Kathy Sue Gentry passed away Thursday morning shortly after being diagnosed with cancer. She was a mother, daughter, sister, aunt and friend to countless people and animals over her 62 years.
If you measure a mother's life by the children she raised, Kathy's life was extraordinary. Her daughters, Kathryn Ashley and Stefanie, are smart, independent and beautiful young women who made Kathy proud every day. Her son, Mason, didn't live long, dying a month before his second birthday. But that was long enough for Mason's memories to fill his mother's heart for her lifetime.
If you measure a sister's life by what she means to her siblings, Kathy's life was incredible. She fixed their cars, drove them to doctor's appointments and loved their children. Whatever they needed, she was there for them, even as weird as following around a Kenny Rogers look-alike with her sister.
If you measure an aunt's life by how much her nieces and nephews love her, Kathy's life was beautiful. She was their adviser, their confidant and their friend, always there to help whether they were stumbling or soaring.
If you measure a partner's life by their loyalty, Kathy's life was meaningful. She and Jack spent 24 years juggling mixed families, running their business and sharing their lives.
If you measure a daughter's life by the pride her parents feel, Kathy's life was successful. Without a doubt, her mother, who died in 1984, and her father, who died when she was young, are proud of how Kathy stepped in to take care of the family after they were both gone.
If you measure a friend's life by how much she was needed, Kathy's life was purposeful. She was loyal, giving and patient, always willing to help someone find a path to a better way.
If you measure a person's life by their kindness, Kathy's life was valuable. She did what she could to help others and she loved animals, always willing to turn a stray cat into a new family member. Her last words were actually, "Don't forget to feed the cats." Kathy was the keeper of her family's secrets and the cheerleader of their dreams. The voice of reason when it was necessary but also the one encouraging them to be bold and take chances.
She leaves behind many brokenhearted loved ones, including her daughters, Kathryn Ashley and Stefanie Gentry; her partner, Jack Kirkwood; her brothers, Michael Prince, Steven Prince and James Street and his wife, Paula; her sister, Marilyn Young; her nephews, Robert Prince, Chris Prince and Matthew Street; her niece, Rachel Street; and her beloved cats, Pauly, George and Marcus and several grandcats. Kathy will be reunited in heaven with her parents, Catherine Dean and Grady Prince; her son, Mason Gentry; her brother, Joseph Street; her sister, Deanna Dean; and her nephew, Erik Prince.
Visitation will be held 5-8 p.m. Monday at Chapman Funeral Home, 431 W. Harrison Ave., in Clarksville.
In lieu of flowers, please donate in Kathy's name to her favorite volunteer, no-kill animal rescue group: Animal Protection Association, 702 E. 11th St., Jeffersonville, IN 47130, or at www.apa-pets.org.