Escanaba, MIJames W. Starnes, age 74 of 1604 North 20th Street, Escanaba, passed away Monday evening March 11, 2013 at the St. Francis Hospital in Escanaba following a lengthy illness.
James was born May 5, 1938 in Ralph, MI the son of Harvey and Ada (Fox) Starnes. He was raised in the Escanaba area prior to enlisting in the United States Air Force in 1956. James was united in marriage to the former Cleo Leonard on January 31, 1959 in Escanaba. Proudly serving his country in the U.S. Air Force, James did numerous tours of duty overseas, including the Vietnam Conflict. He was also one of the first aerospace ground equipment technicians to work on the SR-71. During his 20-year military career he was stationed in California, Kansas and K.I. Sawyer Air Force Bases. He was honorably discharged on December 31, 1976 and received the following medals; the Air Force Good Conduct Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal with Bronze Silver Star, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal and the National Defense Service Medal. Following his retirement; he received his Associates of Applied Science in Automotive Technology from Bay College. He also worked for many years at the Bowl-A-Rama in Escanaba.
James was a lifelong Green Bay Packers fan. His hobbies included traveling anywhere his wife or family took him, camping, fishing and hunting throughout the U.P. Most days you could find him in his garage tinkering on anything with a motor. Most important to James was spending time with his grandchildren, and his pride in his family was apparent to all who knew him. He was loved by many and will be greatly missed.
Children: James (Kelly) Starnes of Green Bay, WI, Darryl (Laurel) Starnes of Bark River, MI, and Dana (David) Hanson of Gladstone.
Robert (Mary) Starnes of Escanaba, Joe (Doris) Starnes of Rapid River, Herb (Helen) Starnes of Leslie, MI, William (Mary) Starnes of Gladstone, Katie Vanderlinden of Gladstone.
9 grandchildren: Chris (Sabrina) Cicotte, James (Kim) Starnes, Robin (Mark) Wioskowski, Stephen (Chevon) Starnes, Nicholas (Kayla) Starnes, Hannah and Kyle Starnes, Owen and Zachary Hanson and 9 great-grandchildren.
Numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Cleo, on November 1, 2007; infant son, James Lyle; brothers, Raymond, Louie, Arthur, Edward and Don; and sister, Beverly.
James family will receive friends on Friday, March 15, 2013 from 4:00 to 5:45 PM at the Skradski Funeral Home in Gladstone. Military rites conducted by the Gladstone American Legion Post #71 will follow at 5:45 PM. Funeral services celebrating the life of James W. Starnes will follow at 6:00 PM with Rev. Frank Scarcelli of the New Horizons Ministry officiating. Luncheon will follow at the New Horizons Ministry Fellowship Hall. James will be laid to rest next to his wife Cleo at the Fernwood Cemetery in Gladstone.