Charles Martin Dent, Jr.

charles dent, jr.
Charles Martin Dent, Jr., of Asheville, NC, passed away peacefully at the John F. Keever, Jr. Solace Center on January 2, 2017. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio to Charles Martin Dent, Sr. and Nell Hill Dent on August 18, 1924. He was married for 67 years to the love of his life, Ethel Finlayson Dent, who preceded him in death in 2012. Charlie was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Army Air Corps, serving as a Flight Officer in WWII, from 1945 to 1946 before being honorably discharged. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1948 with a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering. He was employed briefly by the Department of Highways for the state of Kentucky before his employment in 1951 as a civil engineer with American Enka Corporation in Asheville, NC. He retired from there in 1990. For 4 years in the 1960s, he briefly left Enka to serve the city of Asheville as Executive Director of the Asheville Redevelopment Commission. Much of the modernization of downtown Asheville began during his tenure at the Commission. Charlie was recognized for his expertise and significant contribution as a Board Member of the Buncombe County Metropolitan Sewerage District Board from 1974 until 1995. Charlie was a Fellow and Life Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Most important to Charlie was his faith and his family. He and his wife Ethel raised three children together, and he was a Life Deacon and faithfully served on many committees at First Baptist Church, Asheville. Charlie is survived by his children: Beverly Jean Pennell (Clark) of Asheville, NC; Charles Bruce Dent and partner, John King, of Los Angeles, CA; Debbie Dent Klutz (Ken) of Orlando, FL; four grandchildren: Joseph J. Dobner (Susan) of Kirkland, WA; Betsy C. Nesbitt (Curtis) of Asheville, NC; Laura K. Antunano (Miguel) of Hollywood, FL; and Katie E. Klutz (Katie Bradley) of Tallahassee, FL; and nine great-grandchildren. He is survived by one brother, Eugene H. Dent of Louisville, KY. A private burial will be held for the family at Green Hills Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be held on Tuesday, January 10, 2017 at 11 a.m. at the Chapel, First Baptist Church, 5 Oak Street, Asheville, NC. The family will greet friends in the Chapel following the Celebration. The family wishes to express their deepest gratitude to Louise Brown for her dedicated care of Charlie over the past year as well as caregivers, Kathleen and Angela, of the HomeInstead organization. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to any of the following: First Baptist Church, 5 Oak St., Asheville, NC 28801; Memory Care, 100 Far Horizons Lane, Asheville, NC 28803; or The John F. Keever, Jr. Solace Center, 68 Sweeten Creek Road, Asheville, NC 28803. Groce Funeral Home on Patton Ave. is assisting the family.

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  1. Bev, Bruce and Debbie, you guys got to great people for parents. Just don’t get them much finer. The loss is sad, but you have some many blessings to celebrate and cherish, that I sure hope the smile finds its way into your life more often than the tear of sadness. Grace and Peace,

  2. What a wonderful long and loving life he shared with his family and friends. My condolences go out to you and your family.

  3. Dear Debbie and all your family, Bob and I know and understand this great loss of your beloved father. Please accept our heartfelt and deepest sympathy. May your faith and the sweet memories of your dad bring you a deep consoling peace! Much love to you and yours!

  4. Oh, my dear Beverly, Bruce and Debbie, I send you big hugs and kleenex. What wonderful parents we had.
    Love you all so dearly. And if I did not live in the far frozen north, I would be there Tuesday to tell you so myself.

    love, Genie

  5. Dear Debbie. Our condolences to you and family. Charlie was a good man and we know he is with Ethel.

  6. Dear Debbie, Bruce, Beverly and extended family, please know that my heart was heavy when I heard of your dear dad’s passing. His kind and gentle manner, and the ready smile he had for me each Sunday at First Baptist Church when I was a child will be forever etched in my memory. What a special man he was. With heartfelt sympathy for each of you, Margaret (Nailling) and Tom Chmielewski

  7. Beverly,
    So very sorry for your loss. It is tough to lose your parents, but it is so comforting to know that he is in Heaven and reunited with your mom.
    Thinking of you and praying for peace and comfort in the days ahead.
    Charlie and Diane Tucker

  8. Beverly, Debbie and Bruce, our hearts go out to you during this sad time. There is no way to express how much we thought of your dad and how much he meant to us. With all of us growing up together and our parents staying neighbors and friends even with all of us gone, our families have been close for many, many years. We will miss him terribly. Knowing that he is now with Ethel and our Mother and Dad is comforting.
    Please know that our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families. Let us know if there is anything that we can do for you.
    Kathy and Jan

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