Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Villager Remembered With Love Tommy Gentry Dies Of Breast Cancer.(Obituary)

Byline: Carolyn Appelman Journal Staff Writer

On the bench outside the door of Corrales' Frontier Mart is a plaque that reads, "Tommy Gentry's Parking Place."

In June, Thomas N. "Tommy" Gentry had given his friends permission to sit on the bench, where he had held court for many years, until he returned.

But on Christmas Eve, Gentry, 58, lost his five-year battle with breast cancer.

"He had a group who gathered and drank coffee with him in the mornings. They gathered around Tommy to tell jokes, banter and see who could pay for each other's coffee and doughnuts first," said Frontier Mart owner Jean Blackmon Waszak. "We still see the same people but they don't stay like they used to when Tommy was here."

Many remember Gentry riding in local parades as "the black Zorro", said longtime friend Dee Turner.

Gentry would wear a black hat, which he had found hanging on the wall of a local bar, a cape, a sword and a borrowed black horse, according to Waszak.

"I think he would like to be remembered as a good family man," Turner said. "I think he will be missed by local folks when they don't see his vehicle or see him on the bench at the Frontier."

Rare disease for men

Even though Gentry was not a Corrales native, he had 31 years of colorful history in the village, including serving as mayor and councilor. …

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