CENTERBURG — William Robert Gentry passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his family on Thursday, April 18, 2019.
He is survived by a whole cast of characters; his partners in life, Bill and Debbie See; progeny, Jenelle See-Wickham and her better half Joshua; tiny protector, Guinevere Wickham; sister from another mister, Cathy Mabry and her love Tom Stofac; his special dad, Gerald Mabry; and loving nieces and nephews, Mike, Brooke, Bill and Ray See, Joanna Skillings and Brian Loney, Chet and Brooke Skillings. Will is also survived by his extended Mobile family; Mickey and Shelia Parish and their children Chad, Lori and Megan; several siblings, Gina Gentry, Billie (Alan) Grimes, Race (Leann) Gentry, Shari Adams, Marsha Steverson Eason; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Rick Gentry.
Although Will lived a less than average life span, he certainly didn’t live an average life. He was born on Oct. 27, 1959, in Mobile, Alabama, and grew up in a children’s home that he would forever call “The Home.” He did not let his life define him, he defined his life.
Will graduated from William Carey University with a degree in music education and a Master’s Degree in Spanish. After he graduated from college at the age of 20, he went back to “The Home” to work with handicapped and abused children. He taught Spanish throughout numerous high schools in Mobile and was a Spanish professor at Auburn University. In the quest for adventure and his passion for service, Will lived in Granada, Spain, where he did missionary work. During all these adventures, Will sang in numerous choirs and his voice was pure joy. In the late 1990s – 2011 he taught Spanish at Centerburg High School.
A true Renaissance man, he traveled the world and always was looking to discover new things. His love of antiques started at a young age, when friends in Mobile would give him antiques to research. He could never pass a thrift store without stopping to find treasures. On any given weekend you could find Will at the Centerburg Antique store hanging out with his friend Larry. He found so many treasurers over the years that he filled a few hangars and houses.
Will always stood up for what he believed in and supported his students. When no one else went to the park, he did. Whether they were students in a classroom or in life, he was committed to making a connection. One of his students recently shared that Señor Will cared about making the world a better place and he most certainly did leave it better than when he found it.
A Goodwill Celebration of life will be held at Chapman Memorial Airport in Centerburg on May 18 at 3 p.m. All are welcome to come and celebrate the amazing human that was Señor Gentry.
In lieu of flowers, Will asked that you do something kind today for a stranger and pay it forward.
Condolences at www.morelandfuneralhome.com.