Cover photo for Herbert Lee Entrekin, Jr.'s Obituary
Herbert Lee Entrekin, Jr. Profile Photo
1937 Herbert 2021

Herbert Lee Entrekin, Jr.

February 21, 1937 — July 29, 2021

Herbert “Herb” Lee Entrekin, Jr., husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, died after a brief illness on July 29, 2021 in Lawrenceville, GA. He was 84.

Herb was born in Dublin, GA on February 21, 1937 to the late Herbert Lee Entrekin and Oleta Chancey Entrekin. At a young age, his family moved to Decatur, GA. He was active in Boy Scouts and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. He graduated from Southwest DeKalb High School in 1955, where he played baseball and football and was voted Best All-Around. His church home was Alexander Memorial Presbyterian Church, where his faith journey began.

Herb attended Presbyterian College, where he received a scholarship as a football trainer and served the team for four years. He was a member of Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English and graduated in 1959. Fifty years later, in 2009, he was awarded the Gold P Award, Presbyterian College’s highest alumni award, in recognition of his outstanding personal and professional achievements.

Following college graduation, Herb joined the United States Air Force as a Cadet and served four years as a pilot, flying missions in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. At the end of his service, his rank was 1st Lieutenant Aircraft Commander of a C-130 combat air crew.

Herb met his beloved wife, Gail in 1962, and they married on May 25, 1963 in Memphis, TN. They started their married life together in Franklin, TN. Following an honorable discharge from the Air Force in 1964, Herb began his career as a pilot with Delta Air Lines in 1965. Herb and Gail settled in Lithonia, GA and raised two children, Janet Entrekin Rhoades and the late Herbert “Lee” Entrekin, III. Herb flew with Delta for over 32 years, flying domestic and international routes. In 1997, he retired as an MD-11 Captain and International Line Check Airman.

In retirement, he continued flying, this time in his own Cessna 182. Combining his passion for flying with his desire to serve others, he became an Angel Flight Soars pilot in 2002. He flew over 200 Angel Flight missions, logging over 900 Angel Flight hours. In 2011, he was a proud recipient of the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award, which recognizes pilots who have exhibited aviation expertise for 50+ years of flying.

Anyone who knew Herb was considered part of the family. Gatherings of family and friends were a frequent occurrence at their home on Lake Burton. His faith in God remained strong throughout his life, and he felt closest to Him at the lake. He was incredibly proud of his family and never missed a performance of his children and grandchildren.

Herb is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Gail Grilli Entrekin, daughter Janet Entrekin Rhoades (Bob), daughter-in-law Tara Entrekin Prince (Jimmy), grandson Herbert “Hugh” Lee Entrekin, IV, granddaughters Madelyn Elyse Rhoades, Sophia Lee Rhoades, Lauren Rhoades Pusey (Dave) and Anna Rhoades Haase (Brendan). He is also survived by great-grandsons Hudson James Haase, Jacob Nathanial Pusey and many cousins. He is predeceased by his father Herbert Lee Entrekin, mother Oleta Chancey Entrekin and son Herbert “Lee” Entrekin, III. 

Funeral services will be held at A.S. Turner & Sons Funeral Home in Decatur, GA on August 3. Visitation is from 12:00 – 2:00 p.m. Service is at 2:00 p.m. followed by interment at Decatur Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to any of Herb’s favorite organizations, including Place of Hope NGA, Tunnel to Towers Foundation and Northeast Georgia Homeless Veterans Shelter.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Herbert Lee Entrekin, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, August 3, 2021

12:00 - 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Chapel Service

Tuesday, August 3, 2021

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Starts at 3:30 pm (Eastern time)

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