Carolyn “Yvonne” Starnes went home to be with Jesus on September 10, 2023. She was 87 years of age. Yvonne was born on July 30th, 1936, to Lloyd and Ona Kelley in Stigler, Oklahoma where she was raised. She was notorious for being smart, adventurous, and one heck of a shot. After all, she was the youngest of nine brothers and sisters. Yvonne is often referred to as “the baby” even in recent days.
After graduating high school in 1954 her family moved to Chino, California where she met the love of her life, Mack Robert Starnes known to all as “Joe.” After dating for seven years, they married on August 19, 1964, and as Grandma would say, “The rest is history.” Joe and Yvonne moved to Clifton, Colorado in 1968. They bought their first home on 86 acres. This began their Colorado adventure. Yvonne was given to warmth and hospitality. In the early days they kept a guest book. After their first year in Colorado, they welcomed over 100 guests. Often people would come to their home and without fail Yvonne would say, “Can I fix you something to eat?” She loved to cook. Even in her last week at home, she was cooking and caring for her family. Yvonne worked for the public school system in Pomona, California as a secretary and bookkeeper. She also was the secretary for Grand Junction High School after moving to Colorado.
Once her sons Kelly and Mark started school, Yvonne wanted to work alongside them as they attended school. Thus, Yvonne was a grade schoolteacher at Life Academy Christian School for ten years. Yvonne also babysat or “kept” numerous children in her home. Family and friends tease saying she has raised half of the Grand Valley. Many grown kids affectionately call her “Nonnie.”
Yvonne was a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. Her price is far above rubies (KJV, Proverbs 31:10). Really, her love for the Lord and for people was striking. Joe and Yvonne raised their family to be in church anytime the doors were open. She served in various ministries alongside Joe and her boys including youth ministry, children’s ministry, and preaching and singing in nursing homes all over the Grand Valley. Yvonne oversaw the food ministry for many years. It was nicknamed the “Noodle Ministry.” Anytime someone was in need Yvonne was the first to take them some chicken and dumplings.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her (KJV, Proverbs 31:28). Yvonne was beloved by many but especially by her husband, sons, daughters-in-love, and her grandkids.
Yvonne is survived by her husband Joe Starnes, her son Kelly Starnes & his wife Cindy, her son Mark Starnes & his wife Amy, her brother L.C. Kelley of California, her grandkids Rylan Starnes (16), Alaina Starnes (15), and Luke Starnes (11), many loved nieces, nephews, and cousins, her precious church family at Gospel Ministries Center, and the many who call her “Momma.”
Memorial Services will be Tuesday, September 26, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at Gospel Ministries Center 1622 Glenwood Avenue in Grand Junction followed by a burial service at Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado.
In lieu of flowers please consider donating to Gospel Ministry Center/Missions. http://www.gmcgj.com/give/