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a. Note:   Colonel, Richard Franklin Kent, U.S. Army retired, joined his beloved wife of 64 years, Nancy, in eternal life on 18 January 2006. Col. Kent had been a resident of Sierra Vista since 2001, after more than 30 years in Montgomery, Alabama, where they retired from the Army. He lived his life as an officer and gentleman, a Warrior and a scholar. He was devoted to his wife and family, and had a lust for learning, a pragmatic perspective, and a delightful sense of humor. Dick, as he was known to friends and family, was born in Manhattan, Kansas, to Dr. Harry L. and Ursula Kent. He was one of 5 children who moved with their parents to Mesilla Park, New Mexico when Dick was 2. While Dr. Kent presided over New Mexico State University, young Dick spent much of his free time with his horse Jesse riding through the Mesilla Valley and the Tularosa basin visiting friends, hunting and learning the ways of the desert. These skills later were instrumental in his career during combat in North Africa. In 1939, he graduated from NMSU with honors in chemical engineering. As a distinguished military graduate, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Regular Army, branched to the Infantry, and was posted to Fort Bragg, NC. Dick almost missed his previously planned wedding to Nancy in December 1941, after Pearl Harbor was attacked. After the wedding, their honeymoon consisted of the rapid trip back to Fort Bragg and service with the 9th Infantry Division. Several months later he was en route to Port Lyautey, Morocco and numerous campaigns in North Africa. He also saw action in Sicily before a brief respite in England to prepare for action in Normandy. Following D-day, Normandy and fighting in the hedgerow country, his unit also saw action in the battle of the Ruhr pocket and the Hurtgen Forest. As a Battalion Commander, he was one of the few who led his battalion across the Remagen Bridge into the Battle of the Bulge. Among his various decorations, Dick was awarded both the Silver and Bronze Star medals. Following the war, Dick remained in Germany as the OIC over part of southern Germany. Upon return to the US, he was stationed in Houston. Dick saw NATO duty in Italy and attended the Army War college in Carlisle Barracks in the early 1950's. He returned to the Infantry School at Fort Benning for his Brigade Command. Following a tour in Korea, Dick and family moved to northern Virginia where he worked as the Military Advisor to Army Undersecretaries Stephen Ailes and Cyrus Vance during the early 1960's. Actions of interest during his tenure at the Pentagon included the Cuban Missile Crisis and the death of President John Kennedy. His last assignment was at the Air University at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, Alabama. Following his retirement, he engaged in his favorite pass-time, fishing, as long as his health allowed. His other interests included reading, maintaining their 5 acres in Montgomery, RV traveling to Alaska and Canada, and investing. Dick is survived by their three children, Inga K. (and Martin) McCord of Hereford, Arizona; Gretchen K. (and Pat) Kerr of Sierra Vista, Arizona; and LTC (ret) Richard F. (and Catherine) Kent, Jr. of Boise, Idaho. His two grandchildren are Cadet Elizabeth Kent, at the US Military Academy, West Point, Class of 2006; and Rebecca Kent, a freshman nursing student (ROTC) at Boise State University. Other family members include her sister LoRee Taggart of Stanwood, Washington; and brother Dr. Clarence (Shorty) Kent of Ithaca, New York. Dick and Nancy leave behind many dear friends in Las Cruces, Montgomery and Sierra Vista. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in be sent to the Arthritis National Research Foundation (200 Oceangate, Suite 830; Long Beach CA 90802) or the educational institution of your choice. His ashes will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery at a future date. At this time, a local service in celebration of the lives of both Dick and Nancy is being planned for later in the spring. The family extends gratitude to the loving care-givers at Life Care Center in Sierra Vista, and to the other friends who have visited, written and prayed on their behalf. Arrangements have been entrusted to Jensen's Sierra Vista Mortuary.


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