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Friday, April 7, 2023
5:00 - 7:00pm (Central time)
Saturday, April 8, 2023
1:00 - 2:00pm (Central time)
Marilyn Elaine Gentry was born on January 25, 1936, in Texarkana, AR to Darrel and Marie Gentry. She passed away peacefully on April 4, 2023, in Bossier City, LA.
A service to celebrate Marilyn’s life was held at 1:00 PM on Saturday, April 8, 2023 at the Homer Church of Christ building (308 West 2nd Street, Homer, LA) A visitation was held Friday, April 7 from 5 PM to 7 PM at the Rose Neath Funeral Home in Homer, LA.
In the 1850’s Marilyn’s ancestors Sansing, Adkins, Knighten, Gentry, and Camp were some of the early settlers in Claiborne Parish. Marilyn has called Claiborne Parish home since 1952. In 1955, she married Clyde Colvin Hightower and began a 67 ½ year partnership. Clyde and Marilyn had two children Jack Darrel Hightower and Jill Marie Hightower Smith.
Marilyn grew up in the East Texas oil fields of Athens and Cayuga, Texas, settling in Conroe, Tx. She graduated Conroe High School and the Southwestern Business University in Houston. Marilyn would spend her summers in Haynesville, LA with her Aunt “Gayge” and Uncle Larry Walker. Friendships grew with Betsy, Rosemary, and many others, but most importantly she met the love of her life, Clyde Hightower. They were married in July 1955 and outside of the US Army assignments in Eatontown, NJ and Augusta, GA, Claiborne Parish was home. She had an active career outside of the home, working for Arkla Gas, Ludlow, USDA, Planters Bank, Homer National Bank, Claiborne Manor, MD Network, Claiborne Home Health, and Clinical Connections. She and Clyde were partners in West Main Motor Company for over 22 years.
Claiborne Parish is where she had her church home. Many years at the Homer Church of Christ, but she returned to the Union Grove Church of Christ, the little church building that had served as a schoolhouse for her father and the congregation had been the family church for generations.
Marilyn loved her country and was very proud of her ancestors that led to her very active participation in the Daughters of the American Revolution. Marilyn served the Claiborne Parish Chapter for 22 years, serving currently as Honorary Chapter Regent. She previously held the office of Chapter Regent, Chapter First Vice Regent, and Chapter Recording Secretary. Marilyn was active in the State of Louisiana DAR serving as the State Corresponding Secretary. Marilyn was also an Associate Member of the John Edwards Chapter in Mexico, City, MX.
Marilyn loved her home and community. Not only did she have numerous close friends, but they all worked in many projects and organizations. She was a member of the Homer Garden Club, Home Demonstration Club, Women’s Department Club, Claiborne Academy Booster Club, Haynesville Study Club, the Reading Club, the Mildred Bevelle Music Club and she engaged in multiple organizations to make her community better. Most recently she was a charter volunteer and quickly recognized as the volunteer caller for the Louisiana Legends Festival.
Those that knew Marilyn the best will miss her smile and the joy she tried to bring to each day. Sometimes that was a phone call, sometimes it was an un-expected food item (chocolate pie, pound cake, chicken and dumplings), or one of the expected handwritten birthday or anniversary cards. She was a special lady indeed.
Preceded in passing by her father Darrel Gentry, her mother, Marie Fraser Gentry, her sister Darelene Gentry.
Surviving include beloved husband, Clyde Colvin Hightower, of Haynesville, son Jack Hightower and his wife Beverly, Jill Smith and her husband Garrett “Jug” Smith of Tyler, Tx. Grandsons Jarod Hightower and wife, Talia of Oviedo, Fl, and Jackson Smith of Nacogdoches, Tx, Granddaughters Jordan Smith of Ruston, LA, Heather Coleman of Haynesville; great-grandchildren Mckenna and Mason of Oviedo, Fl. and family friend Mary Ann Ford. Marilyn is survived by numerous nieces and nephews; and a host of friends some direct friends but many through the connections of her children and grandchildren.
The family would like to thank Dr. Sam Abshire, Dr. Clint Butler, Dr. Scott Haynes, and the entire Claiborne Memorial Medical Center Team, especially the wonderful team in the ICU. The team at Intensive Specialty Hospital in Bossier City provided exceptional care for Marilyn and support to the family.
The family cannot thank the friends that have provided prayer and support during Marilyn’s brief illness. Your love and care meant so much to Marilyn and to the family. Thank you.
Pallbearers were Garrett "Jug" Smith, Jarod Hightower, Jackson Smith, Dean Lento, Charlie Estep, Clint Lee, and Clayton Lee.
Honorary pallbearers were the members of the Louisiana and Claiborne Parish Daughter's of the American Revolution, members of Union Grove Church of Christ, and members of the Homer Church of Christ.
Charity was important to Marilyn. In lieu of flowers, you are encouraged to give to a charity of your choice. Marilyn’s favorites were; Union Grove Church of Christ -Haynesville, LA; Homer Church of Christ-Homer, LA; Claiborne Academy-Haynesville, LA; All Saints Episcopal School-Tyler, TX; West Erwin Church of Christ-Tyler, TX; Southern Christian Children’s Home-Morrilton, AR
Rose-Neath Funeral Home