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Obituaries, Week of Feb. 13, 2014: Gentry, Nance, Pollock, Sacra, Samuels and Tate

Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 12:57 pm

Nancy Carol Gentry, 65, passed away Feb. 5, 2014. She was preceded in death by her mother, Betty Jo Stephens; and her father, Emmitt Snodgrass. She is survived by her husband, Charles Patrick Gentry; daughter, Monica Lynn Gentry; son, Brian Alan Gentry (wife Kimberly); granddaughters, Madison Gentry and Taylor Gentry; sister, Barbara Ann Stephens; sister-in-law, Robin Mogridge (husband Bill); brother-in-law, James Michael Gentry (wife Catherine). The services and interment will be private.

Verner S. Nance, died Jan. 30, 2014, 10 days after her 93rd birthday and two years to the day after the death of her husband, Hardy A. Nance. A native of Richmond, she lived the last 12 years at Covenant Woods in Hanover County. Verner was born Lelia Verner Sirles Jan. 20, 1921, the eldest child of Howard A. Sirles Sr. and Beulah Martin Verner (Sirles) of Richmond. She is survived by two children, daughter, Page Nance Brock and her husband, Jim Brock, of Long Beach, Calif.; and son, Charles H. Nance and his wife, Liz Nance, of Richmond; three grandchildren, Bryan M. Krupin (Zena) of Manhattan Beach, Calif., Caroline Nance Wingenbach (Joseph) of Baton Rouge, La. and Mary Page Nance of New York City, N.Y. She is also survived by her sister, Elizabeth “Betty” Sirles Miller of Cedarfield; numerous nieces and nephews, and by Sirles cousins from across the country, with whom she connected following genealogical research on the internet. In addition to her parents and husband, Verner was preceded in death by two brothers and their spouses, Howard Alvin Sirles Jr. (Barbara) and Charles Wesley Sirles (Barbara); sister, Dorothy Sirles Fitzgerald; and two brothers-in-law, Robert Eldridge Fitzgerald and Jack William Miller Jr. Verner was a gentle woman, traditional to the core. She made cakes from scratch, kept friends forever and knew where all her boxwoods had been rooted. As a child, she had walked to the Byrd, Robert E. Lee Elementary and to the Confederate Soldiers Home. She lived for a time at Lockwood, Lee’s former headquarters in Atlee. She was Queen of the May at Washington-Henry School in Hanover County. She caned chairs, put up pickles, hung her own wallpaper and led tours of the Governor’s Mansion. She was forward-looking, too. She attended FDR’s second inauguration on her 16th birthday in 1937. As a Methodist churchwoman, Verner became knowledgeable and passionate about the plight of migrant workers on the Eastern Shore, the lives of the poor in Appalachia and the over-use of infant formula in Africa. Always a homemaker, she became a homeseller in her 50s, ultimately serving as a member of the Board of Realtors. In almost 30 years as an agent and realtor, she saw it as her duty to advance the cause of Fair Housing. Verner’s most memorable quality was her good humor. As her husband would say, “she could make a dog laugh.” She used humor to make a point, to make a friend, to put others at ease, or just to fill a room with good feeling. For over 60 years, Verner was a member of Westover Hills United Methodist Church, where her memorial service was held Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014. The family received visitors Friday, Feb. 7 at Covenant Woods. Memorial contributions may be made to Westover Hills United Methodist Church, 1705 Westover Hills Blvd., Richmond, VA 23225, to Covenant Woods, 7090 Covenant Woods Drive, Mechanicsville, VA 23111, or to a charity of your choice.

James Irwin “Jim”Pollock, 69, of Mechanicsville, born in Martinsville, May 2, 1944, went to be with the Lord, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Mary Masse Pollock; daughter, Amanda Masse Pollock; two siblings, Stephen Pollock (Betsy) and Ann Volz (Jim); brother-in-law, Bob Masse; as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins. Jim retired from the Virginia State Health Department after serving as administrator for the Bureau of Crippled Children-Division of Children’s Specialty Services. Prior to State service, he was with the City of Richmond Health Department in environmental health and the Medicaid and Home Health Programs as an administrator. After retirement, he worked for Bank of America in merchant services at the Richmond Customer Service Center. The family received friends Friday at the Mechanicsville Chapel of the Bennett Funeral Home. Memorial services were held Saturday, Feb. 8 at Shady Grove United Methodist Church with a reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to either Shady Grove UMC Music Fund, 8209 Shady Grove Road, Mechanicsville, VA 23111 or ALS Association at 2807 N. Parham Road, Richmond, VA 23294.

Carol A. Sacra, 52, of Deltaville, formerly of Mechanicsville, went to be with her mother and stepfather, Nancy and Joe Coen, Feb. 6, 2014. She is survived by her father, Stu Harigodt; siblings, Jackie, Trip, John, Shawn, Zack, Pete and Tom and their significant others; nieces and nephews. She was the first female in the state of Virginia to own and operate an excavation company, Black Creek Construction. She was an avid animal lover. The family received friends Sunday, Feb. 9, at the Mechanicsville Chapel of the Bennett Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Animal Adoption and Rescue Foundation, P.O. Box 15262, Richmond, VA 23227 (

Ellen L. Samuels, 67, of Highland Springs, went to be with the Lord Feb. 8, 2014. She was preceded in death by her husband of 51 years, Robert Samuels Jr. She is survived by her mother, Mildred Holt (Garland); children, Diane Brent (Richard), Robert T. Samuels III (Kim); grandchildren, Jake and Kyle Brent and Amanda Samuels; brother, Bernard White (Diana); sister, Peggy Cox (Wayne); and a host of extended family. The family received friends Monday, Feb. 10, at the Mechanicsville Chapel of the Bennett Funeral Home, where services were held Tuesday, Feb. 11. Interment Signal Hill Memorial Park.

Gerald Darwin Tate, went home to be with the Lord, Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014 at the age of 82. He is survived by his loving wife, of 52 years, Joan Charlotte Tate; his children, Steven Tate (Deborah) of Chesapeake, Cathy Cook (Todd) of Corpus Christie, Texas and Carol Jones (Tabb) of Glen Allen. He has five grandchildren, Nicholas, Nolan, Trinity, Mackenzie and Skylar; four sisters, Audrey Barker, Joyce Hill, Laura Watson and Barbara Lohr; one brother, Shirley Tate; and many nieces and nephews. Gerald was a loving and faithful husband, a wonderful father, grandfather and a friend who will be greatly missed. He was a lifelong member of Calvary Christian Church, where he served as a deacon, trustee and choir member for many years. He was a charter member of the Farrington Volunteer Fire Department and member of the Independence Ruritan Club. He proudly served his country in the army during the Korean Conflict. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Thelma Tate; his brothers, Merrill, Clint and Dean. The family received friends Friday at Bliley’s-Staples Mill. A celebration of his life was held Saturday at Calvary Christian Church. Interment in the church cemetery. To honor the memory of Gerald and in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Alzheimer’s Association – Greater Richmond Chapter, 4600 Cox Road, Suite 130, Glen Allen, VA 23060.