Gentry High School Class of 96


Gentry High School, situated within Sunflower Cty Cons’ school district, boasts an enrollment of 473 students and teachers.

As soon as it rains, its courtyard floods, creating a safety risk and impeding learning for students. The city must act swiftly to address this problem.

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James Cannon Gentry Jr.

Gentry was born in Franklin, Tennessee to Zebulon and Gertrude Gentry and predeceased by both Rebecca Channell Gentry and son James Cannon Gentry Jr. He was known as an affectionate husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather; as well as an incredible friend to many.

After graduating high school, Gentry attended art courses at Roosevelt High School in the Bronx and at Harlem YMCA where he learned modern painting. Later he accepted an office job with Con Edison before World War II began and he was drafted into the army – his tour took him through North Africa, Corsica, and Austria and gave him exposure to new cultures and people.

After returning to the US, he was determined to pursue a career as an artist, encouraged by Charles Johnson and Henry Clay’s patronage. Although constitutionalist by nature, his latitudinarianism caused some difficulty among some political figures; nonetheless he fought against the extension of executive power through general appropriation, patronage, and the veto.

In the 1980s, he began exhibiting his work in group survey exhibitions in New York. His prints were included in Unbroken Circle (1988), Kenkeleba Gallery of New York; Since the Harlem Renaissance (1984), Bucknell University Gallery Lewisberg PA; as well as several other exhibitions.

Gentry was featured in numerous traveling exhibitions highlighting African-American art history. However, in 2000 he suffered a stroke which prevented him from continuing his career in the New York art scene and forced him to relocate to Stockholm in Sweden where he continued working on projects while also continuing his artistic growth.

Gentry sued Todd Clark McCain and Christy McCain over a property dispute in 2010. They sought a declaration of ownership with regard to Manchester Avenue right-of-way as well as a restraining order barring the McCains from entering. However, the lawsuit was later dismissed. Sadly, in 2022 Gentry passed away at age 96 leaving behind his daughter Laura Gentry Defatta as well as sons Allen and Scott Gentry as well as grandchildren Jase Hope River Gentry; great grandchildren Mary Bennett Defatta as well as many friends.

Rebecca Channell Gentry

Bobbie Gentry was a high school girl with smaller dreams who moved to Los Angeles in 1960 in order to work as a secretary while also pursuing music and songwriting on the side. She wrote songs, took art classes, and later discovered Las Vegas musical theater as an outlet that enabled her to fully express herself without concessions from others.

Gentry’s debut single, “Mississippi Delta,” became an overwhelmingly successful country hit. Its poetic lyrics and lush soundscapes transported listeners back to her native Mississippi Delta region of her childhood home state of Mississippi. Its success gave Gentry confidence to pursue her writing passion – ultimately seeing it as a way out of poverty and dependency.

Once she found success again, “Local Gentry” proved to be a giant. The title track features another epic song with rockabilly roots and a funk groove. Gentry would go on to become known for her signature brand of Southern soul music featuring heavy horns, scattered drums, and an immersive experience for listeners.

Jim Ford never sued Gentry over her song and it remains unclear whether or not she ever claimed she wrote it herself; regardless, this controversy did not damage her career and she continued producing hits for years afterward.

Rebecca was ultimately responsible for upending patriarchy by threatening to cuckold her husband and produce an unsuitable heir, thus upending the patriarchal system of inheritance. Maxim could not bear the social indignity of divorce and chose instead to kill Rebecca instead.

Jimmy Gentry was more than just a local hero during his lifetime; he was an educator, coach, and WWII veteran whose stories provided a window into Williamson County’s past. Additionally, he ran a farm where local children could learn farming while enjoying nature; eventually passing away at age 96 with funeral services held at Fourth Avenue Church of Christ in Williamson.

