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Obituary: Gerald M. "Jerry" Starkey

Gerald M. "Jerry" Starkey, 91, passed away March 2, 2024, at New Perspective Senior Living in Cloquet, surrounded by family. He was born July 15, 1932, in St. James to Clement and Clara (Schmitt) Starkey. He married Betty (Lightfoot) Starkey on April 11, 1959.

Jerry worked on the Great Northern Railroad from 1949 to 1950. In 1951, he sailed ore boats on all the Great Lakes except for Ontario. He served in the U.S. Air Force from February 1952 to December 1955. He particularly enjoyed working on the offshore tug boats in Alaska. Jerry received his diploma for automotive mechanics from the Technical Trades Institute in 1975, and worked as a roll wrapper at Potlatch for 36 years. He was a member of the Cloquet VFW Post 3979 and the United Paperworkers International Union for many years. Jerry and his father-in-law hung the Christmas lights in Cloquet for many years. His hobbies included making macramé lawn chairs, coffee tables and many other projects in his wood shop. He and Betty played in couples bowling and golf leagues for many years. He also played in the senior dart league. He enjoyed fishing, playing lawn darts, shaking dice, bingo and, occasionally, dancing.

Farkle was his game of choice the last few years. He was also a huge fan of Louis L'Amour and read many Westerns. Jerry loved camping and especially enjoyed his time at Boundary Boys Campground in Rutledge with his special camping friends. He also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Jerry always had the coffee pot on for company and a unique sense of humor. He enjoyed telling jokes, the more inappropriate, the better.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Betty; daughter Sheri Lynn; granddaughter Tiffany Hall; great-grandsonNicholas Hall; grandson Jeremy Starkey; great-granddaughter Haven Starkey; son-in-law, Chris Slighter; grandson Ian Slighter; and siblings Leroy, Elvera, Lester, Marcella and Roger.

Jerry is survived by his son Terry Starkey (Ellen Gomoll); daughters Kelly Starkey, Penny (Keith) Burggraff, Tracy (Mike) Eales, and Ronda (Bob) Kroll; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

The family thanks the New Perspective staff and St. Mary's Hospice for all of the love and care they provided. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the St. Mary's Hospice team.

Visitation: 1 p.m. until the 2 p.m. memorial service Saturday, March 9 at Nelson Funeral Care in Cloquet, with military honors presented by the Cloquet Combined Honor Guard. Coffee and refreshments will follow.

Pine Knot News, March 8, 2024