John Carl Kent passed away peacefully at home at the age of 87 on January 23, 2021, with his son David and daughter-in-law Vickie present. John was born on December 26, 1933, the tenth of twelve children of Martin David and Effie Susieann (Williams) Kent, in White Oak, Missouri. John’s family were hard working cotton farmers. He took on much of the farm responsibility following his father’s death when he was only 10 years old.
John moved to Maryland in his late teens, following his older brother, Jim and older sister, Georgie, who had already moved there. He was drafted into the US Army in 1954 to serve during the Korean War. He meritoriously advanced to the rank of Sergeant while leading the motor pool. A favorite memory of John’s was his time in Africa, Austria and Germany while serving.
Upon discharge, John returned to Maryland where he worked at the United States Naval Academy dairy farm in Gambrills. It was shortly after this time that he met and then married his wife of 61 years, Patricia Dean Trent of Severn, MD. They were married November 3, 1956.
John worked in several jobs within the automotive industry before founding his own auto-repair business, John Kent Auto & Truck, in March of 1981. The business, located in Annapolis, will celebrate its 40th anniversary this year. John has always been an incredibly hard worker and continued to go to work every day until 6 months before he died. He built a reputation with his customers and community as a man of honesty, integrity, and helpfulness. There was no task that was beneath him and he often took on more than was expected.
Through his business, he provided employment for many of his family members and friends. His family has always greatly looked up to him and respected him for his work ethic and ability to provide. He was always known to be dependable and to demonstrate his love for his family through action, sacrifice and his presence. He never missed an important event or milestone in the lives of his family.
In addition to running his own business, he served as a Boy Scout Master from 1969-1977 of Troop 662 in Severn, Maryland. He joined Glen Burnie Baptist Church in the early 1960s and has been a long-time member and regular attender. He was a skilled outdoorsman and loved to hunt, fish and camp. From his experience as a farmer, he became a lifelong gardener and had a thorough knowledge of animals. He even kept squirrels as pets and the family jokes he was the “Squirrel Whisperer” because the squirrels would lay contently on his chest as he petted them. He also had an extensive wood shop where he would work on personal projects such as a family hope chest made from trees from his brother’s farm in Missouri that he drove across the country.
Many describe him as a man of few words. His grandsons jokingly called him ‘Smiley’ because it was rare to see him offer much expression. He was a member of the Silent Generation- a generation born into a time of war and economic depression. This was very evident throughout his life as someone who lived simply, valued frugality and hard work, and did not complain or share his opinions. John was strong-willed and determined. He often said, “Can’t never could do nothing.”
Above all, he was a family man, and was ever present and sustaining for them. John is predeceased by all his siblings and his wife, Patricia. He is survived by his two children, Rhonda Gale Kent Smith and David Ray (Vickie) Kent, and his four grandchildren Ronald (Christine) Smith, Ryan (Diana) Smith, Angela (Paulo Arratia) Kent, and Jonathan Kent. He was blessed to know his three great granddaughters,
Ryleigh, Julianna, and Maya, and was just getting to know Ron’s stepsons, Brandon, Doug, Geordon and Nick.
The family invites you to celebrate John’s life on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 at Glen Burnie Baptist Church, 7524 Old Stage Road, Glen Burnie, MD 21061. Visitation will begin at 11:00 a.m. followed by the service at 12:00 p.m. John will be laid to rest privately at the Maryland Veteran’s Cemetery in Crownsville, Maryland. Due to COVID restrictions, guests will be required to follow the church’s face mask/covering and social distancing guidelines. While the church building is following guidelines to keep guests as safe as possible, we ask you to call the shop (410-841-5579) to reserve a spot so we have a general idea of the total number attending and can arrange seating appropriately.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Glen Burnie Baptist Church.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Carl Kent, please visit our floral store.
Glen Burnie Baptist Church
7524 Old Stage Road, Glen Burnie MD 21061