Billy "Bill" Ralph


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Billy "Bill" Ralph Gentry

Aug 22 1929 - Sep 25 2010

Funeral services for Billy “Bill” Ralph Gentry, 81 year old Leonard resident, are scheduled for 10 a.m. Tuesday September 28th at the First Baptist Church of Leonard. Rev. Denny Gorena will officiate. Burial will be in the Van Alstyne Cemetery. Family visitation will from be 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. Monday September 27th at the Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Chapel at Leonard. Bill was born August 22, 1929 at Gunter, TX. His parents were Joe Bailey and Leona Ragsdale Gentry. He attended school at Howe, TX. From 1948 to 1950, Bill worked in Riverdale, Kansas as a grain truck driver. He served in the U.S. Army from 1951 until 1953 as a sergeant in Korea. After leaving the Army, Bill married Mary Ella Evans June 3, 1954. He worked at Kraft Foods in Garland until 1964 when he joined the Plano Fire Dept. He was in the Plano Volunteer Fire Dept. from 1957 until 1964 where he served as Fire Chief. When Plano formed a paid department, he was employed with the rank of captain. He retired from the fire dept. in 1983. He was honored as “fireman of the year” in 1971 and was president of the Plano Professional Fire-fighters Association in 1976-77. He attended Texas A&M University and became a Texas Fire and Arson Investigator in 1978. In 1983 he went to work for Plano Title Company/Title Resources Corp., where he worked on his days off as a computer technician, until the time of his retirement in 1986. He and Mary moved to their property in Leonard in 1986 and raised cattle and traveled at least one bus trip each year and one year there were five trips. They purchased a travel trailer but it was more fun to travel with their many friends by bus. They visited all fifty states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia, as well as most of the Canadian provinces and territories and many parts of Mexico. Bill was a member of the First Baptist Church of Leonard and he really loved it and the members of his Sunday School Class. He served on the board of Arledge Ridge Water Supply, the Leonard Library Board as president when the new library was built, the Fannin County Appraisal Board and the Leonard Kiwanis Club where he served as president several times and was voted “outstanding member” in 1990 and 1992. He really enjoyed the children’s Christmas program each year. The Kiwanis Club and the City of Leonard purchased and installed the clock on the Leonard Square and Bill kept it running for many years. He was named “Citizen of the Year” for 2001 by the Leonard Chamber of Commerce. He was honored with a 10-year pin for delivering “Meals-on-Wheels” for the Fannin County R.S.V.P. program. He passed away September 25th at McKinney. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his brother: Lake Weldon Gentry; his sisters: Evelyn Reynolds, Bonnie Jo Nelson and Doris Skipworth. He is survived by his wife and son, Mary & Gary Gentry of Leonard and two grandsons; one sister: Paula Sue Skinner and her husband, Pete, of Whitewright and by many nieces and nephews. Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home of Leonard is in charge of arrangements.
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