James T. (Tom) Gentry, 81, of Murphy, passed away Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018.
He was born in Murphy and spent the majority of his life there.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 51 years, Judith Davis Gentry; and is survived be his son, James Robert Gentry of Greenville, N.C.
He was of the Baptist faith and was a member of Murphy First Baptist Church.
He was the son of Don and Vera Gentry, who preceded him in death.
He attended school in Murphy and graduated in 1954. During high school, he was a very active band member and also was active in sports. During his senior year he was co-captain of the 1953 Bulldogs. He was a Morehead Scholarship finalist and received a scholarship to the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
He was a Realtor and member of the Mountain Lakes Board of Realtors who served as president for three separate terms.
He was an avid motorcyclest and rode for many years with two of this closest friends, “The Ghost” (Gene Bates) and “Searide” (Sam White). He was known as “Tomcat” to his closest friends.
He was a lifelong Republican and served a term as county manager of Cherokee County. He also served many years as administrator of the Upper Hiawassee Watershed Development Association, which brought needed dental care and education to northeast Georgia and western North Carolina.
He was a founding director of Northwestern Bank in Murphy as well as Cherokee Savings & Loan. He also was a director of Murphy First Citizens Bank for many years.
His civic endeavors included being president of Murphy Lions Club, acting as chairman for the midget/mite football program and Murphy Lions Club swimming pool. He was Scoutmaster of Boy Scout Troop 402 for five years. He served as president of the Murphy Jaycees and state vice president of the North Carolina Jaycees.
He loved the outdoors and was a lifelong member of the National Rifle Association.
Interment will be at Greenlawn Cemetery in Murphy. No services are planned.
Townson-Rose Funeral Home was in charge of cremation.