Funeral services for Joan Starkey Gentry, 87, of Coalgate, Oklahoma, previously a longtime resident of Brown County, Texas will be held 10 a.m. Monday, March 27, 2017 at the Heartland Funeral Home in Early. Interment will follow in the Trickham Cemetery. The family will receive friends 6 to 7 p.m. today at the funeral home. She passed away Wednesday, March 22, 2017 in Coalgate.
Joan was born on Oct. 30, 1929 in Brown County to Ruben E. and Bessie Tongate Starkey. She was a beloved daughter, sister, mother, grandmother and great grandmother. She attended school in Brownwood and was married to the love of her life, Sammy Gentry on March 1, 1947, who preceded her in death in July 1989.
Joan enjoyed working as a teller for Citizens National Bank. Alongside her husband, Joan ranched and raised cattle, sheep and goats, which she successfully continued after his death. She loved working hard, whether it was picking pecans, working livestock, or tending her yard and garden. Joan and her husband also operated and opened the first coin operated laundry mats in San Angelo, Abilene and later Brownwood. Joan was very involved in her community and numerous organizations, including, Texas Cattle Women, NRCS Committee, as well as Salt Creek Baptist Church. Joan was a very talented seamstress and loved sewing, knitting and quilting. She also enjoyed canning and cooking, she could warm your heart with a good home cooked meal and dessert.
Joan will always be remembered for her amazing outlook on life. She was always upbeat and enjoyed getting things done. She could accomplish more in the morning before most folks had even started the day. Her love, compassion, and dedication will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
Survivors include her daughters, Debra Price and husband Bill of Quanah; Donna Downen and husband Ewing of Coalgate, Oklahoma; grandchildren, Emery Downen of Coalgate, Oklahoma, Elizabeth Witt and husband Ryan of Antlers, Oklahoma; great-granddaughters, Avery Witt and Harper Witt; and sister, Jean Green and husband Don of Lincoln, Nebraska. She is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.
Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband of 42 years, Delbert Samuel Gentry; sisters, Melba Baker and husband Earl, Doris Holaman and husband Leeland, and Mary Tatum and husband Joe David; and brother, Travis Starkey and wife Ina Vee.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at www.alz.org, P.O. Box 96011, Washington, DC 20090-6011 or to the National Parkinson’s Foundation at www.parkinson.org, 200 SE 1st St, Ste. 800, Miami, FL 33131.
Online condolences may be left for the family at heartlandfuneralhome.net.