James Starner

James Clifford Starner

Sunday, October 25th, 1925 - Sunday, June 21st, 2020
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James Clifford Starner (Jim) passed away at his home in Marietta, OH on Father’s Day June 21,
2020. A member of the Greatest Generation, he was born on October 25, 1925 at his family
home in Sugar Grove, Ohio to the late Clifford and Esther Deeds Starner.

Jim graduated from Berne Union High School where he served as class president all four
years, and lettered in four varsity sports. Upon graduation he attended The Ohio State
University where he played trumpet in the OSU marching band. During his first semester at
OSU he received his draft notice to fight in World War II. After completing Army basic training,
Jim joined the 17th Airborne paratroopers and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. Having
survived a glider crash during Operation Varsity, he was later moved to the 82nd Airborne as a
military police officer in Berlin. He participated in a track meet in the Olympic stadium in Berlin,
and later returned home on the Queen Mary to the famous 1946 ticker tape parade in New York
City. He then reunited with his high school sweetheart, Bette Miller, and they were soon married
on December 16, 1948.

Jim and Bette moved from Lancaster, Ohio to Marietta in 1956 to work in the trucking industry,
where he eventually established Merchants 5 Star trucking company. Jim’s love for the
community was demonstrated by his work with the Marietta Rotary Club, where he was
President, 2002 Rotarian of the Year, and recipient of two Paul Harris fellowship awards.
Additionally he was a key founder of the Belpre Rotary Club. Jim was honored as the Marietta
Area Chamber Business Leader Of The Year in 2003. He also was a member of the Ohio
Trucking Association, American Legion Post 64, Mid-Ohio Valley Traffic Club, Y’s Mens Club,
Ohio Valley Ski Club, a charter member of the OSU Buckeye Club, and longtime member of
Christ United Methodist Church. Jim was honored in the first class inducted into the
Washington County Veterans Hall of Fame.

Jim’s friends and family remember spending many wonderful days with him: whether it be on
the Marietta Country Club golf course, skiing under blue skies in Steamboat Springs, CO, or
traveling to Columbus in the scarlet and grey Buckeye van to cheer on the Buckeyes at the
Shoe, Jim always looked for the best and had a smile on his face. His legacy is perhaps best
remembered by his strong faith in God and confirmation life verse from Matthew 28:20,
“Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you
always, even unto the end of the age.”
Jim is preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife of seventy-one years, Bette
Jean Starner; his two children, Jeffrey (Liane) Starner and Jill (Jim-deceased) Harry, both of
Marietta; his three grandchildren, Rilla (Joseph) Cooper of High Point, NC, Raeann (Mitch)
Boothe of Marietta, and Esther Starner of Marietta; his three great-grandchildren John, James,
and Ezekiel Cooper of High Point; his step-granddaughter Amie (Randy) Reece and their son
Elijah of Montgomery, Ohio; and his special friend Melvin Oliver.

Calling hours will be observed from 4-8 PM on Thursday June 25 at the Marietta Chapel of
Cawley & Peoples Funeral Home, 408 Front St., Marietta, where social distancing will be
observed. A funeral will be held on Friday June 26 at 1 PM at Cawley & Peoples with Pastor
Karen Muntzing officiating. Burial, with Military Honors, will follow at Forest Rose Cemetery in
Lancaster, OH on Saturday at 11 AM, with friends and relatives welcome to attend.
Memorial contributions may be made in Jim’s name to Christ United Methodist Church, 301
Wooster Street, Marietta, OH 45750.

Cawley & Peoples is honored to serve the Starner family, offering on-line condolences and
many other resources by visiting

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Clifford Starner, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, June 25th, 2020 | 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Thursday, June 25th, 2020 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Marietta Chapel of Cawley & Peoples
    408 Front Street
    MARIETTA, OH 45750
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Funeral Services

    Friday, June 26th, 2020 | 1:00pm
    Friday, June 26th, 2020 1:00pm
    Marietta Chapel of Cawley & Peoples
    408 Front Street
    MARIETTA, OH 45750
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Pastor Karen Muntzing
  • Interment

    Saturday, June 27th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Saturday, June 27th, 2020 11:00am
    Forest Rose Cemetery
    Address Not Available
    Lancaster, Ohio
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Steve Faigley

Posted at 11:52am
Bette, Jeff, Jill, and family, So sorry to hear of Jim's passing. He was a pleasure to know. I am thankful for the times I was able to be around him while I lived in Marietta. Always happy and positive.

Wally Kandel

Posted at 07:14am
My deepest condolences to Betty and the entire family. I got to know Jim through Rotary and golfing at MCC several years ago. He was a fine man and lived a full loving life. He always greeted me with a smile and many kind works. He was truly one of my most favorite people and friends. I miss seeing and talking with him every week. Jim I pray for your eternal peace in Paradise. I wish Betty and the entire family God's peace.

Bonnie Mugrage

Posted at 09:56pm
My husband worked at Merchants Five Star several years ago and had the pleasure of getting to know Mr. Starner and his family. So sorry for your loss. Our condolences. Kevin and Bonnie Mugrage

Jeff Blaney

Posted at 09:21pm
Our deepest sympathies on the passing of Mr. Starner. He always had the most infectious smile and laugh that warmed everyone's heart. Family vacations at Jekyll Island with the Starner's\Stewart's were the best. Going to the fairs in Lancaster and Marietta, trail rides, horse shows, would not have been available to me if not for Mr. Starner. As soon as my family got to the OSU games, the first thing I would do was look for the Starners scarlet and gray van, then once we were seated, I would locate the Starners. Every time I would see Mr. Starner, he had to be telling jokes, because everyone around him would be laughing like crazy! He warmed everyone's heart and was truly one of the Greatest Generation ever. He will be missed by everyone he met. Our love, Ann Stewart (Blaney) and Stewart Family.

Marc S. Theisen

Posted at 11:39am
So sorry to hear of Jim's passing and sincere condolances to Bette, Jeff, Jill and Family. Jim's infectous smile and wit always lit up the room. I did have the pleasure to ski with Jim with family at Steamboat all those years ago, taking in football games and never could there be a more avid Buckeye Fan! Growing up in Marietta, I never knew until later in life of Jim's amazing service to our country as the epitome of "America's Greatest Generation". We have lost a very fine person.

Teresa Eric Christopher Posted at 08:32am

Sending our condolences to Jim’s family. I will always remember Jim and his leadership in prayer at the family reunions. He will be missed. Teresa (Deeds) Christopher and family

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