Sonny Gentry, 72

Robert Earl “Sonny” Gentry, age 72 of Mendon, died Thursday Oct. 29, 2009 at his home with family at his side. He was born in Three Rivers on Dec. 12, 1936 the son of the late John Ray and Mary Ovella (Crow) Gentry. Sonny graduated from Mendon High School with the class of 1956, and later served in the U.S. Army. He was married to Darlene Johnson on Oct. 6, 1956 in Angola, IN. They resided in the Bristol, IN area before returning to Mendon 23 years ago.

Sonny was a mechanic at Hull Lift Truck in Elkhart for over 20 years, and was most recently employed at Car Quest in Sturgis. He was an outdoorsman and was usually accompanied by his faithful dog, Brewster. He enjoyed working on classic cars and watching NASCAR racing.

Sonny is survived by his wife, Darlene; 4 children, Becky Shafer of Mongo, IN, Julie Gentry of Osceola, IN, Mark Gentry (Mary) of Osceola, IN, and John Gentry (Genevieve) of White Pigeon; 8 grandchildren; 7 great-grandchildren; 3 brothers, Ron Gentry of Mendon, Doug Gentry (Pat) of Casa Grande, AZ, and Terry Gentry (Karla) of Schoolcraft; 4 sisters, Bessie Jones of South Bend, Violet Spence of Mendon, Mary Patterson (Tom) of Gatesville, TX, and Sharon Rial (Sam) of Colon; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; and a sister, Althea.

The family will receive friends from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday Oct. 31, 2009 at the Eickhoff Funeral Home in Mendon. Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Saturday at the funeral home with Rev. Barbara Van Eck, Chaplain of Borgess VNA & Hospice officiating. Cremation will follow services and a private interment will take place later. The family suggests that memorials be directed to the Animal Rescue Fund. An online register is available at

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