Vera Gentry Celebrates Her 105th Birthday at Alcoeur Gardens

Vera-Gentry-105-Years-Old1Vera Gentry enjoying her 105th birthday party. The party included staff at Alcoeur Gardens, friends and family and the mayor, Tom Kelaher.

Original article posted

TOMS RIVER – Vera Ethelyn Gentry was born in Creal Springs, Illinois, on a farm on December 28, 1910. She was the first of five children to her parents.

In 1929, Vera graduated from Carterville High School, where she met her future husband.

Vera continued her education at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. In 1931, she graduated with a teaching degree.

Vera returned to Creal Springs, where she lived with her family. She became the teacher in a one-room schoolhouse where she taught all eight primary grades. She rode a horse five miles each day to get to the one-room school house, where on arrival, she would put the horse in a nearby barn and proceed to build a fire in the stove in the schoolhouse to get ready for the arrival of the children.

In 1935, she married her high school sweetheart and continued teaching in the one-room schoolhouse, but waited one year to announce her marriage, as a school teacher could not be married.

In 1944, Vera became a mother to Barbara, her daughter, and in 1946 came Tim, her son.

Vera-Gentry-105-Years-OldVera’s husband owned a coal mine and they made their home in Carterville. She lived there until 2003 when she came to Toms River, to live with her daughter, Barbara.

In April 2010, when Vera was 100 years old, she moved into Alcoeur Gardens in Toms River.

You can always find Vera dressed in some shade of purple, her favorite color. When she is not napping in her favorite recliner, Vera is enjoying her word search puzzles. Vera has always loved playing church hymns, so whenever there is a piano around, you can hear her playing.

Vera has two children, four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

Alcoeur Gardens helped celebrate Vera’s 105th birthday with cake and decorations, and a visit from Toms River Mayor Tom Kelaher.