Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian
49 Knox Dr
Lafayette, CA 94549
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John Gentry

1930 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
John Gentry Obituary
John Robert Gentry

March 10, 1930 - February 7, 2018

John Robert Gently passed away on February 7, 2018, peacefully and surrounded by his family. John was a dedicated husband, father, and grandfather, and a trusted advisor to many.

John was born in Fresno County, California in 1930, to Robert and Ethel Gentry. His father was a mechanic for an oil company, and his family moved between several pump stations in the rural San Joaquin Valley. Eventually the family settled in Byron, and John attended Liberty Union High School in Brentwood. John attended Oregon State University on an NROTC Scholarship and was a member of the Delta Chi fraternity. At OSU, he met his future wife, Frances Brown. John was a lifelong fan of Oregon State athletics.

After graduation, John served as Lieutenant in the US Navy. He was deployed on the destroyer minesweeper USS Thompson (DMS-38) at the height of the Korean War. The Thompson took heavy fire and suffered casualties several times during missions off the coast of North Korea and China. The Thompson was featured in several scenes in "The Caine Mutiny".

Upon his return from the war in 1953, John and Fran were married in Portland. They were married on Friday, and Fran graduated on Sunday. After his discharge, the couple moved to the Bay Area. John took graduate courses at UC Berkeley and then became a CPA with John F. Forbes & Co. in San Francisco. He eventually became a partner in the firm. The family settled and raised their children in Hillsborough, where they lived for 30 years. John worked at Forbes & Co. for 31 tax seasons, until the firm merged with KMG Main Hurdman (now KPMG). John then joined the San Francisco investment firm of Stewart & Patten Co. He was a partner at Stewart & Patten for many years, managing investments for many clients from his days at Forbes. Over time, he reduced his workload to focus on family, travel and golf, but he enjoyed weekly visits to the office until just before his passing. John was especially proud to serve for 50 years on the Board of Directors of the Mervyn L. Brenner Foundation, helping to support countless Bay Area charitable organizations.

John had a lifelong passion for golf. He joined The Olympic Club of San Francisco in 1976, and served on the Board of Directors of many other committees over the years. In 1996, John and Fran realized their dream of living on a golf course, moving to the Moraga Country Club. In Moraga, they made many new friends and golf partners, and became active with MCC community. John & Fran loved to travel in pursuit of amazing golf experiences, and his golf career included rounds at Pebble Beach, St. Andrews, Pinehurst, and two holes-in-one.

In the '70's, John and Fran bought a condominium at Monterey Dunes Colony near Moss Landing. He loved to spend weekends at "The Dunes" to relax, hit golf balls on the beach, and enjoy the courses of the Monterey Peninsula. He became active with the homeowners association and made many new friends at the Dunes. The Dunes was always a special place for him to enjoy his family.

Later in his life, John took special pride in his grandchildren. He enjoyed countless baseball, basketball, and volleyball games, family vacations, and holidays with them. He also enjoyed weekly dinners at MCC with the neighborhood "supper club", and monthly luncheons with retired John F. Forbes & Co. friends.

John is survived by his wife of 64 years, Fran, his daughter Dr. Elizabeth St. Lezin (Mark) of Moraga, son Robert (Monica) of Atherton, grandchildren Robert and William St. Lezin, Jordan, Nicholas, and Miles Gentry, his niece Nancy Gentry, nephews Steven and Bruce Gentry, and many loving cousins and friends.

John will always be remembered for his good humor, his ready smile, his sage advice, and his overall excellence as a father, husband, grandfather, and a gentleman.

A memorial service is scheduled for Thursday, March 1st, at 11:30 AM at Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church, 49 Knox Drive, Lafayette. The service will be followed by a reception at the Moraga Country Club, 1600 St. Andrews Drive, Moraga.

Donations may be made in John's memory to The Olympic Club Foundation.


Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Feb. 14, 2018
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