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Obituary: Kent, Herb

Age 95

KENT, Herb

Herbert Kent, age 95, passed away February 25, 2012. Herb was born on December 27, 1916, in the homestead home of his parents, Charles and Pauline Kent, a few miles from Benge, Washington. Herb was the third of eight Kent children that reached adulthood. They are Wilbur, Robert, Virginia, Emma, Alfred, Anita and Mary Ann. During his school years, Herb worked for area farmers, and some of them were still using horses. He also helped herd sheep and trail them to summer pastures in north Idaho. After graduating from Ritzville High School in 1935, Herb spent a few years working on U.S. Forest Service ‘blister rust’ crews in north Idaho. In January 1941, he and his older brother Bob joined the U.S. Army. They were together on the Philippine Islands in 1942 when the Japanese Army captured the islands. They were also together for a few months in a Japanese prison camp. Bob was killed on a Japanese prison ship in October 1944. Herb survived the 40 months as a prisoner of war (POW), doing horrible prison labor, and learned of his brother Bob’s death after World War II ended in 1945.

Herb married Dorothy Adams in December 1945. Dorothy was an Army nurse at the recovery hospital where Herb was sent after his POW ordeal. They both said it was ‘love at first sight’, so they got married after just a two week courtship! Shortly after that, they were both discharged from the Army and they returned to Benge. In 1950, Herb and his younger brother Alfred began buying and operating a wheat farm that their father owned. They became full time farmers and over the next few decades, the Kent Brothers little family farm raised cattle, hay, wheat and two families. Herb served the Benge community in many ways, and without being asked, always stepped forward when something needed to be done. Herb and Dorothy loved to travel and see the sights, from day trips to sea cruises to winters in Arizona.

Herb and Dorothy’s children are; Robert (Judy McDowell), Alan (Irma Hoffman), Ellen (Randy Bachman) and Lisa (George Whitney). They have nine grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. Herb was preceded in death by his son Alan in 2010 and his wife Dorothy in 2011. Memorial services will be at 1:00 p.m. on March 17 at the Benge Church. DANEKAS FUNERAL HOME is handling arrangements. Memorial contributions can be given to the Ralston Grange, the Benge Church or the Washtucna Lions Club.