Below: Los Angeles Times, July 22, 2010

Skip Gentry, lifelong Valley resident and childhood friend, passed away on Sunday Morning at age 67, after a long battle with cancer. Skip leaves a daughter, Danyelle, and a son, Beau, along with grandchildren Nicolette, Natalie, Jake, and Troy. If you lived in Van Nuys, you certainly passed his house more than once. Skip lived on the corner of Archwood and Hazeltine, in that antique store that is still there to this day.


Skip Gentry, Jeff Meyer, Roger Dorney, Gene Meyer 

The first time I met Skip I was 9 years old. Billy McDuffee and I went to W.T. Grant next to Butler Brothers and they had baby chickens for 10 cents each.
We each bought 20 chicks and they put them in a paper bag and we rode our bikes back to Billy's house. We were going to raise them and sell them when they got big, (4 weeks). Billy said his next door neighbor had rabbit cages. Skip let us use the rabbit cages for free. We fed the chicks corn meal, (40 cents a pound). Our chicks ended up costing $10 each to raise, so we lost our asses.

Skip was--The Nice Guy. He never played sports, but at Bob's restaurant Skip was always with the top athlete of the sport. I know there were many fights that happened at Bob's when we were in high school, but Skip was NEVER in any of them.

He was a couple of years older than me, but he would always have time to talk to me and tell me where the party was that night. I am not sure Skip ever went to the parties because he was ALWAYS at Bob's.

In our later years we all settled down and Bob's closed, so I guess Skip had to get a life. After Van Nuys High School, Skip started to collect Indian stuff, (His mother had the first Antique store In Van Nuys). I never met his wife or family, but I kept in contact with Skip because we lived two blocks from each other.
He was a good friend, and we would keep each other informed on what was happening to OUR Group

I last saw him on the 4th of July, and he had just had a Session at the Motion Picture Hospital for treatment of his cancer. I asked how he was feeling and he said, "I feel good today." I invited him to our 4th of July Neighborhood pot luck--- He said, "Thank You, I appreciate you asking me."



Jeff Meyer

Skip and his wife, Darlene, 1966 

Skip was a friend. We were both born and raised in the same neighborhood in Van Nuys.  Skip's house was about a seven minute walk from mine.  We weren't real close then, maybe because he was older and more cool then me, but he was always  said "Hi".  As I grew older and started hanging out at Bob's Big Boy (Skip's favorite haunt, next to his mother's antique shop, of course), we became closer (instead of "Hey, how are ya!"...we got to... "Hey, how are ya!, what's new?".  I remember Skip as always a quiet guy, kinda introverted, not real outgoing or excitable, but he always knew where the best parties were, although I never saw him at any of them.  His buddies were guys like Chris Hardy, Barry Antis (Anus we called him behind his back), Kerry Kane and the Ambassadors. 

I ran into Skip a couple of years ago at a Caribou camp out, and after 40 years he was the same guy, only difference was we had a nice long talk about the old days, the 'tween years, and the present, we never got to the future...too bad, it may have encouraged me to stay in touch with him more.  Skip was a good guy, and in a way symbolized growing up in the Valley in the 60's.

Tom Campbell

There's not a time in my life that I don't remember knowing Skip Gentry. Whatever Van Nuys winds swirled around him, be it the McDuffees, the Flynns, the Brewsters, the Atkinsons, or the Hardys, then later Jeff & Penny Meyer of Archwood, Skip was the legendary and forever, (Well, nothing lasts forever), resident of Archwood & Hazeltine.

He spent his childhood living above his mother's antique shop, (We used to say that when the first settlers came to California, that stuff in Mrs. Gentry's antique shop was all new), and there he stayed, with few interruptions, until a few days ago when he passed away as a result of cancer.  During that time in Skip's neighborhood, an entire generation grew up, came of age, hung out at Bob's, (stole cars), dated, married, divorced lived and died. (And if you're reading this, you may actually be among the living, but don't count on it).

Skip spent his professional life in the motion picture industry. He especially loved working on Western sets, and counted Willy Nelson among his buddies. He was an expert collector of Southwest Cowboy and Native Americana art, and he lived and followed the Southwest culture all his life.

