NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Grant C. Gentry, a former president of A&P, Montvale, N.J., died here earlier this month of pulmonary fibrosis. He was 79. Gentry took over A&P as president in 1975, and led a transformation of the company from a large network of small, neighborhood stores to a smaller chain of larger, modern supermarkets. He later served as president and chief executive of Food Fair, later renamed Pantry Pride, and after that worked as a consultant. Gentry also was a decorated World War II veteran who began his food-retailing career as a corporate attorney at Jewel Cos. He is survived by his wife, Doris, two sons and a sister.