John Thomas Gentry graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law in 1950. He served with distinction as a member of the S.C. House of Representatives for ten years, State Highway Commissioner for two terms and Chairman in 1967. He was appointed Special Circuit Judge of Pickens and Greenville Counties Civil and Criminal Court in 1972 and held this position for eight years, after which he returned to private practice. He was past President of Easley Rotary Club, Easley City Attorney, 32nd Degree Mason, Shriner and member of the Easley Hall of Fame. He was a friend to law enforcement and was always willing to help them in any way he could. John was a lifelong member of Easley First Baptist Church and taught Sunday School in the Young Peoples Department for many years. He was married in 1951 to Sara Virginia Smith of Easley and had three sons, John Thomas Gentry, Jr., Timothy Smith Gentry and Daniel Morrell Gentry. He was a devoted husband and father.
John was handsome in appearance and his sense of humor was a great asset in his life. He distinguished himself in the legal profession as a successful attorney. In the Court Room or in the Board Room, he stood up for what he believed was right. He was not afraid to speak out in the face of opposition yet he was kind, compassionate and understanding. He was an honorable man. Through the practice of law he devoted his life to the betterment of his community.