Ethel Harriett Baker Starkey passed away peacefully on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at the age of 96 following a full life of love for and service to her family and friends. A Memorial celebration of her life will be held at 11:00 am, Friday, April 27 at Kerrville First United Methodist Church with the Reverend David Payne officiating.
Ethel was born at home in Edinburg, Texas to Harry Carroll Baker and W. Ethel Burton Baker. She graduated from Rio Grande City High School at the age of 16. She proudly attended The University of Texas where she earned her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1942. After graduation, Ethel returned to Edinburg where she taught 9th grade for one year and then worked as a secretary to the President of a local bank. In 1943, Ethel moved to Oklahoma where she was the secretary to the Adjutant General at Fort Reno. She dutifully returned to Edinburg in 1944 at the request of her father, even though, the Adjutant General offered her three separate raises to stay at Fort Reno. After returning to Edinburg, she resumed her position at the bank and continued to work there until she moved to Kerrville in 1946 to help run the Burton Insurance Agency.
In 1951, she married A. L. Starkey, Jr., and so began an inseparable union of family and business lasting over 50 years. With her husband, Ethel designed, helped build, and decorated 100 houses in Starkey Manor in Kerrville. She obtained her real estate license and successfully managed the A. L. Starkey, Jr. Real Estate office. She also joined her husband in developing Green Hills Shopping Center, which included Kerrville's first indoor mall.
Ethel was a member of Kerrville First United Methodist Church, The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls, Texas Ornithological Society, and American Ornithological Society. She was also the valiant Den Mother for Den 1, Pack 125 and enthusiastically helped with Methodist Youth Fellowship activities.
Ethel will always be remembered as a "lady" who fiercely loved her husband and family. She had a special compassion for people and all who met her considered her a friend. She enjoyed entertaining in her home, spending time at the family ranch, birding, playing bridge, and reading. She was an avid gardener who could coax azaleas to grow beautifully in her Kerrville soil.
Her greatest joy was spending time with her grandsons and great-grandsons. She was a devoted babysitter, entertainer, sporting events attendee, and homework helper. Most importantly, Ethel unconditionally loved all things family. She is survived by son A. L. "Curg" Starkey, III and wife, Monica; two grandsons, A. L. "Gus" Starkey, IV and girlfriend, Hillary Whites, Rankin Starkey and wife, Rebecca; two great-grandsons, Reed Starkey and Charles Baker Starkey; nieces, Carroll Baker Yanicelli and husband, Nicholas, Catherine Baker Purcell, and Gayle Baker. Also, niece Virginia Moore Johnston and husband, Hamp, and nephew, Thomas Jasper "Jack" Moore and wife, Kathy; first cousins Margaret Burton Wheat, Allie B. Burton and wife, Betty, Louis Burton and wife, Pat; numerous great- and great-great nieces and nephews and many cousins.
Heartfelt thanks go to Nancy Ortega and her family for their many years of constant love and care. Also, thank you to Debbie Mitchell and her entire staff at Hilltop Village, Dr. James Young and all at Peterson Hospice, especially, Cynthia Kalati. And a very special thanks to the many friends who brightened Ethel's life with a visit, a kind word, and a listening ear.
At the family's request, memorial donations may be made to the Texas Exes-G. Rankin Starkey Scholarship Fund, Peterson Hospice, Kerrville First United Methodist Church, or the charity of one's choice.
Arrangements are under the direction and personal care of the professionals at Kerrville Funeral Home. (830) 895-5111
First United Methodist Church
321 Thompson Drive
Kerrville, TX 78028
Friday, April 27, 2018
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Glen Rest Cemetery
2000 Memorial Blvd.
Kerrville, TX 78028
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