Mary A. Gentry, September 2, 1951 - April 16, 2017

Mary A. Gentry

Mary Ann Holden Gentry, age 65, of Altoona, Wisconsin was so blessed and privileged to join Jesus on the most sacred of days, Easter Sunday.

Mary was born September 2, 1951, the daughter of Harold and Lucille Holden. She grew up in the Eleva-Strum area, graduating from Eleva-Strum High School in 1969. She received a degree in education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1973.

Mary became the bride of Patrick Gentry June 9, 1973 at Holy Guardian Angels Church near Brackett. She spent the next 43 years as a devoted wife, mother, and educator.

Mary’s teaching career began in Chetek, Wisconsin where she taught ESE students for seven years. She spent the next 30 years as an educator in Lake County, Florida. Mary taught at Groveland Elementary, Lost Lake Elementary, and Minneola Charter School. She taught learning disabilities classes, second, and third grade.

Mary spent the last few years of her education career as a reading coach and Teacher Trainer in reading comprehension strategies. Mary retired from teaching in 2011 and relocated back to Wisconsin.

She is survived by her husband, Patrick and sons Trevor (Hannah) of Lawrence, Kansas and Derek (Stephanie) of Appleton, Wisconsin. She took great pride in her five grandchildren, Scott, Alex, Jonah, Norah, and Jude. She is also survived by her brother, Delaine (Carol) Holden of Rochester, Minnesota, and her sister, Sharon Quesinberry of Melbourne, Florida.

Deep gratitude is expressed to the following groups for their care, support and prayers during these past few months. The Mayo Clinic and Cancer Center and to Doctors: Al-Hattab, Kaye Holt, Taiwo Kanu, and Sunday Olatunji, the nurses at the cancer center, the nurses from The Mayo Hospice. Father’s Derek Sakowski and Alan Guanella, and the parishioners from St. Raymond’s and St. Mary’s Parishes.

Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, 2017 at the Fuller Speckien Hulke Funeral Home in Eau Claire. The Rosary will be said at 7:00 p.m. at the Funeral Home. Visitation will also be at the church one hour prior to the funeral on Friday. A Mass of Christian Burial will be officiated by Father Derek Sakowski at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, April 21, 2017. The Funeral will take place at St. Raymond’s of Penafort Parish near Brackett, Wisconsin. The church is located off of old Highway 53 between Brackett and Foster on E. Mallard Road. Burial will take place immediately following the Funeral Mass in the Holy Guardian Angels Cemetery.

Friends and family may offer condolences online at

Fuller Speckien Hulke Funeral Home, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.


  1. Jim and Linda Andrews April 23, 2017


    I am so very sorry to hear about your loss.
    Mary was a very nice and caring person.
    You and your family will be in our prayers.
    You have my sympathy

  2. Ralph and Ann Kisor April 22, 2017

    We are saddened that your family and ours have lost Mary. We will always remember her kind and loving spirit and her enthusiasm each time she returned to her family home to visit us and share stories about ''this old house" .

  3. Lesha Martin April 20, 2017

    Mrs. Gentry was a terrific part of the Minneola Family. She was a constant voice of patience and reason with the kids and teachers alike. She always stopped to listen to everyone and she took the time to write things down. She had beautiful handwriting. She was so positive in the fact that she always told me " all kids can learn, just be patient." I was a new teacher that learned so much from her and valued her opinion. She was a great colleague and more importantly a friend. I will miss you Mrs. Gentry.

  4. Jackie Crews, Mary Crews, Daniel Crews, Patricia Crews April 19, 2017

    Pat, we are so sorry for your loss. Words cannot express the blessing Mary was to our family. Her patience with Daniel's learning problems, and Mary's as well. Then her working with Mary at Minneola Elementary was an extra treat. Although we weren't close in her last days, she remained to us a delight. She comforted me so much after Bradley died. I look forward to seeing her in heaven.

  5. Mary Crews April 19, 2017

    I honestly could fill volumes of books about Ms. Mary Gentry and if I could be there, I'd be there.
    From being a good friend to my mom, helping me and Daniel despite the fact that she wasn't paid for that time in elem school.
    Then teaching in a team with her in an internship and then teaching with her at Minneola Elementary. We would talk for hours about our craft in that transitional unit we cotaught. She'd patiently take my theories and logic them out until I understood why my theory had flaws.
    When she injured her shoulder I saw a different Mary. Passionately stubborn about making sure her kids had their teacher there for testing. She would consult with me at home almost daily. 31 children were blessed by our units that year with 25 kids getting a passing grade in third grade despite the fact that those babies were first grade level babies.
    I loved Ms Mary. We would meet almost daily at work after that. I was so thankful that her arm finally stopped hurting.
    So, I have a funny story about that time. She decided to have the kids do a math vocabulary journal. So, I became determined to get that done. But, it was a project too big for her to be consistent with her kids to get it done. So, I'm busting my butt to get this done and dragging the kids along with it only to find the author of that idea wasn't doing it.
    From then on, if we needed a laugh, I'd mention math journals. She'd laugh and say it was still a good idea.
    Pat, and family, if I could have gotten out there for the funeral, I would have. Your family has been a big part of mine. I loved Mrs. Mary Gentry and cant wait to see her in heaven. She will be there being a scribe with her beautiful, perfect cursive.

  6. Christy Oradat April 18, 2017

    Pat, so sorry to hear about Mary. She was such a sweet lady and I am so glad I got to know her. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  7. Champe Revis & Bob Davis April 18, 2017

    Pat, we send prayers and condolences for Mary's passing. She was a caring mother, teacher, friend and wife. She will be missed.

  8. LaMoine & Harriet Anderson April 18, 2017

    Pat, we are so sorry to hear about Mary. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  9. mark helminiak April 18, 2017 strong....God is with you......Mary is with the Lord and our departed love ones......your marriage reflected the life and love of Christ!

  10. SHERYL WILLIAMS April 17, 2017

    Pat my deepest sympathy for the loss of Mary. I am praying for you and the family.

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