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Obituaries: Betty Lou Starkey


October 2, 2020

Betty Lou Starkey, 80, passed away Sept. 29, 2020 in St. Luke's Hospice in Duluth after a courageous battle with cancer.

She was born Nov. 24, 1939 to John and Dorothy (Shovein) Lightfoot. Betty graduated from Cloquet High School in 1957. She married Jerry Starkey April 11, 1959. Betty was the church secretary at Cloquet Presbyterian Church and later served as Sunday school superintendent. At the age of 65, she returned to school to become a lay pastor. She loved being a pastor and her congregation at Willow River Presbyterian Church. Not one to sit idle for too long, Betty was involved in many activities over the years. She was active with the Northern Waters Presbytery to which her congregation belonged, participated in a variety of book clubs, the Red Hat Society, Cloquet Community Band, led two bible studies, sponsored a young man from Haiti and participated in mission trips to Haiti and Louisiana. She especially loved being a part of the Willow River Weed and Feed gals, the Monday card playing gals and trips to the casino. Betty enjoyed Chrysalis retreats, playing games and especially spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her happy place was at the camper in Willow River with a very special group of friends.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents; stepmother, Edith Lightfoot; daughter Sheri Lynn; granddaughter, Tiffany Hall; great-grandson, Nicholas Hall; grandson, Jeremy Starkey; great-granddaughter, Haven Starkey; son-in-law, Chris Slighter; great-grandson, Ian Slighter; and stepsister Carol Larson.

Betty is survived by her loving husband of 61 years, Jerry; son, Terry (Ellen Gomoll); daughters Kelly Starkey, Penny (Keith) Burggraff, and Tracy (Mike) Eales; sisters, Jan (Tom) Prevost, Mary Ingbretson and Linda (Mike) Kelly; stepsisters Cathy Hubbard and Connie (Brad) Wick; stepbrother, Ken (Bonnie) Swanson; and many nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Visitation: 5-7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 2 at Nelson Funeral Care, Cloquet. Due to Covid, a private family service will follow the visitation. Masks are required. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Willow River Presbyterian Church or the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.


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