Many of us had the chance to visit with Skip at the last Caribou Campout a couple of years ago, and Skip was in great spirits. 

So long, Skip. You were a Van Nuys institution.

Gene Meyer

Relaxing in the living room of Gentry's Antiques 

Hazeltine & Archwood

Van Nuys California, 1965 

Thanks for the heads up on Skip. I met him, of course, when Duane and my sister bought the Archwood house. We thought the place was haunted,with all that stuff around and the fact that they lived there! The best part was Mrs. Jackson, who lived between the Gentry's and the McDuffee's. She had so many cats in a tiny house set way back on the lot. She was a trip! The City came in to clean up the place,but we thought she was a witch or something evil. You would move past her place to get to Skip's in the hope that nothing bad would happen to you.

I hope Skip was with some family at the end. I would hate to think of him being alone. He always seemed to be in his own space, insulated and OK with it. I can't say I really knew him, but he was always respectful and good to my sister Pat whenever he was around the Archwood house. I was always there, swimming and hanging out, particularly from about age 11 or so, just like 10 or more kids. I don't know how my sister put up with all that went on in that house. Crazy days!

Ed Flynn 

Skip, Veda Meyer, Tim Donnelly

Skip Gentry always used to remind me of exactly when and where we first met: on a rooftop of a building on Van Nuys Boulevard in 1956 during the Bethlehem Star Parade. I think Cheryl Hardy was the Virgin Mary on the St Elisabeth Church float. It was the beginning of a lifelong friendship with Skip, stretching from the San Fernando Valley to Hollywood, New Mexico, and back again.

Skip had one of the largest Harvey House collections in the US. Harvey houses were built during the Westward  movement of the railroad in the 19th century. I was lucky enough to see him with his collection at a museum in Albuquerque last year, accompanied by his daughter Danyelle.

But better than his collection of souveniers  was his collection of friends. We'll all miss Skip very much. 

Tim Donnelly


It is with great sadness that Kathy and I learned from Danyelle this morning of the passing of Skip a few days ago.  We had only known Skip for the past ten years or so - we fittingly first met when we were both dealers set up in the front room of the Fred Harvey La Posada Hotel in Winslow, AZ, then fairly recently reopened for business after some 50 years of neglect.


Skip and I maintained a close relationship over the ensuing years - bound together by a mutual interest in Fred Harvey and his business ventures - communicating frequently about his Harvey collection, and always including early on in the discussion his persistent question, "Have you got anything unique for me?" 


It always gave me a small bit of pleasure when he purchased a Fred Harvey item (and there were many) from us because I knew on the one hand where it was going, and, on the other, I was usually surprised that he didn't already have it.


Skip and I last spoke, probably for about ninety minutes or so, around the end of June on a number of topics, most of them associated with his unmatched collection of Fred Harvey-related items.  Following his suggestion, we had agreed to begin work this fall on a book on the collection, so that others could appreciate the breadth and historical importance of the collection and, to my thinking, the time, effort, and dedication Skip had put into amassing it over the decades.  Aside from Skip the man, one of the things we have lost is the incredible amount of knowledge that he acquired along with the multitude of artifacts and ephemera.  One of the joys of this pending collaboration would have been his stories about finding a "prized piece."


So long Skip; it has been a pleasure and honor.  On the positive side, if you both ended up in the same place, you may get the opportunity to meet Mr. Fred Harvey.


Your friends,


Paul and Kathy Nickens


This is as close as Skip ever got to a uniform.

