Helen Elizabeth (Davis) Starr, 91, passed away peacefully Jan. 7, 2013, at Larned Healthcare Center, Larned.
She was born Dec. 15, 1921, at Wiley, Colo., the daughter of James Columbus Davis and Helen Irene Stahlman Davis. She was a retired school teacher, business owner and member of the United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women, Shiley Homemakers, and American Legion Auxiliary, all of Burdett. She also served as a Girl Scout leader in Elk City, Grandma Rose at Pawnee Heights West School and was an officer for the McPherson College Alumni for a number of years.
Helen graduated high school at age 16 and graduated from McPherson College at age 20. She taught school at Zook, Rixey, Colo., and Kipp. On Aug. 13, 1945, she married H. Francis Starr in Las Animas, Colo., after a five year courtship by mail while Francis served in the U.S. Army in Europe. Helen continued to teach at Kipp, while Francis attended Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina. The couple returned to Colorado and farmed for five years and started their family. She was called to return to Kipp, and Francis returned to KWU for his teaching block, Helen stayed home with the children while Francis began his teaching career in Elk City. The family moved to Burdett. in 1964 with Helen teaching third grade and Francis teaching science. After six years at Burdett and Pawnee Heights Schools, Helen taught two years in the Cunningham School District. The couple bought the Standard Service Station in Burdett in 1977 and operated their business until they retired in 1986. Helen served as city clerk of Burdett during that time, as well as serving actively in every club and organization in Burdett. She was well known for her holy pies (they all went to church) and encouraging her children in all their creative endeavors, including unicycle riding, knitting, music and sewing.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Francis, infant daughter, Cheryl Jean and sister, Ruth Durham.
She is survived by her brother, H. Virgil Davis, Aurora, Colo., and her children, Deborah and husband Alan Coddington, Olathe, Janis and husband Bill Fairchild, Larned, Elaine and husband Bob Voos, Russell, and son, Russell and wife Maria Starr, McPherson, eight grandchildren, eight step grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren, and numerous step great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren.
Funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, at United Methodist Church, Burdett, with Pastor Brad McCoy presiding. Cremation will follow the service. Inurnment will be in Browns Grove Cemetery, Burdett, at a later date. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. until 8 p.m. Thursday at Morell Funeral Home, Larned.
Memorials may be sent to Burdett United Methodist Church or Burdett Senior Center in care of Morell Funeral Home, P.O. Box 124, Larned, 67550-0124.
Personal condolences may be left at www.morellfuneralhomellc.com