Man, 91, killed in wreck

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Lewisburg man who was known for his garden produce was on his way to get a battery for his garden tractor when he was involved in a two-vehicle crash Thursday afternoon on Cornersville Road.

Dan Gentry, 91, of Barron Road, later died at Vanderbilt Medical Center. His obituary appears on page 2 of this paper.

An eyewitness told Lewisburg Police Department Sgt. Anthony McLean she saw Gentry pull out of Fox Lane into the path of Stephen Prosser, 45, of Bicentennial Road, Cornersville, who was driving south.

Gentry's GMC truck and Prosser's Nissan Xterra collided head on. McLean rated the damage to both vehicles as "very severe" and they were towed away by Brown & Son.

Gentry was taken to Nashville by helicopter. He died the next day. Prosser was treated and released from Marshall Medical Center. The seatbelt bruised his chest and his left leg was also bruised. Prosser works weekends at Nissan in Decherd, and missed work Friday. He worked on Saturday, but conceded that might have been a mistake: "My leg swelled up pretty good," Prosser said.

Gentry and his brother, Jimmy, started hunting and trapping during the Great Depression to help feed their family, Jimmy Gentry said. Dan also put in a big garden every year, and got down on his hands and knees to work in it. Dan didn't sell at the Farmers Market, Jimmy said. People went to his garden for vegetables.

Dan Gentry's work for the telephone company was deemed an essential occupation during World War II so he wasn't in the military. Instead, he was sent to Oak Ridge to build the communications system for the laboratories.

"They had no idea what they were building," Jimmy said. "They were running wires through concrete walls six feet thick.

"He was a guy who never stopped - he'd get up early and go all day. He never wasted time," Jimmy said. "He'd give you his opinion whether you wanted it or not. He was conservative to the core."

Dan Gentry was buried Monday, next to his mother and father in Mount Hope Cemetery, Franklin. His nephew, Allen Gentry, Jimmy's son, officiated.