William Michael “Mike” Gentry, 56, passed away naturally at home on March 18, 2024, following many years of battling alcoholism.

He was born in Colorado on May 25, 1967, to Bill and Sue Gentry. The family settled in the St. Joseph area when he was a toddler. He was a proud Mark Twain Elementary, Truman Middle School and Central High School student who kept in close contact with his classmates over the years. He graduated from Central in 1985 and went on to attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City. There he excelled in speech and debate and was a member of Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity.

His love of debating led him to the University of Kansas, where he received his Juris Doctor in 1993. He practiced law in the Kansas City and St. Joseph area for many years.

In 1995, Mike married Susan (Barr), and although they recently divorced after 28 years of marriage, they remained close. They had three children together: William, Collin, and Allison. They were his greatest pride, and he loved to brag about them every chance he got.

Mike loved listening to and playing music, including writing many of his own songs. He spent countless hours with friends playing tunes or going to live shows. He also loved fishing and, in later years, photography. He took amazing pictures of nature and St. Joseph landmarks and shared them with friends on social media. He had a contagious smile and was always making people laugh.

Mike never met a person he couldn’t talk to for hours and was always ready to help a friend. He was loved by so many but struggled privately to understand how much he meant to everyone.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Bill and Sue Gentry.

Mike is survived by his children, William, Collin and Allison; siblings, Shane (Cindy) Gentry and CeCe (Chris) Gannon; niece, Kristy (Jacob) Martin; nephew, Ryan Gentry; numerous aunts, uncles, cousins as well as Susan Gentry and many loved ones from the Barr family.

Memorial Service: 11 a.m. Saturday, April 13, 2024, Francis Street First United Methodist Church, 110 N. 12th Street. Visitation will precede the funeral, beginning at 9 a.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Imagine Eleven concert series at First Lutheran Church, 302 S. 10th Street, St. Joseph, MO 64501.

Online guestbook available at: www.heatonbowmansmith.com.