Joan Starkey

Joan B Starkey

Friday, April 9th, 2021
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Joan Starkey, a loving mother, grandmother, sister, friend, and long-time resident of
Pensacola, FL. went peacefully to be with our Heavenly Father on April 9, 2021.

She leaves behind her children Evelyn and Richard Ball, Pensacola, FL; Brenda Starkey
Tulsa, OK; Rhonda and Dana Williams, Haslet, TX, and Tracey and Willie Burnham, Chesapeake,
VA; and 11 grandchildren, Samantha, Mackenzie, Chris, Lynnzi, Nathan, Brandon, Ashley, Tyler,
Shelby, Willie Jr., and Kayla. She also leaves behind 2sisters, Irene Ray and Ellen Drake; as well
as 2 brothers, Eugene and Billy Barker.

Her husband, John M. Starkey; parents, Bessie Louise Adams and William Gusten Barker;
siblings, Olive Tindall, Virginia Parker, Betty Jo Ballard, and Edmund Adams; and her parents-in
love Arthur and Ida Starkey preceded her in death.

Joan, the fifth of nine children, was born December 14, 1938, to Bessie Louise and William
Gusten Barker, in Booneville, MS. Joan grew up in Sumter County, FL and graduated from
Gainesville High School. From there, she attended secretarial school in Jacksonville, FL where she
met the love of her life, John Morris Starkey, a Navy man. They married December 14, 1957, her
19th birthday.

With John, she had four daughters. As a Navy family, they moved a lot and made memories in
places such as England, California, and many places in Florida; finally settling down in
Pensacola in 1969, John’s last duty station. She did not have a full-time job outside of the home
until Evelyn was a senior in high school; she retired from Pensacola Junior College (now
Pensacola State) as an employee in the bookstore and later the Bursar’s office.

She and John traveled the United States extensively visiting 44 of 50 states, the District of
Columbia, and Puerto Rico. They also took several cruises.

She was an excellent baker and cook; she taught all of her daughters and granddaughters how to
make her famous cinnamon rolls. Joan had a ceramic shop and taught many people the art.
She was an avid bowler and participated in numerous tournaments across the country. Her
competitive nature not only led her to win many board games with the family, but also aided in
her tenacity and perseverance!

If you would like to remember Joan, please donate to Fisher House Foundation, USO, or the
American Cancer Society in her name.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 | 9:00am - 9:30am
    Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 9:00am - 9:30am
    Trahan Family Funeral Home
    60 Industrial Blvd
    PENSACOLA, FL 32503
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 | 9:30am
    Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 9:30am
    Trahan Family Funeral Home
    60 Industrial Blvd
    PENSACOLA, FL 32503
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 | 10:30am
    Tuesday, April 20th, 2021 10:30am
    Barrancas National Cemetery
    1 Cemetery Road
    PENSACOLA, FL 32508
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Ellen Drake

Posted at 10:58pm
Knowing how memory works, especially mine, I can't be sure these memories are accurate or the substance of stories or dreams. I remember on the farm us girls showering in the "barn." And, at Gainesville, I have a very distinct memory of Joan chasing Billy with a broom; I don't recall his offense. :) Even though I was 9-1/2 years younger than Joan, she never treated me like I was a pest. She took me to spend a week with her and John in Jacksonville after Betty got married. And, then, I visited twice in Key West. John took us all (me, Joan, Evelyn, Brenda, and Rhonda) out on his boat. He was showing off and running the boat fast and swerving back and forth and got us stranded on a coral wall. Joan was fussing at him to slow down, but he was trying, I think, to make me seasick. Anyway, after we got stuck, the three of us got out to push the boat off the coral. The water wasn't that deep, but we were all wearing flip-flops which floated away in a couple of minutes. So barefoot on coral, our feet got cut up. Suddenly, the girls were screaming. There were sharks circling the boat. They smelled our blood. Little ones, to be sure, but still scary. An older couple in a nearby boat heard the girls screaming and came to our rescue. They made us get back in the boat, and they pushed the boat off the coral (they had on tennis shoes). I don't know what Joan said to John in private, but she didn't panic and got the girls to calm down. For me, it was an exciting trip, one I'll never forget.

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