Elma Mae Gentry, of Niles

Published 7:42 am Thursday, April 4, 2019

Nov. 3, 1935 — April 2, 2019

Elma Mae Gentry, 83, of Niles, died unexpectedly at 1:58 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at her home of natural causes.

She was born on Nov. 3, 1935, in Niles, to Alvin and Harriett Rose (Shannon) Hamrick. She was graduated from Niles High School and Vogue Beauty School. She was a beautician at the Four Flags Beauty Shop, in Niles, for 20 years, retiring in 1985. She has lived in Niles all of her life.

Elma Mae Gentry

Elma formerly attended the First Baptist Church in Niles and volunteered with the former Pawating Auxiliary (now Lakeland Hospital Auxiliary). As a young lady she sang professionally, specializing in the Country & Western style, and often performed at the USO.

On April 16, 1954, in Buchanan, she married Max H. Yazell. Later, on Aug. 5, 1977, in Niles, she married Franklin David Gentry, with whom she celebrated the seventeenth anniversary of their wedding prior to his death on Jan. 23, 1995. She was also sadly preceded in death by a son, Michael Deane Yazell ,on Dec. 7, 2011; and by Elma’s sisters, Iva Beam and Doris Burger and brothers Keith Hamrick and Roy Hamrick.

Surviving family includes her children, Marla (Bruce) Thurston, of South Bend, Kimberly (Wesley) Wood, of South Bend, and Kim’s twin, Karen Yazell, of Mishawaka, Jon R. Yazell, of Niles, and Joel Yazell, of Buchanan; Franklin’s son, Jon David (Colleen) Gentry, of Rochester, Michigan; grandsons Cameron, Eric, Noah, Dakota, Ryan, and C.J.; and Elma’s sister, Arline Wegenka, of Lacrosse, Wisconsin, and brother, Robert Hamrick, of Hastings, Michigan; and many nieces and nephews.

Committal will be private at Mission Hills.

Contributions in memory of Elma may be made to the Michigan Chapter of the American Lung Association, 1475 East Twelve Mile Road, Madison Heights, Michigan, 48071, lung.org/about-us/local-associations/michigan.html.

Arrangements were made at the Halbritter Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles.

Online condolences may be left at halbritterwickens.com.