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Martin Gentry, Jr

June 21, 1926 ~ November 5, 2017 (age 91)

Martin Butler “Buck” Gentry, Jr. passed away peacefully with immediate family at his side on Sunday, November 5th, 2017 at the age of 91 at Masonicare, Wallingford, CT. He lived a full and interesting life.

Born June 21, 1926 in Barquito, Chanaral, Chile, a small mountainous mining town, to the late Margaret Bower Tomlinson and Martin Butler Gentry of Kansas City, MO, who was a mining engineer on assignment. The family returned to the states and settled in the Connecticut towns of Stamford, Newtown and New Milford. At an early age he became proficient at horsemanship, sailing, and boating, and later as a SEL&S licensed Aircraft Pilot of his single engine Piper J-3 plane which he flew for business and pleasure throughout the northeast. He was a direct descendant of Revolutionary solder Richard Gentry who served for General George Washington at the “surrender” of General Cornwallis at Yorktown, NY.

He entered Yale in 1943 at age 17 but withdrew to join other classmates in WWII. He served in the US Navy as a Radar II Specialist traveling to Hawaii, Manila and Shanghai aboard the USS LCI(G)-234. He reentered Yale in 1946 after the war and graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering, Administration and Economics. While at Yale, he was a brother in the Kappa Delta Chapter of Chi Psi Fraternity and the treasurer of Yale Aviation. Following graduation, he was a sales agent for Western Lumber & Southern Oak Floor, a local wholesale lumber company, followed by Safety Car Heating & Lighting Co. of Hamden, CT and accompanied their Lighting Division, Translite of Milford, CT when it was spun off. He married the love of his life, Elizabeth Edith Macdonald, the daughter of the late Godfrey Macdonald and Elizabeth Marie Boeckeler of Westport, CT, on November 10th, 1951 and enjoyed nearly 60 years of marriage until her passing February 2nd, 2011.

Buck was Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Mallard Manufacturing Company and Teal Industries, Inc. (1960-1972) which manufactured battery operated emergency lighting products and systems and which he grew from merely a 4-person manufacturing operation with local New England sales to a company with 125 national sales representatives and 68 full-time employees until being sold to a British Corporation named Chloride, the largest worldwide battery manufacturer at the time. He was personally awarded a U.S. Patent for a solid-state, thermo-responsive battery charger used in the emergency lighting he designed, manufactured and sold.

He retained the Resnik Metal Spinning Division of Teal Industries as Butler Industries, Inc. (1972-1974), was Vice President & Business Consultant (1974-1980) for Connecticut Development of Credit Corporation (CDCC), and various other manufacturing firms. Then in 1980, Buck was a Yacht broker who provided “bare-back” Captain services with his U.S. Coast Guard Captain Ocean Operator 100-Ton License as well as operated a private charter service with his 38’ Bristol Trawler Yacht Teal. He was a member and Treasurer of the Saybrook Sail and Power Squadron, and taught navigation and coastwise piloting.

Throughout his life, Buck loved and excelled at woodworking, photography, boating, enjoyed leisure sports, such as tennis and squash, and enjoyed playing Bridge with family and friends.

He is survived by: daughter Megan B. Gentry and her wife Judy Silver of Leominster, MA, son Harrison Blair Gentry of North Haven, CT, and son Richard Harrison “Hap” Gentry and his wife Linda D. Tucker of St. Louis, MO; granddaughter Kristin Marguerite “Maggie” Bellamy of San Diego, CA, and grandson Michael Richard Gentry of St. Louis, MO; sister Margaret Gentry Yingling of Westport, CT; nieces Mimi Yingling Morse of Washington, DC, Martine Gentry Yingling of Los Gatos, CA, and nephew John Gentry Yingling of Rocky River, OH.

Following arrangements by The Cremation Society of New England, Buck will be buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, MO with his wife Betsy. In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations may be made to the National Maritime Historical Society, Peekskill, NY.

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