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2014-05-01

Jimmy LaDale Starks

1943-2014

Jimmy LaDale Starks, 71, of Bandera passed away suddenly on Tuesday, April 22, at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio. He was born on March 31, 1943 in Delhi, Louisiana, to Frank Emmit Starks and Sybil Beatrice Hale Starks.
Jim graduated from high school in Morgan City, Louisiana. As a Reconnaissance Marine, he proudly served his country during the Cuban missile crisis. A lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, he was a current member of the Kerrville VFW Post 1480. In Jim's words, "Once a Marine, a Marine forever."
He worked in the oil industry for 35-plus years as a drilling foreman. The oil field was his passion and life's work. Few men possessed both the knowledge of drilling and the ability to get a drilling crew to perform at their best and beat the curve. Jim loved a challenge and, during his long career, set notable drilling records.
Additionally, when he was on a rig, he took responsibility for every man's life. It became Jim's mission to return every man safely home to his family. During his career, he worked all over the world - the Gulf of Mexico, Scotland, Africa, France and South America.
Jim was a man of his word. When he gave his word, he meant it.
A proud father, he spoke often and very highly of his children and grandchildren. Jim loved to have his family visit him in Bandera. Bandera became home not only to Jim but also his children, who referred to Bandera as their "happy place."
He was a man's man with a tender heart. Those who knew Jim loved the kind, respectful and generous man beyond his strong exterior. He was a loyal friend who always had your back.
In addition to his great love for his family and friends, Jim loved Texas - especially riding around the Texas Hill Country.
Those left to celebrate his life and continue his legacy include daughters, Paige Starks LaCombe and her husband, David, of Alexandria, Louisiana; Ellen Starks Beach and her husband, Spencer, of Bentonville, Arkansas; son John Emmit Starks and his wife, Brenda, of Natchitoches, Louisiana; grandchildren, John Ethan Starks, Anna Marie LaCombe, Ellie Grace Starks, Michael Lee LaCombe and Eliana Elizabeth Beach; sisters, Eliane Starks of New Iberia, Louisiana and Paughnee Starks Bornert of Springfield, Missouri; and brothers of his heart, Jim Robertson of Bandera and Bill Sprott of Corpus Christi.
Jim was predeceased by his parents, Frank and Sybil Starks.
Bandera funeral services were held at Grimes Funeral Home Chapel on Saturday, April 26, with Jim's son-in-law, Spencer Beach officiating.
On Tuesday, April 29, funeral services were held at the First Assembly of God in Alexandria, Louisiana, also officiated by Spencer Beach. Interment followed at Alexandria Memorial Gardens in Alexandria, under the direction of Hixson Brothers Funeral Home.
Pallbearers were Ethan Starks, Scott Daigle, Brady Daigle, Chris Ebarb, Darrick Sketoe and Brent Mercer with honorary pallbearers, Jim Robertson, Dave Riley, Bill Sprott, Ricky Robertson, Mark Ward, Bob Simmons, Terry Bunce, Gary Wright, Delton Sturgis, John Miller, Luke Alford and Too Tall Tom Dethrow.
Condolences may be sent to the family by clicking on the "Send Condolences" link at www.grimesfuneralchapels.com. Arrangements were entrusted to Grimes Funeral Chapels of Bandera.