Anna Rita Gentry, 63, of Paradise died Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, in Decatur.
Service is 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, at the First Baptist Church of Cottondale with Pastor Charles Pugh and Bro. Terry Terry officiating. Burial will follow at Cottondale Cemetery.
Visitation is at 1 p.m., prior to the service, at the church.
Anna was born Nov. 15, 1950, in Philadelphia to Rocco and Antoinette (Giangrande) DiDonato. She attended Brown Technical High School in Wilmington, Del. Throughout her four years there, she studied cosmetology. Upon graduation, she worked at the beauty salon in the local J.C. Penney department store.
After several years of working for others, she opened her own business in Wilmington, called Five Points Beauty Salon. This was by no means an ordinary place to have your hair styled. Because of Anna’s outgoing, kind and loving way, this was a place to meet and greet. All of her family, friends and friends of friends came here, as the atmosphere was all about love, gathering and food – yes, food, because everyone brought in homemade food, and Anna was always so happy to share. Her mother, ‘Nina,’ helped at the front desk, as well as her Aunt Rita. Mary, Anna’s sister, also worked there as a beautician.
Anna worked hard at her business for many years, but after her mother’s death, she decided she needed a change and came to Texas, which became her new home. Not long after her arrival, she met Glenn and was so happy to become part of his big family.
She became the glue that kept everyone together in Texas just as she had done in Delaware. She was a shining example of love, kindness and giving selflessly to her new community for the next 31 years. During these years, she ran the Boyd Automotive and Hardware Store and became a tax specialist.
Anna was a hardworking, dedicated businesswoman. In her “spare” time, her passion was cooking and sharing all wonderful homemade delights with others, especially all of her delicious Italian food.
She is survived by her husband of 31 years, Glenn Anthony Gentry of Paradise; son Sam Gentry and wife, Whitney, of Lubbock; daughters Nina Price and husband, William, of Boyd, and Shelley Schaffer and husband, Matthew, of Temecula, Calif.; brothers Vincent DiDonato of Smyrna, Del., and Rocco DiDonato of Newark, Del.; sister Mary Clement of Paradise; grandchildren Lexi Schaffer and Ashton Schaffer of Temecula, Calif., and Sawyer Gentry and Chandler Gentry of Lubbock; and numerous other family members and friends.
Anna was preceded in death by her parents; brother-in-law Francis Clement; uncle Sam Albano and aunt Rita Albano; and uncle Joe Strano and aunt Carmela Strano.