Skip with his son Beau, 1990

My wife Faye and I had just checked into our room at the La Posada Hotel in Winslow Az.  The hotel is a show place of mission style architectureNavajo rugs, as we entered our room Faye asked me if I thought the rugs on the walls of the room were real.  I told her I did not think so but my pal Skip could spot a fake from 10 feet away. 
I relayed a story to her of the time Skip and I had gone to an auction.  We gave the preview room a quick walk through and I spotted a pile of what looked to me to be Navajo weaving and started toward them telling Skip to come along and take a look.  I had made no more than a half step when I heard a booming voice for over my shoulder " DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME, THEY'RE ALL FAKES." This of course turned every head in the place. Skip and I made a hasty retreat under the scowling eyes of the auctioneer. 
The next morning as Faye and I were having our breakfast in the old Fred Harvey restaurant, when who should walk in, but himself, he had just stepped of the train in his ever present Hawaiian shirt. We had a nice visit and looked the rugs over.  We then went our separate ways, he on east to an Indian artifact show and we on west and toward home. 
Faye and I happened to be in Albuquerque last year while the museum was displaying Skip's Fred Harvey collection and were delighted to see his name on so much of the displayed items.  I know how much that ment to Skip. I sure will miss him, one of the nicest guys anyone ever met.  Only new him for 40 years, just don't seem like enough.
Jon G. Belyeu



                          BOB ZINNER


Elaine and I have been a good friend of Skip's since the late 1960's. 
Skip and I not only traded Indian Art but we were both AFL/CIO Teamsters.

Attached are a couple of photos from 2007 when we both were in Santa Fe.  I'll search for other photos of Skip that are around here somewhere. 

We are going to miss a tremendously kind and gentle friend and brilliant Indian Art historian/collector.

Conrad and Elaine Angone

Bob Kapoun, Danyelle Peterson, (Skip's Daughter), and Skip 

Conrad Angone, Skip, Don Bennett, 2007 


Hello, my name is Jim Stonehouse. I met Skip at my service station in Tarzana in the 70's or early 80's. He lived in Tarzana at the time. I haven't heard from in awhile, so I figured he moved or something. He always called when he had car problems. One day he came in and did a stunt slide in his 68 Pontiac Le Mans convertible, using the rear emergency brake. Something he told me he learned from the stunt drivers at the studios, where he worked as a driver. I told him that was dangerous because we had gas pumps on the cement where he did it. We both laughed and he never did it again! One of the memories from 30 something years ago. We remained friends ever since. I didn't know he was ill, he never discussed negative things with me. It's probably been 2 years or so since I have seen him. I am very sorry for his passing. Danyelle, thank you for calling me and I'm sorry I was out that day. I'm sure you remember the gas station days. 
                                         God Bless You and your family, Jim

 Below are some Photos of Skip with friend Michael DeTemple


Skip Gentry is my friend of over 40 years. We have always known how to reach one another and kept in close touch. Skip's heart is so open and big and filled with a kindness that is just undeniable. He always has a little secret just for me to know and he always has a good word for me. His life spirit is so strong that I can’t think of him in the past tense. He is my Spirit Brother and my true friend. If Skip is your friend you have a REALLY GREAT FRIEND.

I will miss seeing you but I will carry you in my heart always.

I am blessed to know that the last words I said to Skipper when I was leaving his home was “I love you, Skipper, me boy”

Michael D

Oh, what a loss,  Skip was a dear dear friend, and I will greatly miss him.  We shared a lot of laughs and good times. He was a sensitive and intelligent soul.  His support for my painting was very important to me as I first started showing them, and I will keep his strength and encouragement and his friendship in my heart forever.  sincerely,
Steve Elmore


Oh Skipper!  My laughter took a serious hit with your passing!  Your humor was a delightful flavor for my palette and will be sorely missed.  Even in the hospital you were cheerful and full of laughter and how hilarious that the Universe gave you Monica Lewinsky's father as an oncologist!  You gobbled up life and so enjoyed people that you never forgot a face or a name or even where you had met.  Almost everywhere you traveled you could run into an old and dear friend!  You broadened both my world and many others in old jewelry, sometimes with trial by fire, your passion for all things Native American was contagious. You were such a generous friend, I have many presents from you that will always evoke happy memories.  You shared the family you so adored with me as well as the extended family of Indian collectors and dealers.  You were loved!  And each one of us in our own way will miss you dearly.  Patty Thorne 

I met Skip through the annual August Antique Indian Shows in Santa Fe
and Albuquerque. He was always seeking "Fred Harvey thunderbirds" and
related material. He had a heart of gold (well,  coin silver, probably), and
was definitely the "go-to-guy" for Fred Harvey questions. And at the shows, if he
bought a great item, he'd get so excited he'd then go around seeking out
friends to show off his new treasure.

