|Birth: ||Jul. 9, 1984|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Jun. 9, 2010, Afghanistan|
1st Lt. Joel C. Gentz, 25, of Grass Lake, Mich., assigned to the 58th Rescue Squadron, Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. He died June 9, near Forward Operating Base Jackson, Afghanistan, in a helicopter crash. Born the son of Steve and Judy Gentz of Grass Lake, who survive. He graduated with honors in 2007 from Purdue University in West Lafayette, where he majored in aeronautical engineering. While attending Purdue he met Kathryn Sullivan, and they married on June 7, 2008. She survives in Fort Wayne. 1st Lt. Gentz served as an Air Force Cadet and member of Arnold Air Society. He was further distinguished as Wing Commander of his detachment. During his four years as a Purdue Air Force ROTC student, he was noted as being an outstanding leader and was recognized with the Warrior Spirit Award each year. On graduation, he elected to enter Combat Rescue Officer training, some of the toughest training offered by the Department of Defense, and was trained in Special Forces operations. He was one of the most highly trained airmen in the Air Force, and led a Pararescue team on search and rescue missions. He was a member of the Order of Iron Key, Old Masters and the Phi Delta Theta fraternity. He was an avid marathon runner, and in 2007 finished in the top four percent in the Boston Marathon with a time just under three hours. Surviving with his wife and parents are a sister, Rachel, and brother, Jared, both at home. Also surviving are his grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
Oak Grove Cemetery
Created by: Elizabeth Reed
Record added: Jun 10, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 53526095