COLUMBIA — Wilma Gentry of Wilsonville, Ore., died Sunday, May 22, 2011. She was 94.
She was born Nov. 4, 1916, in Kinsley, Kan.
She married Harry Gentry on Nov. 21, 1944, in Springfield. The couple raised their three children in Columbia.
Before moving to Columbia with her husband, Mrs. Gentry worked as nurse in numerous hospitals and served as a lieutenant in the Army Nursing Service during World War II. While on duty, she met her husband, who was a wounded artillery officer.
Her daughter Linda Daniel said her mother was always active and willing to help others.
“She had a career before women were supposed to,” Daniel said.
While in Columbia, Mrs. Gentry remained active, working as a nurse at Stephens College, Daniel said. She was also involved in the city and had many friends.
Daniel said Columbia was her mother's second home.
In 1998, Mrs. Gentry and her husband moved to Oregon to live near their son. There, the couple spent many years in McMinnville and Wilsonville.
Daniel said Mrs. Gentry “returned to the place she wanted to be” when she moved to Oregon.
Mrs. Gentry was an accomplished artist, specializing in a rustic Americana style. She started pursuing art in her 60s, and her family and friends cherish many of her paintings.
Daniel also said her mother was an avid gardener who loved the outdoors.
Mrs. Gentry enjoyed traveling with her husband. The couple visited Russia and Europe, and made many visits to Alaska after their children had grown up, Daniel said.
Mrs. Gentry was an advocate for women in the armed services and contributed to the Women in Military Service for America Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Mrs. Gentry is survived by her husband, Harry Gentry; one son, Michael Gentry of Portland, Ore.; two daughters, Carol Hourcade of Boise, Idaho, and Linda Daniel of Elsberry; and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held for the family at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Ore.
Memorial donations can be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.