Jan Rachelle Gentry, 54, passed away on April 18, 2022. A service to celebrate her life will be held on Monday, April 25 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 7740 Lackman Road, Lenexa, KS, 66217. A visitation will be held from 2:30-3:30 p.m. with a service starting immediately afterwards. The family requests that masks be worn at all times during the visitation and service. A short reception will follow. To view a livestream of the service, please click here.
Jan's family wants to offer the chance for anyone who knew her to have a moment to share a memory or story of Jan during the service. If you would like, you can write down a story and share it yourself during the service, or have the minister share it for you.
Jan was born on March 9, 1968 in Clinton, Missouri. From Clinton her family moved to Rolla, Missouri for six years before moving to Fulton, Missouri where Jan went to high school. In high school she was very active in sports, playing basketball, tennis (#1 singles), cross country and golf. She also played alto saxophone in the band. She played on softball teams during the summer and was on bowling leagues throughout her high school career. In addition to being a gifted athlete, she excelled academically. She was valedictorian and president of her senior class and received a National Merit Scholarship which she used to attend the University of Missouri-Columbia. At MU, she received a Bachelor of Science degree, a Masters degree and a law degree. She also received the distinct award of being tapped into the Mystical Seven. This is an honor bestowed on seven outstanding seniors based on their good deeds, selfless leadership and service to the campus and community. After college, she obtained an internship working with the NCAA in Kansas City. Within weeks, she received a full-time offer as an assistant director in Enforcement. In July of 1999, the NCAA transferred their corporate headquarters to Indianapolis, Indiana and Jan and Tara made the move with them. She continued to work in Enforcement for six years before taking a position as a basketball certification coordinator. In 2016, she was promoted to an Associate Director in Championships. She oversaw Championships in Division III Women’s volleyball, softball and ice hockey. Jan retired in January 2021. She said she didn’t miss the work so much as she missed the people and the relationships she had developed over the years. In July 2021, Jan and Tara moved to Shawnee, Kansas to be closer to both their families.
Jan and Tara met in July of 1997 at a party in Kansas City. Their first date was five days later and they were never apart after that. After finally being allowed to marry, Jan and Tara were married Feb. 14, 2015 after 17 and a half years together.
Jan had many passions but pickleball was her favorite. Since her retirement, she played almost every day, if not multiple times a day. She was a fierce competitor on the court and loved to win, but her demeanor was the same win or lose, always accepting either outcome with a huge smile on her face. More than anything, she enjoyed the friendships that formed from playing this sport. Jan was getting ready to compete in several events at the U.S. Open in Naples, Florida. She had received a gold medal when competing earlier in the year at nationals in Palm Springs, California. Jan loved spending time with family, and this usually involved many board games, cards or ping pong. For enjoyment, she was avid at working puzzles—the more complex, the better.
Jan was preceded in death by her father, Marion E. Gentry, her mother, Patricia R. Gentry, father-in-law, Timothy Bertram and stepmother Mary Lou Gentry. She is survived by her wife, Tara Bertram; brothers Brad Gentry (Sue) and Todd Gentry (Roxanne); sister Dawn Gentry-Waltman (Doug); Mother-in-law, Carol Bertram; sister-in-law, Kim Lytle (Allen); nieces Kristen Franke (Erika), Jamie Gentry, Jaylynn Gentry (Ben), Erica Waltman-Lopez (Alex), Paige Waltman (John) and Maclayn Baumhover (Zach); nephews Steven Franke and Dalton Lytle; grandnephew Wesley; grandniece Wrenley; and long time best friend, Kelly Groddy.
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