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An Unknown Branch

Most of you have never heard a name like “Gentle.” In fact there is only one other group that I am aware of that has that name and is no relation to us or at least we have not found it yet. Most of the time when someone asks if I am related to “so & so” Gentle the answer will be yes. I do not know any one personally that has my name that I am not kin to. There are several good people in my family and I appreciate all that I have learned from them through the years.
Today, as I was looking at some old material (Carolina Christian) that my grand-dad (Floyd Gentle) or my uncles (Tim & Ted Gentle) gave me I came across the picture and article below. I have never heard of the name “Buck Gentle” before but let me tell you…after I read the article I just hope that I can be remembered as well as he was.

Buck Gentle – A Loving Memory

Denie Gentle, Statesville, NC.

It hath been said that we are a part of everyone we meet. Then how should we order our lives so that in touching others we might leave behind us a trace of love to lift and strengthen those we hold dear to our hearts?

Our Lord hath left us the perfect example. In His word He tells us to be an “example in love,” “walk worthy of the vocation wherein ye are called,” “if ye love not one another whom ye have seen, how can you love God, whom you have not seen?”

There has been a “giant” of strength that has passed through my life and I wish to share him with you. Even as a picture portrays only one glimpse of a person, so also words seem inadequate to describe this person to you. What did this man possess that we should hold him in so high esteem?
I first met this man approximately 25 years ago as he and his wife “found” our congregation in their search for the truth as God would have us know it. To the Lord he was dedicated, knowing that through the church the manifold wisdom of God is made known. A servant of the Lord, he went about doing things quietly, so that perhaps in one not knowing what he did, he did not realize that he was the reason that “this is left wanting.” A father in guiding his family, it was only a short time until his entire family were with him in the Lord’s church. As it were a last word of advice, “be strong in the Lord, and in His great might.”

This man was a self-made man — he took what is available to each of us and became a man. He took the thought, “If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing right.” Those who knew him in his work, knew that he went about it with an air of confidence which he had gained through trial and error — learning to be patient, unhurried — doing it right the first time around. An artist in his field, he was an A-i mechanic. Oh, you couldn’t tell this by his hands, the usual tell-tale signs of hard, greasy work. He also had found a way to keep his hands in shape, as well as his tools. (He would have been a brilliant surgeon.) Even after retirement and even when he was unable to go, he received calls, either, ‘‘Can you come and tell me ‘how-to’?” or “Can you tell me ‘how-to’ over the phone?”

He loved to eat and enjoyed the bounties of his garden, sharing with others. In this, too, he was a perfectionist, having learned when and how to plant and reap. He was well versed in our political system and loved history.  He loved people and especially children. He also had a special place in his heart for those who preached the gospel.  He was a physiologist in giving advice. He would always tell you what he would do, then leave the decision up to you.  He showed hospitality. I was never made to feel unwelcome in his home, but a part of his family.

He began each day with the Bible and it was my privilege to read to him from its well-worn pages a few times when he was unable to attend services during his short bout with cancer. His faithful wife of 52 years is left to continue to strengthen and encourage our family and congregation with her quiet, gentle ways of love.

Who is this man of strength that has passed through and from my life? You knew him as “Buck Gentle”; I knew him as “PAPA.”

(Carolina Christian, Vol. 21, NO. 3, March 1979, pg. 12)

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