Former United Way director Gen Kent dies
Dec 23, 2013 | 1293 views |  0 comments | 50 50 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Gen Kent
Gen Kent
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Helen Geneva "Gen" Kent, 87, died Saturday, Dec. 21, at Talladega Healthcare.

Mrs. Kent was born in 1926 in Jackson County, Ala., to George Ulysses Stines and Aera "Sally" Stines. The family moved to Talladega when she was a child to be near the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind.

Mrs. Kent married Maj. James William Kent Aug. 1, 1945, on her father's birthday. Gen and James met in 1941, before he served overseas in the Army during World War II. Maj. Kent was captured by the Germans and held as a prisoner of war — but he and Geneva managed to stay in contact by mail the entire time he was a POW. She sent him a picture of herself, and he showed it to everyone in the camp, saying, "This is the woman I am going to marry."

After her marriage, Gen went on to serve as the director and CEO of the United Way of Talladega. She held that position for 45 years and holds the distinction of having made goal every year she ran that charity. After attending college with her daughter, Gen returned to school part time while serving her full-time position at the United Way, ultimately receiving a history degree from Gadsden State.

Mrs. Kent also worked as a substitute teacher for the Talladega City School System.

She attended Ridgeview Baptist Church in Talladega, was a Sunday school teacher and has served as the head of the Baptist Women's Association for both the church and Talladega County. She is the recipient of the Talladega Rotary Club Service Above Self Award, and is remembered for her charitable work throughout the community.

Mrs. Kent and her husband have two daughters, Patty Quin of Freeport, Ill. and Beverly Acton of Gardendale. They have three grandchildren, Jennifer Vogt of Lincoln, Sally Summers of Freeport, Ill., and Doug Quin of Freeport, Ill. They have three great-grandchildren.

She is survived by her brother Billy Stines; nieces Molly Johnson, Ava Ballard, Kim Otwell, Nancy Lutchendorf, and Janice Crews; nephews Ronnie Cook and David Cook; and great-niece Jana Hadley, and a host of other relatives.

Mrs. Kent is preceded in death by sisters Carolyn B. Stines, Ola Belle Cook and Bea S. Ledbetter.

Funeral arrangements will be announced by Usrey Funeral Home in Talladega.