The Church Triumphant gained a new baritone to sing with their heavenly chorus when Jerry Arthur Starnes, 80, left the bounds of earth after a lengthy illness on November 9, 2020.
Jerry loved classical and religious music. Until respiratory ailments took his voice, he was a baritone singer in three local music groups: The Chancel Choir at Brevard’s First United Methodist Church, The Transylvania Choral Society, and the Blue Ridge Sacred Chorale. When not singing, he frequently attended concerts at his church and the Brevard Music Center.
Growing flowers and bird watching was a second passion. His home was a showplace and the envy of all who admired his “green thumb” and beautiful blossoms that adorned his yard. Jerry was an avid bird watcher. Birds flocked to his squirrel-proof feeder knowing they could enjoy a gourmet meal. Jerry particularly enjoyed seeing the rose-breasted gross beaks and the blue birds.
Born in Asheville on July 15, 1940 to the late Ruth and Alfred Starnes, he was the second of four siblings. Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Bronwen Bacon Starnes; son Kirk Starnes of Zephyrhills, Florida; sister Dorcas (Joe) Epley of Greenville, SC; and brother John (Betty) Starnes of Greer, SC. Numerous nephews and nieces are among the survivors. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his brother, Steve.
As a youngster, he developed his passion for the outdoors through his Scouting experience that continued through his adult years. He was an Eagle Scout. After graduating from Enka High School, he earned an English degree from Appalachian State University and returned to Enka as a choral director and English teacher. The he went back to his first love when appointed district executive and Dogwood District of the Boy Scouts of America and director of the Daniel Boone Boy Scout Camp.
Afterwards, he held sales positions with J.D. Jackson Realty in Asheville, Diamond Brand Camping in Fletcher, NC and Quality Rubber in Fletcher, where he retired.
Early in his career, Jerry and Bronwen moved to Brevard where she taught at the local middle school until she retired. Active in community affairs, Jerry served as a Boy Scout troop adult leader for Brevard’s Troop 703. He also served as chairman of the Transylvania County Board of Adjustments. A close follower of national politics, he felt great joy with the election of Joe Biden.
Because of the Covid-19 virus, an intimate memorial service for the immediate family will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Brevard. Later, when the pandemic is over, there will be a remembrance ceremony held for friends and other family members.
In lieu of flowers, Jerry requested contributions to First United Methodist Church of Brevard Music Fund, 325 N. Broad St., Brevard, NC 28712; Transylvania County Library, or Care Partners Hospice.
To leave a condolence or memory for the family of Jerry Starnes, please visit “obituaries” at www.moore-fh.com.
Moore-Blanchard Funerals & Cremations is honored to care for the family.