Montgomery Gentry‘s record label, Average Joes Entertainment, has released Troy Gentry’s official obituary. The 50-year-old musician died in a helicopter crash on Friday afternoon in Medford, New Jersey just hours before a scheduled performance was to take place at the Flying W Airport & Resort. In addition to Gentry, the helicopter’s pilot, James Evan Robinson, also died in the crash.
Brian Rayner, senior air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, shared with PEOPLE that Gentry’s helicopter ride is being described as “impromptu, spur of the moment” at this time.
“Not long after takeoff, the pilot announced over the airport frequency – which was being monitored by a number of people – that he was having difficulty controlling engine RPM,” explained Rayner. “A couple of different responses to that challenge were discussed, and he was performing an auto rotational descent to runway one.”
Added Rayner, “The helicopter landed short of the runway in low brush, it was substantially damaged and the occupants were fatally injured.”
Read Troy Gentry’s full obituary below:
“Troy Lee Gentry passed away Sept. 8, 2017, in Medford, N.J., at the age of 50. He was born April 5, 1967 in Lexington, Ky.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Lloyd and Patricia Gentry, and his brother, Keith Gentry.
A loving father and devoted husband, Gentry is survived by his wife, Angie Gentry (nee McClure), as well as his daughters, Taylor and Kaylee.
He was a graduate of Lexington Community College, and he attended the University of Kentucky.
Gentry was best known as a member of the award-winning country duo Montgomery Gentry, along with his longtime friend Eddie Montgomery. The pair began performing together in their home state of Kentucky and released their debut album, Tattoos & Scars, in 1999. The duo, whose trademark sound combined Southern rock and country, scored a string of No. 1 hits, including “If You Ever Stop Loving Me,” “Something to Be Proud Of,” “Lucky Man,” “Back When I Knew It All” and “Roll With Me.” They achieved platinum certification on three of their albums and gold certification on three others.
In 2009 the duo became members of the venerable Grand Ole Opry, which was Gentry’s proudest professional achievement.
The band was planning to release an album of new music in 2018 to mark their 20th anniversary as a duo.
A generous man, Gentry supported numerous charitable organizations, including Make-a-Wish Foundation and TJ Martell Foundation, as well as military-related charities such as the USO. He was an active supporter of breast cancer awareness and research. Montgomery Gentry was honored with the Academy of Country Music’s Humanitarian Award in 2009.
Known for his wide smile, Gentry was personally driven by faith, family and living life to the fullest. He was happiest on the water with his family. He enjoyed both wake boarding and snow skiing. Gentry was also an active supporter of various athletic teams at his daughter Kaylee’s school.
A follower of Christ, Gentry faithfully attended Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tenn., when he was not on the road. One of his favorite Bible verses was Deuteronomy 31:6, which says, “Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the Lord your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.”
A public celebration of Gentry’s life will take place Thursday, Sept. 14, at 11AM CT at the Grand Ole Opry House, located at 2804 Opryland Drive, Nashville, TN, 37214. A private, family internment will follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to TJ Martell Foundation or the American Red Cross for hurricane relief.
For those unable to attend, a live stream of the service can be viewed here on Thursday: http://www.opry.com/troy-gentry.”
Public Memorial Service for Troy Lee Gentry
Thursday, September 14th at 11 a.m. CT
Grand Ole Opry House
2804 Opryland Drive
Nashville, TN 37214
Share this information with other country music fans. Rest in peace, Troy.