Henry Ray Kent (1937 - 2018)

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  • "The best friend a guy could have. I miss him so much and..."
    - Robert Curry
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Service Information
Sims Funeral Home
201 West Pennsylvania Avenue
Bonifay, FL

Mr. Henry Ray Kent, Coach Kent, or otherwise known as Coachie by his grandchildren, age 81, passed away Tuesday, November 20th at his home following an extended illness. Mr. Kent was born October 17, 1937 in Washington County to Amos and Eunice Kent and lived in Holmes County most of his life. Naturally talented in many areas, he learned early the value of hard work as a brick mason alongside his father, who later became the police chief in Bonifay. In 1956, he married the love of his life, Pat Andrews Kent, with whom he had two daughters. As teaching was his calling, Mr. Kent attended Florida State University and earned his degree in Education. Mr. Kent was a die-hard Seminole fan. Beginning in 1961, Mr. Kent began a long and distinguished teaching and coaching career that would follow him the rest of his life. He was always known as "Coach Kent." Beginning at Ponce de Leon high school, Mr. Kent taught Physical Education and coached boys' basketball. During his tenure as coach, he posted record breaking winning seasons, having never lost a season. His 1972 team brought home the State Championship in their division and he was named Coach of the Year. He was an inspiring, driven, determined, and dictated coach and teacher who demanded much from his students and players. Later in life, these students and players recalled the numerous life lessons and skill sets that Coach Kent bestowed on them lasting far past the basketball court or classroom. Mr. Kent spent many happy moments later in life recalling his experiences and stories from his coaching days. After coaching, Mr. Kent continued to serve as both an art teacher and Principal at Holmes County High School. He retired in 1997, but he did not slow down. In addition to basketball, Mr. Kent became a perfectionist at many other hobbies and past times during his retirement.

He set out to be the best at anything he put his mind to. He loved the game of golf and held the course record at the local club. He loved woodworking, singing and playing guitar, and would teach anyone everything they wanted to learn about the art of painting or drawing. He went fishing anytime he had the chance, and mastered the techniques required in fly fishing and sculling a boat. After his retirement, he and his wife, Pat, traveled extensively and were able to visit all of the lower 48 states. Of all his accomplishments and accolades, however, he was most proud of his family. Affectionately nicknamed early on as "Coachie," he truly loved his family. Never missing the chance or opportunity to give a warm hug, a handshake, compliment or a huge mesmerizing smile, he was indeed the most affectionate, compassionate, warm, and caring husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather and brother one could ever hope for. Mr. Kent was kind and gentle, and extremely confident without ever being boastful or ostentatious. He will be profoundly missed by his family and friends who loved him dearly.

Mr. Kent was preceded in death by his parents, Amos and Eunice Kent, and his brother, James Kent.

Survivors include his loving and caring wife of 62 years, Pat Andrews Kent; two daughters, Vicky Kent Durant (Dennis) of Bonifay, FL and Cindee Kent Bartholomew (Curtis) of Dothan AL. He was a doting grandfather to his five grandchildren, Cyndee Hinson (Rob) of Slocomb, AL, Caysee Commander (Paige) of Sugar Hill, GA, Mark Isaacs (Korin) of Bonifay, FL, and Benjamin Bartholomew and Henry Bartholomew of Dothan, AL. He is also survived by two brothers, Mike Kent and Phillip Kent and several great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. He also leaves behind numerous friends and former students and players.

The family wishes to express our sincerest appreciation to Dr. Roland Spedale at Internal Medicine Associates of Dothan for the wonderful care shown to Mr. Kent throughout his illness.

A Funeral service was held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, November 24, 2018 at First Baptist Church with the Rev. Ike Steverson and Hugh Locke officiating. Interment was in the Bonifay Cemetery, Bonifay, FL with Sims Funeral Home directing. The family received friends from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM on Saturday, November 24, 2018, at First Baptist Church.
Published in Washington County News and Holmes County Times-Advertiser from Nov. 28 to Dec. 5, 2018
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