(November 05, 1925 – October 26, 2020)
Mr. William E. “Bill” Dent, 94, formerly of Abilene, Texas, was born on November 5, 1925 in Azle, Texas to Robert Lee and Alma Daughtery Dent. Bill, as he was affectionately known, was born into eternal life on (October 26, 2020) at the home of his daughter, Delinda Dent of Richmond, Kentucky surrounded by family and friends.
Bill spent his childhood days in Azle, Texas and at the age of 19, he enlisted in the United States Army, serving in the 41 st Division Infantry during WWII. Within days after the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, Bill’s division was assigned to assist the Japanese military in cleaning up the aftermath. To assist with the low morale of this daunting task, a football “league” was formed as Bill’s team, the Jungleers, played several games against other branches of the military teams. He spoke fondly of playing in the Tokyo Rose Bowl Classic on New Year’s Day in 1946 as a right guard and kept hand drawn plays that he and his fellow soldiers created. The Jungleers won by a victory of 27-2.
Upon discharge from the Army in September of 1946, Bill returned to Abilene, Texas where he met and married his sweetheart, Lillie Faye Burnett on November 11, 1947.
Bill spent his 45-year career in management with the Furr’s Grocery Stores as a store planning coordinator for 78 stores, as a District Manager/District Supervisor. Bill’s career with Furr’s included managerial assignments in Midland and El Paso, Texas and Denver, Colorado before returning to Abilene, Texas in 1995. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of Furr’s Grocery. Upon the death of his first wife, Bill married June Chron Price on November 1, 1997 in Abilene, Texas. He often said how many men are blessed with two wonderful wives.
Bill was involved in his community and church, giving tirelessly to those in need. At the First Baptist Church in Abilene, Bill served as the Coordinator of Abilene Social Ministries, an outreach program to provide food and clothing to needy families. In 2010, Bill received the Outstanding Service Award by the Mental Health Association of Abilene (MHAA) in recognition for his community involvement with ensuring hungry families had enough food. He was a Deacon and was an active member of the Fellowship Sunday School Class of First Baptist Church, Abilene, Texas. He served as chairman of the Deacons, President of Baptist Men and Director and teacher of young singles in Sunday School while living in Denver. Bill was actively involved with the Denver Lions Club and the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Posse in addition he was a 50 year 32nd Degree Mason of the George Washington Lodge in Denver.
Bill greatly loved his family and friends. He was a man of great influence in the lives of his daughter and grandchildren, brought happiness and laughter into the lives of many.
Bill was preceded in death by Delinda’s mom, Lillie Faye Burnett Dent on September 4, 1995 and June C. Price Dent on May 20, 2018, in addition to his parents, Robert and Alma Dent, and two brothers Robert (Bob) Dent and James (Jimmy) Dent. He is survived by his daughter, Dr. Delinda Dent and husband John Lackey of Richmond; a sister, Louise Dent Sherrick of Ft. Worth, Texas; two granddaughters, Dr. Alisha Melina Wray and husband, Dr. Justin Wray of Waco, Texas; Dr. Katibeth Sharp and husband, Andrew Sharp of Richmond, Kentucky; two step-daughters, Virginia Kay Brown and husband Ben Brown of Dallas, Texas and Norma Judy Oles and husband Mike Oles of Lubbock, Texas; and step-granddaughter Melissa Hodge and husband Travis od Dallas Texas two great-granddaughters, Lyra Bell Wray and Ella Lillie Wray of Waco, Texas, step- great grandson Benjamin Hodge, and his special little buddy Reid Friend of Lexington Kentucky in addition to a host of nieces, nephews and the extended Lackey/Friend family.
Bill asked his son-in-law John Lackey to conduct his graveside service just prior to his death.
Pallbearers include Andrew Sharp, Don Shillingburg, Dr. Justin Wray, Mike Oles, Ben Brown, and Woodrow Friend.
Honorary pallbearers include Grady Dorsett, Rev. L.D. Patrick, Hector Duran, Dr. Julian Bridges, Rev. Marcus Driggers, and Ed Cox.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the William E. & Lillie F. Dent Endowed Memorial Scholarship of Hardin-Simmons University, P.O. Box 16100, Abilene, Texas, 79698 or to White Oak Pond Church 1238 Barnes Mill Road, Richmond Ky 40475, Hospice Care, 350 Issacs Ln, Richmond, Kentucky 40475.
A graveside service will be conducted at Erath Gardens of Memory, 6811 S. Highway 377, Dublin, Texas.