Gentry, Alton Eugene (Dalton)

Saturday, November 25, 2017
Alton Eugene Gentry
Alton Eugene Gentry

Alton Eugene Gentry, known by most as “Big Al”, 69, of Dalton, Georgia, departed this life on Thursday, November 23, 2017 at St. Thomas Hospital in Nashville. 

Alton was born in Cartersville, Ga. on May 6, 1948.  He was the only son of his late parents, Jeff Wilburn and Lula Mae Popham Gentry.  Along with his parents he was also preceded in death by his only sister, Lois “LoLo” Gentry. 

He was a deacon at the Church of God of the Union Assembly.  Alton was also one of the original members of The Trailblazers gospel singing group. 

Alton was blessed by the Lord with a great family.  He was a devoted family man and served as the rock for all of those who loved him.  In reality, he lived what he sang, he lived a true Christian life.  Alton never met a stranger and a sense of humor he kept until the end of his life.  Alton loved to fish, hunt, and loved sports.  In need of a kidney transplant in 2005, his own wife, Donna, donated a kidney to her dear husband. 

Alton is survived by his loving wife to whom he was married to for over 48 years, Donna Elaine Jenkins Gentry; sons and daughters-in-law, LaDane and Beatrice Gentry of Rocky Face, Joel and Megan Gentry of Dalton; daughters and sons-in-law, Denetra and Shane Sowder, Ashley and Wayne McBrayer of Ooltewah; grandchildren, Devin Gentry, Andrew and Adam Sowder, Audrey, Maddox, and Owen McBrayer; and of course, many other dear friends also survive. 

A service to celebrate the life of Alton Gentry will be held on Sunday, Nov. 26, at 3 p.m. from the Church of God of the Union Assembly with Reverend Charlie Pratt, Reverend Pratt Hughes, and Reverend Stoney Kiser officiating.  Music will be provided by Phil Barker, Regina Bell, and One Purpose. 

Alton will be laid to rest at West Hill Cemetery with Johnny Crider, Bobby Cartledge, Colton Kitchens, Blake Brafford, Timmy Carson, Jerome Akins, Kenny Smith, and Bruce Gentry honored to serve as pallbearers.  Honorary escort will be composed of Joe Wilson, Lamar Kitchens, Roy Smith, Harold Richardson, Harold Brown, and T.E. Wells.  Pallbearers are requested to meet at the funeral home on Sunday by 2 p.m.

The Gentry family will receive friends on Saturday, Nov. 25, from 5-9 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 26, from 11 a.m. until time to depart for the church at the Melrose Chapel of Ponders Funeral Home. 

Arrangements are by locally owned and operated Ponders Melrose Chapel & Dalton Crematory, Dalton, GA. (706) 226-4002.


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