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Jerol E. Kent, a retired businessman, died Monday (Dec. 20, 1999) at his home in Clarence, under Hospice care, after a long illness. He was 79.

A native of Conewango, he loved to remind his children and grandchildren that in the 1930s he was once the Cattaraugus County champion in The Buffalo Evening News spelling contest.

He was a 1942 graduate of Hartwick College. As a founder of Retake Corp. in 1956, he and his partners operated a number of businesses, including Forsyth Industries of East Aurora and Vanguard Industries of Buffalo. In 1975 he purchased Mediscreen Inc., a paramedical company that grew to 1,500 nurses in 35 states performing insurance physicals for 400 companies. He retired after selling the business in 1986.

Kent was known for his sense of humor and published a book of satirical songs and musings about former Buffalo Mayor James D. Griffin titled "Sing a Song of Six Packs.

As a 45-year member of Unitarian Universalist Church of Amherst, he served as chairman of the board of trustees, taught Sunday school, served on numerous committees and devised the entertainment for the annual dinner-dance.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, the former Dorismae Kohler; three sons, Jerol Jr. of Williamsville and Randy and Barry, both of East Amherst; two daughters, Linda of New York City and Dr. Holly of Denver; and 10 grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Jan. 9 in Unitarian Universalist Church of Amherst, 6320 Main St.


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