Joann (Jo) Burns Gentry, 74, of Snellville, died peacefully in her sleep at home on Friday, September 11, 2009. Jo was born on March 20, 1935 in Anderson County, Kentucky, to Kermit and Enola Burns. She attended Marietta High School, where she was associate editor of The Pitchfork school newspaper, graduating in 1953. Jo attended The University of Georgia, where she graduated cum laude in 1956 with a journalism degree. She was a member of Phi Mu sorority and Phi Beta Kappa Society, and was the first female on the editorial staff of the The Red and Black school newspaper. She married her loving husband of 52 years, James A. Gentry, Jr. (always Jimmy to her), in 1956. Jo returned to Marietta High to teach English from 1956-1958, where she was the advisor for the yearbook, The Olympian . She then stayed home to care for their 4 children born from 1958-1966. She returned to teaching in 1978 and taught at Jolly Elementary School in Dekalb County for 15 years. She and Jimmy were very active in the PTA and she was awarded life membership for her dedicated work. She was a longtime member of Clarkston Baptist Church, where she affectionately became known as "Mama Jo" to the youth in the church. Her famous pound cake recipe was also a favorite there! After retirement, she settled down into her favorite new role
.being a grandmother, or as the grandchildren called her, "Nanny". Jo adored her family and wanted to spend all her time with them when she wasn't on Sanibel Island, her second favorite place to be. Whether you called her Joann, Jo, Mom or Nanny, you were touched by knowing her and being loved by her. She was full of life, laughter, and love. She is survived by her loving husband, Jim Gentry, their children, Jamie and Bob Nelson of Johns Creek, Julie Gentry of Lowell, AK, Jay and Lesley Gentry of Alpharetta, Jenny and Kent Molter of Loganville, and her brother and sister-in law, Rusty and Connie Burns of Mooresville, NC. She also leaves a legacy of 7 grandchildren - Haley, Eric and Jenna Nelson, Mitchell and Ashley Gentry, and Mackenzie and Anderson Molter. In addition, Jo is survived by many nieces and nephews. Casual visitation will be at the home of her son and daughter-in-law, Jay and Lesley Gentry on Sunday, September 13th from 2:00-6:00 pm at 310 Kincardine Way, Alpharetta, GA 30022. A memorial service will be held in the chapel at First Baptist Church of Marietta, 148 Church Street NE, Marietta, GA 30060, on Monday, September 14th at 1:00 pm. The family will also receive visitors from noon to 1:00 pm before the service. Reverend Steve Hammack will officiate. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the First Baptist Church of Grayson, P.O. Box 965, Grayson, GA 30017.