• Ashland names Doug Gentry volunteer of year

  • The city of Ashland has named Doug Gentry, who died in late 2013, the volunteer of the year.
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  • The city of Ashland has named Doug Gentry, who died in late 2013, the volunteer of the year.
    Earlier this week, the Ashland City Council posthumously awarded Gentry its annual James M. Ragland Memorial Ashland Volunteer Spirit Community Service Award.
    Gentry, who died in November 2013 after a battle with cancer, served as chairman of the Ashland Community Hospital Board of Directors.
    Through the work of Gentry and others, the financially struggling hospital was able to escape closure by merging with Asante, which operates hospitals in Medford and Grants Pass. The Ashland hospital has since been renamed Asante Ashland Community Hospital.
    Mayor John Stromberg said Gentry had a spirit of civic engagement and was able to find common ground on complex issues.
    He had an attitude of grace even as he counted down his final days. In 2013, shortly before he passed away, the Ashland Chamber of Commerce named Gentry its Citizen of the Year.
    His other civic activities included volunteering for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Lithia Springs Rotary Club, and serving on the city of Ashland's Budget Committee. Gentry earlier had a career in health care management and consulting, then began a career in education. He most recently taught economics at Southern Oregon University.
    An avid outdoorsman who enjoyed annual vacations to the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York with his wife, Gentry also enjoyed baking treats for students, friends, family members and people in need attending free community meals in Ashland.
    Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.
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