Obituary – Gladys Pilcher Starnes

Published 11:00 am Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Gladys Pilcher Starnes, 95, passed away Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, at Hospice Ministries in Ridgeland, Miss., after a short illness.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019, at First Baptist Church with Reverend Robert Allen officiating. Burial will follow in Oxford Memorial Cemetery. Visitation will take place Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Waller Funeral Home and again prior to the service beginning at 10 a.m. at the church.

 Mrs. Starnes was born in Crenshaw, Miss., to the late Clarence and Irene Moore Pilcher. She spent her high school years in Tupelo, Miss., graduating from Tupelo High School.

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 She married Milton Robert Starnes in 1944, and they lived an eventful life together for the next 69 years before his death in 2013. They started their journey together in Baton Rouge, La., before moving to Oxford in 1947 where she lived, raised a family, and thrived for the next 70 years.

 Mrs. Starnes was known as a genteel woman who carried herself with grace and elegance whatever the endeavor.  Active in the community, she worked in the original efforts to help save and restore the Cedar Oaks antebellum home, attended First Baptist Church and her beloved Friendship Sunday School class for decades, and served as Worthy Matron of the Eastern Star Society.

 She also could just as likely be found herding cattle or dropping a fishing line in the water with her grandchildren at the family’s Rolling Hills Ranch in Lafayette County. For recreation, she belonged to a traveling bowling team.

 Mrs. Starnes most of all was devoted to her family. She religiously woke up every morning and cooked a full breakfast for her family, including biscuits made from scratch. Suffice to say, Gladys Starnes’ children were never going to start the day with cereal.

 Mrs. Starnes might best have been known for entertaining and feeding family and friends – as well as clients of Rebel Motor Freight, her husband’s business. He was notorious for walking into the family’s home with unannounced guests for her home-cooked meals, even for breakfast. She would then proceed to quickly deliver a quail and gravy entrée that would make Big Bad Breakfast proud.

 Mrs. Starnes loved to travel and she and her husband’s itineraries led them from coast to coast throughout North America – with her serving as the co-pilot in their automobile due to his strong resolve not to fly.

 In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by a brother, Henry Pilcher, and two sisters, Frances Gary and Gwin Comuo.

Survivors include two daughters, Gloria Starnes Armbruster (Jim), of Greenville, S.C., and Dee Starnes Hey (Ladd), of Flowood, Miss.; two sons, Mike Starnes (Laura),  of Palm Springs, Calif., and Bobby Starnes, of Olive Branch, Miss.; sister, Evelyn Gautreau, of Baton Rouge, La.,; seven grandchildren, Jimmy Armbruster (Ashley), Jill Armbruster (husband, Walker Daves), Mary Barker Starnes, Craig Hey (Christopher), Brian Hey (Diana Clair), Whitney White, and Chase Starnes (Tina); and eight great-grandchildren.

 Mrs. Starnes’ family would like to recognize and thank the ladies at The Blake in Flowood: Barbara, Alfredda, Victoria, Janet, and Doris for the kindness and love they shared with our Mother over the last three years.

 In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, 800 Van Buren Avenue, Oxford, MS 38655 or Hospice Ministries, 450 Towne Center Boulevard, Ridgeland, MS 39157.