Mary Jane Sentell, 97, passed away peacefully in her sleep on July 26, 2018 after a battle with
Alzheimer’s disease. She was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana where she attended Byrd High School, Stephens College and Louisiana State University where she was a member of Kappa Delta Sorority. She met her future husband, Samuel Eugene (Gene) Sentell, Jr., in elementary school and they remained friends while attending middle school together. Their courtship began in high school when Gene realized that she was the love of his life, and they married in July 1940. They set the example for what a great relationship should be and were happily and devotedly married for 65 years until Gene’s passing in 2005.
When first married, they lived in Shreveport. Mary Jane was active in her community serving as
chairman of the Alter Guild for her church, holding various positions for the Junior League including board member, corresponding secretary, chairman of the admission and nominating committees, and placement chairman, and volunteering her time for polio, United Fund and YWCA drives. While Gene served in the Navy during WWII, Mary Jane stayed busy participating in the Junior League of Shreveport, teaching Sunday School at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and raising their son. Their daughter was born after the war, and the family would remain in Shreveport until 1961 when they moved to Houston, Texas after the company for which Gene worked relocated there.
After moving to Houston, Mary Jane joined the River Oaks Garden Club and along with her family became a member of St. John the Divine Episcopal Church. She also made many genuine and lasting friends, and they could often be found together playing bridge. She was an exceptionally talented chef and enjoyed entertaining, hosting frequent get togethers for Gene’s work associates and clients. She loved to travel, China and Africa being her favorites. She liked to swim and take afternoon walks with Gene and the Boston Terrier they adored. Affectionately known as “Granny” to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she loved to have the whole family over and would prepare amazing meals for holidays and week nights alike. Her four grandchildren agree that they will never have a better plate of food than Granny’s spaghetti.
Mary Jane was a fun, smart, strong, determined, confident woman. She was extremely witty herself and also brought out the humor in others. She had a generous, kind, and loving spirit. She was a devoted and authentic matriarch, the treasured center of a family spanning 4 generations. While Alzheimer’s slowly robbed her of the qualities that made her so beloved and uniquely special, her family and friends never lost sight of what an amazing person she was and will continue to cherish her and the memories she left behind.
Mary Jane was preceded in death by her husband, Samuel Eugene Sentell, Jr.; her parents, Randolph
and Mary Gertrude Querbes; son-in-law, Presley Ewing Werlein, III; sister and brother-in-law, Tetine and John Terrell; nephew, Randolph Terrell; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, William Woodbridge Sentell and wife Nancy; and her beloved Boston Terrier, Dixie. She is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Samuel Eugene Sentell, III and Dianna Sentell; daughter, Tetine Werlein; grandchildren, Tetine Sentell and husband Craig McHenry, Cliff Sentell and wife Lisa, Clair Werlein and Kathryn Werlein; great grandchildren, Linden and Maile McHenry, Helena and Merritt Sentell; nieces, Mary Terrell Joseph, Jane Terrell Johnson, Nancy Jane Sentell Seale and Linda Sentell Wright; and nephew, Will Sentell.
The family would like to send heartfelt thanks to Rosa Brown for her many years of unwavering help, love, and support, as well as express its sincere thanks to all the kind professionals at the Hallmark for their loving attention and compassionate care over many years.
Burial service will be conducted in Shreveport at a later date. For those desiring, please consider a donation to The Church of St. John the Divine, 2450 River Oaks Blvd, Houston, TX 77019, or St. Paul Episcopal Church, 275 Southfield Rd., Shreveport, LA 71105, or the charity of your choice.