Richard D. Starkey

May 25, 2017

Richard “Dick” Dale Starkey passed away on May 15, 2017, surrounded by his family and friends. He is survived by his daughter, Crystal Starkey and grandson, 5-26-17 OBIT StarkeyGriffin Chapple; favorite aunt Barbara (“Bozzie”) Fulk; cousins Beth Hovey, Linda and Larry Sisco, and Chris and Debbie Fulk; and many dear friends.

Richard was preceded in death by his mother Madge Fulk; father Jack Holcomb and step-father William Starkey; grandmother Myrtle “Grano” Fulk; grandfather Thomas Tommy Fulk; uncles Mac Fulk, Raymond (Barbara) Fulk, and Hjalmer “Swede” Steinberg; aunt Dorothy “Dot” Steinberg; cousins Matthew Fulk and John Hovey, and many, many dear and devoted friends.

Dick was known for his love of learning and a relentless work ethic. These foundational values led him to become a titan of a man who exceled early on in athletics and academics, later in military service and professional career, and always — and most importantly — as a family man and friend. Throughout his life, Dick followed the lessons he learned from his high school and college football coaches, Bill Figg and Sam Ketchman. They believed that — as true in sports as it is in life — you get what you give.

Devoted to striking that balance in life, Dick earned a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree at Ferris State University and the University of Michigan, respectively, in 1963 and 1967.

Dick received recognition for his academic aptitude as well as his athletic prowess from local and national organizations.

He was the first Ferris student ever recognized as an Academic All American, earning this distinction in 1960 and 1962.

In 1959, 1960 and 1961, he received the Athletic Scholastic Achievement football award. In 1960 and 1961, he earned the Associated Press, U.P., and NAIA Honorable Mention on the Small College All State Football Team.

In 1960, he was awarded the Norm Bunker Loyalty Football Award.

In 1961, Dick was also named the Most Valuable Player by his teammates and coaches.

In 1962, he was named to the Associated Press, U.P., and NAIA First Team on the Small College All State Football Team. In 1962 and 1963, he was named the captain of the Ferris football team.

In 1963, he earned the Senior Athletic Scholastic Achievement Football Award. From 1962-63, Dick was the President of the Varsity Club, and in 1963, was named Bulldog of the Year.

He graduated in the top 20 percent of his graduating class and remained devoted to his alma mater later in life, serving on the Board of Directors at Ferris State University’s Alumni Association from 1983-94; he also was a member of the institution’s President’s Club.

Dick was inducted into the Ferris State University Hall of Fame for football in 2001.

In his professional life, Dick served as a business instructor for the Saginaw Business Institute, which named him Teacher of the Year for 1967-68. The following year, he joined Community Hospital Services in Saginaw.

From 1975 until his retirement in 2001, he served as the company’s president and CEO. Also devoted to his country, Dick was a veteran of the United States Marine Corps before being honorably discharged in 1967.

He served on the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1986-92, and on the U.S. Navy Retired Reserve from 1992 until his death. He became a member of the Vietnam Veterans Association of America in 1989. His love for history included a particular interest in military history.

His home was stacked with books on war, and he possessed paintings and portraits of Civil War heroes.

Dick also was a passionate volunteer, traveler and competitor. He ran nine marathons, including four overseas in Moscow, Paris, Athens, and Rome. Stateside, he was an avid tourist by way of motorcycle, riding his Harley-Davidson during trips cut short only by oceans.

He spent 40 years as a volunteer National Ski Patroller on various slopes across Michigan.

The legacy of all his passions and accomplishments, though, pale in comparison to his greatest role in life: beloved figure to both family and friends.

He was the most devoted father and grandfather to Crystal and Griffin. The defining adage he first applied to his athletic life — that “you get what you give” — earned him the lifelong allegiance of countless friends from a number of generations.

Dick’s character had a timeless appeal; he befriended people much older than him and much younger, throughout the many chapters of his life.

He made people feel special, even during his final months. That lifetime of sustained adoration — the kind he both “gave” and “got” — became visible when family and acquaintances organized birthday parties, retirement ceremonies, or Hall of Fame celebrations in his honor. During several of those occasions, large banquet halls were necessary to accommodate the scores of people eager to show their appreciation for him.

Family and friends will be invited once again to another special occasion to honor him; Dick Starkey’s life celebration will be at Sanford American Legion on Saturday, June 10th at 3:00 pm. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Lee Ramsay Funeral Home – Standish Chapel.

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