Patsy Louise Hedgpeth Starke left this life on May 29th and went to the Lord after a brief illness. She was a beloved friend and member of the Chattanooga community for 18 years. Pat grew up in Greenwood, Mississippi on a plantation where her stepfather was the caretaker. She loved the small city and small life but dreamt of a life of travel and seeing the world. She decided she would either have a profession where she could travel or, she would marry a man who would see the world with her and visit and live in countries all over the world.
In college at the University of Oklahoma, her dream came true when she fell in love with a handsome Air Force officer working on his master’s degree in Petroleum Geology. In 1957 she married John Starke who was destined to eventually become the President of Philips Petroleum China. They lived in 33 different locations over their marriage and visited a like number in their travels. Pat loved to entertain and was John’s hostess for years as he climbed the corporate ladder. They retired and moved to Englewood, Florida where they lived for years and Pat became a mainstay of the community there, supporting their church, the Sarasota Opera and many music organizations and animal causes. In 2004 they moved to Chattanooga and began to imbed themselves in the city life.
One of the early owners of a condominium at Loveman’s, the Starkes loved living downtown and Pat quickly became involved in community activities. Their home was filled with keepsakes from their previous homes and travels, and she loved to show it off, inviting River City Company to show their home during their Tour of Downtown Living. She served on the Board of Directors of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera. Pat was a mainstay of First Centenary Methodist Church where she sang in the choir and played in the bell choir and tutored children afternoons after school. She was involved in several musical clubs and organizations and was a faithful and generous member. She was a major donor to the founding of ChattaNeuter and continued to support the animals of the city while constantly being surrounded by a series of spoiled Burmese cats, she is survived by Yang who is 22 years old. She played tennis several days a week at Manker-Patten until Covid and surgery hit at the same time and put an end to her games but not the friendships she had made, her group still meets monthly to celebrate birthdays.
Pat is survived by several Starke, Creighton and Blalock nieces and nephews and a legion of friends in Florida and Chattanooga. She joins John who left us in 2015 and their partnership will continue forever. Special thanks to her dedicated caregivers, Hospice of Chattanooga and her friends who have visited and prayed for her daily.
A memorial service will be held at 10 AM on Friday July 8, 2022 at the Chattanooga National Cemetery .
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Arrangements by Heritage Funeral Home & Crematory, Battlefield Parkway.
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