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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Raymond L. Jent, 86, of Lubbock, Texas, passed away on Friday, Dec. 11, 2009.

Ray was born near Hume, Mo., on Sept. 28, 1923, to Dolly and Edward Jent.

He married Mickey Pillot while serving in the U.S. Navy during WWII.

Ray began his career in the music business with Jenkins Music in Joplin, Mo., in 1946. After managing both the Amarillo and Lubbock locations of Jenkins Music, Ray and his wife Mickey opened their own music store, Jent's House of Music, on July 15, 1961.

What began as a 30 foot storefront has grown to include three locations including the original storefront, still located on 34th street.

Ray was very active in the community. He was awarded the Paul Harris Fellow with the Downtown Rotary Club of Lubbock. Ray was one of the founders of the National Association of School Music Dealers. Ray also served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Music Merchants.

In 2002, he was bestowed with perhaps his greatest honor, when Lubbock High School named its new band hall "Jent Hall," in appreciation for his years of dedication and service to the music industry and the Lubbock community.

His wife Mickey, of over 62 years, preceded him in death in October of 2006.

Survivors include his brother, Winfred Jent, of Fort Scott, Kan.; daughters and sons-in-law, Karen and Guy Polland of Lubbock, Texas, and Vicki and John Kirby of Humble, Texas, son Jerry Jent of Seagraves; eight grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; and a multitude of friends and musicians.

Memorial services were held at 10 a.m., on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2009 at the Oakwood United Methodist Church, 2215 58th Street, Lubbock, Texas.

As his final act of service, Ray's body was donated to the Texas Tech University School of Medicine.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the NAMM Museum of Making Music, 5790 Armada Drive, Carlsbad, Calif.; or the charity of the donor's choice.