Heaven gained a special angel… Patricia Lea Gentry, 80, of Atkinson, IL, peacefully passed into the arms of loved ones in Heaven on Thursday, December 31, 2020. Pat was born on June 3, 1940, the daughter of Otis “Beans” and Evelyn (Hoogerwerf) Bickers, in Geneseo, IL. She was raised in Atkinson and graduated in 1958 from Atkinson High School. She was united in marriage to Richard P. Gentry, on February 6, 1960, at St. Anthony Catholic Church. Patricia was a school bus driver for 38 years for Swanson Bus Service and later, the Geneseo School District. She drove many girls and boys sports teams to games, and was their scorekeeper/stats-keeper, line judge, and their biggest cheerleader. She was “part” of the team when the Atkinson girls’ basketball team went to the State Finals. Pat and Rich were “parents” to many motorcycle boys and dirt bike riders from Atkinson and Geneseo. They took them to races, cheered for them, and fed everyone who came to watch them. She enjoyed watching her grandchildren in soccer, football, baseball, softball, wheelchair basketball, sled hockey, horse shows and barrel races.
When Pat was younger, she loved to barrel race and go on trail rides. She loved people. She was kind and generous and loving. She enjoyed life to the fullest. Her favorite place to be was fishing in Canada with family and friends.
Those left to cherish her memory include her loving husband of 60 years, Richard; sons, Mitch (Lisa) Gentry, of Atkinson, and Nick (Mary Jo) Gentry, of Muskegon, MI; grandchildren, Logan (Kaleena) Gentry, of Payson, IL, Lauren (Shawn Hall) Gentry of Reynolds, IL, Madison, of Grand Rapids, MI, Tanner (Brook Wilde) Gentry, of Muskegon, MI and McKenna Gentry, Muskegon, MI; great-grandson, Myers Gentry, and a great-grand-daughter arriving any day; multiple special friends, and extended family.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Beans and Evelyn Bickers; her mother and father-in-law, Ruth and Ralph Gentry; grandparents; sister-in-law, Connie Edwards; and brothers-in-law, Raymond, and Jack Gentry.
The family would like to thank everyone at Betty’s Garden Memory Care Unit, Compassus Hospice and Circle of Care for the wonderful care given to Pat.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 7, 2021, at St. Anthony Catholic Church, Atkinson. Father S. Stephen Englebrecht will officiate. Visitation will be held on Wednesday, January 6, from 4-7 p.m. at Vandemore Funeral Home – Atkinson Chapel. A Rosary will be recited at 3:30 p.m. Burial will follow at St. Anthony Catholic Cemetery. For the latest COVID policies, contact St. Anthony Catholic Church directly. Memorials may be directed to the Atkinson Fire and Rescue Squad, or Betty’s Garden Memory Care.
Posted online on January 02, 2021