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Jack T. Gentry


Jack T. Gentry Obituary
Jack T. Gentry, 82, died at his home in Springfield, Missouri, Saturday, September 23, 2006. He was born in Kansas City, Kansas, December 6, 1923, son of Rose (Adlesh) Gentry and Dewey Gentry, who preceded him in death. Jack graduated from Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kansas. He entered junior college, and the day after his 18th birthday, Pearl Harbor was bombed. He knew immediately that plans for his future would change. Jack enlisted in the Navy in June 1942 and served as a Naval Aviator with the U.S. Marine Corps in the South Pacific. He was released from active duty in January 1945 as a 1st Lieutenant. Upon release from the military, Jack enrolled in the Forestry School at the University of Montana. While there, he met Ann Kern, who was completing her last semester. They married in July 1946 and Jack transferred to the Montana School of Mines in Butte, Montana, where he graduated in 1950 with a degree in Metallurgical Engineering. After 18 months, Jack was recalled to the Korean War. He was stationed at Kaneohe Marine Base, Oahu, Hawaii, where he served as adjutant and a personnel officer. While there he was promoted to Captain. Returning to civilian life, Jack accepted a job with Minneapolis Honeywell in Phoenix, Arizona, and later joined Litton Industries in Van Nuys, California. Within three years, Jack was promoted to General Manager and Executive Vice President, with responsibility over United States Engineering Company, Winchester Electronics and the Advanced Circuitry Division, all units of Litton Industries. In 1964, he brought the Advanced Circuitry Division to Springfield. Two years later, Jack embarked on his lifelong dream when he retired from Litton Industries and started his own company, Positronic Industries. Today, Positronic Industries, with more than 1,000 employees in nine manufacturing locations worldwide, is known for its high quality, high performance electronic connectors used by the world's premier avionics, defense, computer and telecommunications equipment manufacturers. Jack believed he should give back to the community. He was appointed by President Reagan as a member of the Industry Sector Advisory Committee V, which establishes policy for imports and exports for electronic components. He served as Secretary of the International ElectroTechnical Commission, IEC. This international organization develops worldwide standards for electronic equipment. He was a United States Technical Advisor for committees serving the Electromechanical Group for the IEC. He served as Chairman of the Rectangular Connector Committee for the Electronic Industries Association. He was a member of the National Association of Manufacturers Presidents. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Drury University, a member of the Board of Directors of UMB Bank Financial Corporation, a member of the Board of Directors of Springfield City Utilities and founder and President of the Southwest Area Manufacturers Association, SAMA. He was proud of his involvement with SAMA, which gives small manufacturers in Southwest Missouri a stronger voice in their community. After 13 years, SAMA membership has grown to more than 150 member companies representing the voices of over 13,000 employees. He is survived by his wife, Ann Kern Gentry. His children are Dr. Kathleen Gentry, Crested Butte, Colo.; Suzan Gentry Sullivan, Springfield, Mo.; Jill Gentry Owen, Houston, Texas; John Gentry, Springfield, Mo.; and Bill Gentry, Singapore. His grandchildren are Scott Landrum, Lee Owen, Andi Owen, Jenna Owen, Chase Owen, John Gentry, Jr., Ben Gentry, Amy Gentry, Nick Gentry, Alex Gentry, and one great-grandson, Devon Landrum. Other survivors are his sister, Darlene Gentry Borris, Fullerton, Calif.; his niece, Cheryl Borris Morenc, Fullerton, Calif.; his nephew, The Honorable Thomas Borris, Huntington Beach, Calif.; and surviving cousins. Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, September 28, 2006, at Gorman-Scharpf Funeral Home, 1947 E. Seminole. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, September 29, at Kings Way United Methodist Church, 2401 S. Lone Pine, with Rev. Charles Buck officiating. A reception will follow at the church. A military service will be held at 2 p.m. at Missouri Veterans Cemetery, 5201 Southwood Road. Jack had heartfelt feelings for his many business associates and Positronic Industries employees who offered him their friendship and trust. His family hopes he touched their lives as they certainly touched his. His family would also like to thank Community Hospice and Access Home Health for their professional services. Memorial contributions may be made to 'A World of Difference,' a charity directed by Dr. Kathleen Gentry, providing literacy and development programs to impoverished Cambodian women as well as dental care to Cambodian orphans; c/o UMB Bank, 1150 E. Battlefield Rd., Springfield, MO 65807, or to Community Hospice, 1465 E. Primrose, Suite A, Springfield, MO 65804, or to a charity of your choice.

Published in the News-Leader on Sept. 27, 2006
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