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I was born at home in Hiawatha, Utah – a town long forgotten – on a cold Groundhog day, February 2, 1934. (My mother’s broken leg was in a cast at that time and she gave birth to me without any anesthetic. When 10 days old, I was rushed to Salt Lake City with a serious case of impetigo).
I grew up in Salt Lake City, the oldest of five children of Frederick LeRoy and Mabel Hall Miller, graduated from West High school, and attended BYU. I married Leland H. Gentry in the Salt Lake temple on May 25, 1956.
I love life, family and friends, animals, the beauties of nature, beautiful music, the gospel of Jesus Christ, and my Savior. I am a member of the LDS church, serving in Relief Society, Primary, Young Women’s, Sunday School, and as Ward Organist (first at the age of 15). I am an accomplished pianist and organist, and have directed choruses and taught piano lessons for many years. I have had many great experiences accompanying other instrumentalists and vocalists. I assisted my husband in directing tours to American History and LDS church history sites many times, as well as to the Middle Eastern Countries. I worked at Zion’s Bank, Lincoln Life Insurance Company, and for 20 years at the State Council on Applied Technology Education.
My children remember me for my contagious smile, charming laugh, and great sense of humor. They see me as tender and gentle, unconditionally loving, and always willing to give of my time and talents to others. They remember me for displaying my love through action, perhaps most notably in nursing my husband, Leland, through years of his battle with Multiple Sclerosis prior to his death in 2007.
My kids also say I taught them to treasure children and their innocence, how to laugh while mired in adversity, and how to find peace in nature. I tried not to judge others and was never one given to preaching to or challenging others. Indeed, when I had an opinion to share, I tried to do so softly, wanting to allow my little ones space to develop, grow, and feel respected.
Finally, my kids appreciated my efforts to be understanding and to accept others for being less than perfect. I myself never professed to be perfect but I did make an effort to make people think I was related to God.
I loved to collect comic strips from the newspaper to put on the fridge or share with others. I enjoyed hearing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform and found digging in the dirt to be the very best therapy of all. Many felt my calm influence in the face of stressful situations and also felt a gentle reassurance that, come what may, “Everything will be OK.”
I was preceded in death by my parents, husband (Leland H. Gentry), brother (Gordon Miller), half-sister (Wanda), daughter (Debra Lynn Cheney), granddaughter (Candice Cheney), grandson (Kevin Gentry), great-grandson (John Jay Ward), a shaggy dog (Snowball), a Chihuahua (Precious), a Pekingese (Chica), a Pomeranian (Opie), and a couple of the cutest Pugs (Rufus and Pugsley) you ever saw.
I’m survived by my brother, David (Peggy); sisters, Elaine and Sharon (Gene); sons, Brian (Tammy) and Steven (Marinda); daughters, Christine Gentry-Nelson (Scott) and Janae Sanders (Mark); 25 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, and many loyal and beloved friends. Please take care of them for me . . . “Till we meet again.”
My family and I would like to thank all the caregivers who helped care for me at the end of my life, including those at River Meadows, Legacy of Ogden, Silverado, and Highland Glen.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 11:00am at the Millcreek 15th Ward, 3750 South Hillside Lane. Friends and family may visit on Friday evening, September 21, 2018 from 6:00pm to 8:00 pm at Holbrook Mortuary, 3251 South 2300 East and on Saturday from 9:30am to 10:30am prior to services at the church.