Troy University lost its oldest alumna on record with the passing of Mary Griffin Gentry, 112, in Aliceville. Mrs. Gentry, a native of Henry County, attended then-Troy Normal School in 1918-1920.
Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr., had known Mrs. Gentry since 1979 when he assumed the presidency of the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind in Talladega. Mrs. Gentry lived in Talladega for 50 years, where her husband E.H. Gentry served as an administrator and later president at AIDB.
“Mary Gentry was a gracious Southern lady who embodied the best values of her generation,” Dr. Hawkins said. “She loved her family, her church and her community. Mrs. Gentry lived a life of service to others. She was proud of her association with this University and we’re proud that Mrs. Gentry was a member of the TROY family.”
Mrs. Gentry remained active in the Talladega community well into her 90s, giving up the keys to her Chevrolet—which had no power steering—when she was almost 95, according to her daughter Anne Johnson Cody. Mrs. Gentry lived in her home in Talladega past the age of 105 and spent her last years in assisted living in Anniston and at the home of her son Dr. James H. Gentry in Aliceville.
In addition to her two children, Mrs. Gentry is survived by 10 grandchildren, 31 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. Services were held Oct. 10, at the First Baptist Church of Aliceville.