Michael accepted a transfer with DuPont.

Brenda spent the next 34 years of her life helping her boys become men and her man become a better version of himself. It was far from easy but she tackled the task like she did everything -- with faith, hope, grace and love.

Brenda loved her friends and treated her sons' friends as if they were also sons and the daughters she didn't have. She made their home the place to be.

But in the last 25 years or so, her sons and husband had to make way for the grandkids as Mama became Mammy to four granddaughters and one grandson. She relished the role. Brenda loved having sleepovers and especially liked hearing the grands talking and laughing in their room when they were supposed to be sleeping.

Brenda enjoyed family gatherings. The annual family vacation trip home to North Carolina's Outer Banks for a week was one of the things she always looked forward to planning.

Brenda could whistle loud enough that her boys could hear her three streets over. She could cook like a five star chef, but it would be food that you would truly enjoy eating. And she could roll her tongue. A minor ability, sure, but one which she would gladly show because she was that kind of person.

Brenda is survived by her husband of more than 51 years, Michael; their four sons, Jeffrey (Natalie Guiberson) of Chesapeake City, Md., Stephen of Newark, Del., Russell (Wendy Evans) of Middletown, Del., and Brandon of Earleville, Md.; five grandchildren, Kayla, Shannen, Trevor, Emily and Autumn; and a cousin who was really more like a sister, Betsy Howerton Kidd of Newnan, Ga.

Brenda was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Tony M. Brandon, all of Roxboro, N.C.

A Celebration of Brenda's Life will be held Thursday, Nov. 12, at 5:30 p.m. at Arsht Hall, 2700 Pennsylvania Avenue Wilmington, Del. Family will greet visitors from 5:30 - 6:30 and a short service will be held at 6:30 with continued fellowship to follow. Dress is casual. Brenda was a casual person and the Gentry boys aren't sure if they remember how to tie a tie and can't fit into the last suits they wore.

Brenda always said she wanted her flowers while she was alive and could enjoy them, not after she died. The family suggests in lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Brenda's honor to the Ronald McDonald House of Delaware, the Food Bank of Delaware's Culinary School or a .

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Published in The News Journal from Nov. 8 to Nov. 10, 2015
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