James Cannon Gentry III

Lindsey Harrisonburg Funeral Home will welcome friends of James Cannon Gentry III from 6-8 p.m. Sunday for his viewing, while his funeral will take place Thursday at 1 p.m. at Eastlawn Memorial Gardens. James is survived by his wife Rebecca Channell Gentry; three sons James Gentry Jr., Octavius Lee, and Brandis Loyd; six grandchildren including Caden, Caitlin Vandale Cameron Dondra Loyd with two great-grandchildren named Gracie and Camden as well as numerous nieces nephews and other relatives.

Born and educated in Franklin, he graduated from Gentry High School before going on to Peabody College where he earned a degree in education. Subsequently, he served as both teacher and coach in both Franklin schools as well as Brentwood Academy; during World War II, he also served in the United States Navy; life membership was provided with both VFW and American Legion organizations as well as membership of American Bible Study Fellowship.

James Amos Cannon III passed away peacefully at Alive Hospice in Nashville, Tennessee at age 77. Born to Mary Elizabeth Amos and Newt Cannon Jr, James married Rebecca Channell Gentry after high school; together they raised three children. James will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved him.

Kathleen Austin Gentry of McDonald, Tennessee died peacefully on Monday, February 20th, 2017 at Dalton Pike Baptist Church where she actively served her church family – teaching Sunday School for an extended period. Kathleen retired from Shaw Carpet and had many close friends including Junior Morris, Ronnie and Libby Sipe, Patricia Lamb, Pam Gentry, and Doris Herring among many others. Kathleen was predeceased by both parents Lester and Alice Austin as well as one brother William Austin.

Raymond Franklin Gentry Jr. was 80 when he passed away on Monday, August 4, 2003, at Schuyler General Hospital from lung cancer. Preceded in death by his wife Virginia Kidd Gentry; son Ray E. Gentry; brother Carl Gentry from Massachusetts; three sisters Marie Newton of Scottsville, Dora Jones from Esmont, and Lillie Bush from Delaware as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

James Cannon Gentry IV

James Cannon Gentry IV of Gentry High School’s Class of 96 passed on April 21, 2022, after living a full and happy life as husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend to many. A member of Franklin Lions Club for years prior to his passing away he will be missed dearly by those he left behind.

Raymond Franklin Gentry Jr. was the son of Raymond Franklin Gentry Sr. and Blanch McGill Sprouse Gentry and served in the U.S. Army from 1953-56; earning the Bronze Star. Survivors include his wife of 53 years Virginia Kidd Gentry as well as three brothers Carl Gentry of Massachusetts; Alvin Gentry from Scottsville; Clifford Gentry also from Scottsville; Marie Newton from Scottsville; Dora Jones from Esmont; Lillie Bush from Delaware as well as one daughter-in-law Marianne K. Gentry plus several nieces and nephews from Pennsylvania.

His hobbies included hunting, fishing, and woodworking as well as spending time with his family. He enjoyed church services as well as going to Elks Club meetings; he was even a Masonic Lodge member! Henry Gentry leaves behind his wife Sandra; two daughters Kathy Gentry DeGraff and Scott Gentry DeGraff (DeGraff); son David Scott Gentry; six grandchildren who were the joy of his life; a great-granddaughter; brother Henry; sister-in-law Shirley Morris Dinehart with husband Pete as well as numerous friends and relatives he left behind him to his memory and loved Mac the beloved pet who will forever keep living within its walls!

Gentry High School class of 1983 recently hosted their annual retreat in Indianapolis, Indiana thanks to classmate Rodney Baker. Belinda Smith, Tammy Pernell, Patricia Leflore, and Rodney Baker made up the first row; back row members included Janice Young Armstrong, Brenda Lago Peterson, Dorothy Coleman, Naomi Fant Ivory Earnestine Blancher Cherry Jones, and Tyrone Wimbley comprised the back row. Next year’s retreat will take place in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and is hosted by classmate Michael Sample. Visit for information on reunions as well as sign up to receive emails regarding these reunions and alumni pages with more than 1,000 classmates listed; there’s even an e-book called “Gentry’s Best,” offering an inside glimpse into their lives!