HICKORY Mr. Gary Wesley Starnes, 79, of Hickory, passed away Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019, at his residence following a period of declining health. Gary was born Oct. 8, 1940, in Cleveland County, to the late Earnest Wesley Starnes and Laura Brittain Starnes. He was a member at Willkie's Grove Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon, assistant Sunday school teacher, and RA's leader. Gary was a founding member of the George Hildebran Fire Department and a longtime member of the George Hildebran Ruritan Club. He served in the U.S. Marine Corp, was a supervisor for Crestline Furniture, was a kiln operator for Cramer Lumber Company and retired from Forest City Tool. In addition to his parents he was preceded in death by a sister, Sheila S. Young; infant nephew, Bryson McDaniel; nephew, Bryson Huffman; mother-in-law, Lavada Kiser Brittain; and brother-in-law, Larry Howard Brittain. He is survived by his wife of fifty six years, Dianne Brittain Starnes; son, Stuart Starnes; daughter, Laura S. Stilwell and husband Tracy; granddaughters, Mackenzie Stilwell, Kaitlyn Stilwell, and Marlie Stilwell; three precious great-grandchildren, Raylee Cox, Addalie Torres, and Westin Stilwell; sister, Rheda Elder of Taylorsville; nephews, Larry Elder and daughter of Taylorsville; Wesley Elder and wife, Melissa, of Raleigh and their children, Charlie Bryant and wife, Lisa, and family of Connelly Springs, Jonathan Young and wife, Julie, and daughter of Nebo; nieces, Karen Walker and husband, Gary, and family of Connelly Springs, and Robin Jones and husband, Greg, and family of Valdese; father-in-law, Walter Brittain, whom Gary loved as his father; and numerous brothers and sisters-in-law whom he loved. Funeral services will be held Sunday, Dec. 1, at 4 p.m., at Wilkie's Grove Baptist Church, with the Revs. Kenneth Bryant, Thurman Roe and Thomas Herman officiating. The family will receive friends, from 2:30 to 4 p.m., at the church, prior to the service. Interment will follow in the church cemetery. Memorials may be sent to Wilkie's Grove Baptist Church, 5780 Wilkie's Grove Church Rd., Hickory, NC 28602. A guestbook and obituary is available at www.heritagefuneralservices.com. Heritage Funeral Service & Crematory of Valdese is serving the Mason family.
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