Robert Roe Kent

1925 ~ 2016

On May 27th, 2016 Robert Roe Kent passed away peacefully in his home surrounded by family. Robert was a third generation Nevadan born to Ira Longfellow and Margaret Anna Dolf Kent on July 10, 1925 in San Francisco, CA. His grandparents came to Fallon by way of Virginia City, Switzerland and the Stillwater Valley in the late 1800’s.Robert was born into a loving and involved extended family with his grandparents being very influential in his upbringing. He spent time on his grandfather’s ranch running errands and eventually working in the Kent family business. The tradition of family was emphasized early, with the importance of food and meals shared together was a long tradition. This was

accompanied by a keen interest in growing any type of food or crop. In his later years, Robert spent many days checking on his irrigation systems to ensure his plants and trees were flourishing in the Nevada desert accompanied

by his Schnauzer. Robert attended Cottage School, West End and then Oats Park graduating from Churchill County Schools in 1942. Within days after graduation Robert caught the train in Hazen, Nevada for a destination to San Diego,

California where he enlisted in the US Marine Corp at the age of 17. His military service was in the West Pak, a gunner on the USS Monterey. The USS Monterey reached the Gilbert Islands, combat operations with Task Force 58 including campaigns in the Carolines, Marianas and New Guinea as well as the decisive Battle of the Philippine Sea which was the virtual end of the Japanese Navy. The USS Monterey was one of the first ships to occupy Japan. Robert was able to be one of the first soldiers to return home to Fallon due to points accumulated for battles. He took the train home to Fallon where he was later joined by soldiers from the Lahontan Valley. Robert used the GI bill to attend the University of Nevada, Reno majoring in business administration graduating in 1950. He was a member of the fraternity, Alpha Tau Omega, taking on the house manager role where he was known for improving the meals and facilitating the remodel of the

fraternity house. He was also the treasurer for Coffin and Keys (UNR men’s honorary society), member of the Sundowners, and business manager of the Sagebrush (newspaper) and Artemisia (yearbook). He met the future Mrs. Kent while enrolled in the same class at UNR, Miss Muriel Evelyn Smiley. She was an education major and was also involved as a treasurer at the Artemisia. They fell in love, married and this past December celebrated 63 years of marriage.

Robert was a hard working businessman who managed and expanded the family business endeavors with his two brothers Tom, Ken and cousin Joe Wallace. Their father and grandfather had created a civic and commercial power, helping to unite and galvanize the community. The I.H. Kent Company had extended credit during the depression to surrounding farmers and when families were unable to pay they developed a barter system to ensure individuals got through the difficult times. The grocery store was a rallying place for friends as well as customers. Together they were involved in numerous business ventures which included ranching, an alfalfa mill, sugar beet factory, sales of farm equipment, lumber and feed, and meat processing. Later Robert’s focus was concentrated toward the grocery store at the corner of Center and Maine Streets which had been relocated from Stillwater in early 1902. He supervised the 1968 renovation that included

updating the exterior of the stone building quarried from area Rattlesnake Hill necessary due to earthquake damage in 1952. Responding to customers traveling from surrounding areas, Robert opened a second grocery store and located it in Austin Nevada. He began a seven year stint traveling the “loneliest road in America” across eastern Nevada to deliver supplies and manage the store. The main grocery store closed in 1992 followed by the closing of the Austin Store in 1996. Faced with the possibility of free time, Robert acquired additional commercial and residential properties. He purchased, remodeled and rented properties in the Fallon area. By managing the property up until the age of 86, he enjoyed and continued his long tradition of interacting with the public. Robert was a longtime member of several community organizations and carried on the longtime family tradition of civic service. His father was a founding member of the Fallon Rotary Club, Robert continued the tradition and had received two Paul Harris Awards. Up until 2013 ill health prevented him from continuing as an active member of the Cemetery Board. This community service had him constantly thinking of ways to change and improve the grounds. Robert served as a president of the Chamber of Commerce and was a member of the Downtown Merchants Association. Robert recently received his 60 year pin from the Knights Templar, was a member of the Free and Accepted Masons-Churchill Lodge #26, and Scottish Rites. Although work always took precedence Robert was a member of the Greenhead Hunting Club and he and wife, Muriel enjoyed the socialization

in the 20-30 Club. Robert Roe Kent was preceded in death by his father Ira Longfellow Kent, mother Margaret Anna Dolf Kent, brothers Thomas Kent, and Kenneth Kent, sister Mary Lou Neddenreip. He is survived by his wife Muriel Smiley Kent, son Stephen (Mayla) Kent, daughter Kristi (David) Evers, daughter Cynthia (Eric) Kent-Dillon, grandchildren Kristopher Kent, Kim Kent, Kara Gurries, Mariel Evers, Andrew Evers, Allyson Evers, Cole Dillon, Olivia Dillon, Lane

Dillon and great grandchildren Hugo, Adaline, and Cora. A funeral service will be conducted by the United Methodist Church in Fallon on June 4, 2016 at 11:00 a.m. at 280 E. Stillwater Avenue. Following the service there will be interment in the family plot at the Churchill County Cemetery and a luncheon following at the Wolfe Center located within the United Methodist Church. A viewing will be on June 2, 2016 at 7:00 p.m. at the United Methodist Church. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Churchill County Museum, 1050 S. Maine Street, Fallon, NV. Arrangements are with Smith Family Funeral Home, Fallon. 423-2255.

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