Gentry, William A. 1941-2019

William "Bill" Gentry, 78, of St. Joseph, passed away Friday, Aug. 30, 2019.

Born in St. Louis, on May 24, 1941, to Edith and Leonard Gentry, Bill spent his childhood through high school graduation in Montgomery City, Missouri.

An Army veteran, he served in Germany before returning to Jefferson City, to attend Lincoln University.

During this time, he met his wife of 54 years, Merilyn Sue (Cooper).

After marrying, the couple moved to Denver before settling in St. Joseph, where they raised their three children.

Bill spent the majority of his working life at Quaker Oats, dedicating more than 30 years to the company. His in-depth knowledge of the St. Joseph plant led to a position with LifeLine Foods when they took over the building in 2001.

He was a devoted husband, with his love for Sue being obvious to everyone they ever met.

He was a dedicated father, never missing a ballgame, cross country meet, Scout meeting or theater performance.

This devotion continued with the same attention and support for his grandchildren. He enthusiastically sat through countless concerts, soccer games, marching band performances and scholar bowl competitions.

He was deeply proud of his children and grandchildren, and more importantly, let them know that at every turn.

His kindness wasn't limited to family. He was always the first to offer help to others, generous with his time, energy and resources. You could count on him to lend a hand and stay until the job was done.

Bill was preceded in death by his mother, Edith (Poolman) Gentry and father, Leonard Gentry.

He is survived by: his wife, Sue; and their children, William Shane (Cindy), of Shawnee, Kansas, William Michael (Susan), of St. Joseph, and Camela "CeCe" Gannon (Chris), of Kansas City, Missouri; and their special family friend, Marsha Brown Allen (Bob), of Winfield, Missouri, who was lovingly referred to as the "adopted" daughter.

Grandchildren include: Kristy, Ryan, William, Collin and Allison.

He also leaves behind a sister, Nancy Zaagsma, Springfield, Missouri; and a brother, Leo Gentry, Holts Summit, Missouri.

He will be deeply missed by friends and family.

Farewell Services: 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, 2019, Francis Street First United Methodist Church.

Interment will be held at a later date.

The family will gather with friends 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, Meierhoffer Funeral Home & Crematory.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Central High School Theater Department, in care of: Julie Beacon, 2602 Edmond St., St. Joseph MO 64501, or to the Boy Scouts of America (

Online guest book and obituary at As published in the St. Joseph News-Press.