A Master of a Man
In a trade, you begin as an apprentice, you work your way up to Journeyman and you reach the top of the trade as a Master. Hoyte Gentry was a well-known master plumber, but he mastered so much more in life. He was married to his sweetheart, Elizabeth for 57 years, owned and operated Gentry plumbing for 53 years and truly gave his time, talent and energy to his community.
It would be hard to think of something that Hoyte hadn’t done to help a friend or a charity he was passionate about. Whether he was rounding up support from friends, cooking food for hundreds or digging into his own pockets, he was a Master giver and a Master of a man.
Several years ago, and together with a partner, Urban Anslinger, Hoyte gave a legacy gift to CHRISTUS Spohn—a parcel of land in Rockport. There was some speculation that the land might be used for a clinic. The Spohn CEO at the time made various offers of control over the project to Hoyte—everything from a buyback option to shared profits. Hoyte declined. As a Master Giver, he didn’t need control and wasn’t worried about ownership, he said at the time, “It’s a gift, it’s all yours.”
When you asked Hoyte about his business, he would tell you that his work had to “hold water.” He said it with a smile, just one more joke in what was surely a day filled with jokes. Hoyte was a happy man, father and grandfather. He was his own boss, had loved a beautiful woman, made and kept countless friends, and made a difference in our community.
According to Hoyte, Gentry Plumbing probably “piped” eighty percent of the prestigious buildings in Corpus Christi. The buildings may be beautiful but his work is hidden. He was okay with working behind the scenes for charity too. He didn’t do it for the recognition, he did it because it was right—he was a Master.
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