When I was working on my book about Navajo and Pueblo spoons in
1999/2000, he offered me the use of the original thunderbird artwork that
became the Fred Harvey trademark in 1909. Just offered. As the project progressed, he
also loaned thunderbird spoons, jewelry and other great items, and was always happy
to answer questions. Such kind gestures, particularly for a man planning a book of his own
some day.  But I'm thrilled he received recognition in the museum show last year
and that his name and part of his enormous collection is preserved in my book.

When Danyelle called with the tragic news, I pulled out the three-ring
binder Skip sent me years back. He inserted cover and back photos and inside, a "title
page" with stylized thunderbird border: "Silver Thunderbirds on the Wing, Indian
Charms 'n Turquoise Rings," by Skip Gentry. Among other things, it contains images
of some of his Fred Harvey spoons, thunderbird jewelry, vintage postcards and rings
he was most proud of at the time.

At the back, there's a photo of Skip leaning against a sunny
wall, smiling, in a white Hawaiian shirt. He's  wearing huge turquoise bracelets
on each wrist. I have no idea when the photo was taken, but he looks relaxed, healthy
and happy. I've had the binder open to that page since Danyelle's call.

I'm very grateful to have known Skip. My condolences and much love to Skip's family.
He will be missed by so many people who knew him through the S'west antique Indian shows and auctions.

Cindra Kline

Skip Gentry

I’ve known Skip for about 20 years.   My wife Dawn is best of friends with his daughter, Danyelle.   We were fortunate to have had many great opportunities to spend time with Skip.    His dry wit and jovial spirit always made our visits humorous and memorable.   We took a few vacations to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe several years back with Danyelle, Skip and the kids.   We had some great conversational time, whereby Skip would educate us on his collecting passions and various obscure memorabilia.   I have to admit, it was fascinating to learn the history and significance of things that most of us take for granted.   He was truly a treasure seeker and aficionado and he loved talking about it !   That kind of knowledge and passionate attention to detail always impressed me about Skip.   When Skip spoke…… was “Gospel” !!

On the day of his passing, Danyelle invited Dawn and I to Skip’s home in Van Nuys.   I had had never been there and it had been years since Dawn had.    Danyelle gave us the grand tour of the home, one of the most eclectic places I’d ever seen!   She proceeded to take us into the “nicest 15 square feet of space in Van Nuys”…. Skip’s private retreat………..and I was stunned!    This room was one of the most unexpected, understated, pristine examples of elegance I had ever experienced.    I sat on the couch in awe, absorbing every ounce of thought and precision that was executed.    Just a flat-out statement of comfort and class in the most unsuspecting environment.    Somehow I felt a spiritual connection to his mind and being through this place.    To say the least, it was very meaningful and it provoked a lot of thought about Skip and who he really was…….. a really unique and special individual.

Skip had a genuiness about him that you don’t come across too often.   His appreciation and concern for history, artifacts, movies, actors, music, musicians, automobiles, antiques and all of their intricacies, reflected his trueness to his incredible passions…….a very important lesson to be remembered by all.   These passions made his life and those around him very rich and fulfilling.   

I have great memories of Skip and it was a wonderful opportunity to make the acquaintance of his many friends and family that attended his services.   Some great new friendships have developed from that day and I look very forward to enjoying those relationships.   I believe Skip’s heart and spirit lives on through all of us and I’m sure that’s what he intended.   He has that kinda way about him !!

Skip also made the trip to our previous home in Atascadero for a few of our Halloween costume parties, stealing the show with his outrageous outfits.    When I find the photos, I will forward them for posting to this site.    Absolutely hilarious stuff !!

Thanks for the great times Skipper !!

God bless ……..and please give my mom a big hug for me big guy!!

Shane Doyle

Skip Gentry was a lovable bear of a man. When I was new in the antique business he was always kind and willing to share information with me, never patronizing or "bigtime" like some other dealers. He was a scholar and it seemed not to be about the money with Skip, he genuinely loved the material. I appreciate the shot on the porch of the El Farol with his daughter, I was there that night, listening to Bob Zinner play the blues.  We will miss you, Skip! You were one of a kind.

Robert Sommers