The woman who brought tap and ballet to Newark for decades has died, family members confirmed Tuesday.
Fremont resident and longtime Newark dance instructor Betty Gentry died Sunday. She was 87.
Gentry, born and raised in San Francisco, ran her own studio for 15 years. Afterward, she moved to Fremont, where she planned to focus on raising her daughter.
Then in December 1963, Gentry started teaching dance in Newark and throughout her 48 years as a , her classes expanded to include ballet, tap, hip-hop and adult dance classes.
In June 2011, Gentry’s was held and the Newark City Council commended her upon her retirement.
“You’ve just created such a legacy here in Newark. You’ve touched so many lives,” said former mayor David Smith during the council’s . “Your light is going to continue to shine on us for years and years to come.”
Gentry told the audience that night that she was thankful for being a part of the Newark community.
“I’ve always been very, very happy. And (my) classes were good because of you,” Gentry said in June. “Thank you for letting me be a part of your lives. …It was not a job. It was a joy.”
Read the here. A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, May 12, 2012 at the Chapel of the Roses, 1940 Peralta Blvd. in Fremont, at 1:00 p.m.