Jeanette Elaine Gentry
April 29, 1964–June 22, 2021
Memorial Visitation and Service ~ July 8, 2021
Memorial Visitation 12:00 pm-2:00 pm
Memorial Service 2:00 pm
Solid Rock Bible Church, 670 Church St., Plymouth, MI 48170
Celebration of Life—July 9, 2021
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Nankin Mills Shelter #1 at Nankin Mills Park
33275 Hines Drive, Westland MI 48185
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial offerings be directed to:
NORD, Inc. – Donations
Dept. 5930, P.O. Box 4110, Woburn, MA 01888
or to the nonprofit of your choice.
Jeanette Elaine Gentry of Livonia, Michigan, was surrounded by friends and family in her valiant struggle against an exceptionally rare disease that claimed her life on June 22, 2021. “Exceptionally rare” is not a redundant description when applied to Jeanette herself and to the profound impact she had on innumerable souls over her lifetime.
A native of Highland Park, Michigan, and the daughter of Julia Emma (née De Busschere) and Eugene L. Gentry, Jeanette derived profound joy from her large circle of family and friends. As mom to Justina and Jeanell, and later also as the grandmother of five, she prioritized and celebrated her family’s milestones even as she contended with a series of grave health setbacks.
Perpetually in motion and a perfectionist to the core, Jeanette was happiest when she could gather family and friends around a beautifully presented picnic table laden with her signature recipes. She was lovingly teased as a “Martha Stewart clone,” and made sure every element was stylish down to the last detail, from the reindeer in her holiday coiffure to the spray-painted pink fly-swatter.
A lifelong learner, Jeanette was a gifted cosmetologist who brought out the best in everyone she touched. At the time of her death Jeanette was launching Pink Cloud Enterprises, a business designed to channel her many creative talents in the service of others. Her instinct to problem-solve brought out her highly inventive energies: a crocheted dog pacifier, haircuts for horses, a custom-made “companion” for a friend’s stuffed animal.
Perhaps most remarkable was Jeanette’s impact as a mentor and unofficial life coach. She turned her personal struggles into positive hope for others, even strangers. Her ability to truly listen validated the experiences of the downhearted. Over the past few years Jeanette’s daily gratitude journal uplifted scores of subscribers. Several have credited Jeanette with saving their very lives, and she was sponsoring more than a dozen women at the time of her death.
Strong-willed and deeply spiritual, Jeanette relied on her faith. In imparting life-lessons to her children and grandchildren, Jeanette led by example—modeling kindness, empathy, manners, and helpfulness—every day, moment by moment. Never one to miss a birthday or special occasion, she was renowned for sending cards and notes “just because.”
Jeanette met David Carey in 2013, and their multilayered, made-for-each-other bond was perhaps best symbolized by the irresistible s’mores they perfected over countless campfires: warm, sweet, and the perfect combination of ingredients. Together they enjoyed their loving companionship amid the serenity and natural wonder of many special places, including the Smoky Mountains and northern Michigan. Jeanette derived both pride and well-being from her hiking and cycling accomplishments, which enhanced her commitment to a healthy lifestyle that left plenty of room to indulge in those luscious s’mores.
Jeanette was predeceased by her parents, and by brother-in-law Ron VanDevender and nieces Kerri Lynn VanDevender and Lisa Kellogg.
In addition to David Carey, Jeanette is survived by her daughters, Justina Louise (Jimmy) Cordle and Jeanell Keri (Dalton) Drow; her grandchildren, Tyler, Delaney, Keegan, Owen, and Adalyn; and her siblings, Judi VanDevender, Joyce (Bob) Wellman, Jerry (Annette) Beck, Sandy (Gene) Valcke, Jill (Ray) Burke, and Jim (Vicki) Gentry; also by Ann Carey, Lynn Carey (Bob Huffman), and Steve Carey (Diane Dupuis); as well as by her life long friends Rebecca Denton and Kevin Robson, in addition to numerous loving aunts and uncles, cousins, and devoted friends.
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