Celebrity

Public Memorial Planned for Troy Gentry at Grand Ole Opry in Nashville Before Private Burial



Fans are being invited to help celebrate the life of late country star Troy Gentry at a public memorial service this week.

Gentry – who was killed in a helicopter crash in Medford, New Jersey, on Friday – will be honored on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 11 a.m. CT at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee.

Those unable to attend in person can watch the memorial through a live stream on the Opry website. The family asks that – in lieu of flowers – donations be made to T.J. Martell Foundation or The American Red Cross for hurricane relief.

Following the service, the family will hold a private interment through Austin Funeral & Cremation services.

In a release about the services, Gentry’s management said, “Known for his wide smile, Gentry was personally driven by faith, family and living life to the fullest. He was happiest on the water with his family.”

“He enjoyed both wake boarding and snow skiing. Gentry was also an active supporter of various athletic teams at his daughter Kaylee’s school,” the release said.

Brian Rayner, senior air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, previously told PEOPLE that Gentry’s helicopter ride in a Schweitzer 269 Charlie 1 aircraft is being preliminarily described as “impromptu, spur of the moment.”

“Not long after takeoff, the pilot announced over the airport frequency – which was being monitored by a number of people – that he was having difficulty controlling engine RPM,” said Rayner. “A couple of different responses to that challenge were discussed, and he was performing an auto rotational descent to runway one.”

Continued Rayner, “The helicopter landed short of the runway in low brush, it was substantially damaged and the occupants were fatally injured.”

According to NJ.com, pilot James Evan Robinson was pronounced dead on the scene. Gentry, 50, was taken to nearby Virtua Hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries.



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