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Jerald Charles Starks
April 26, 1944 – January 19, 2024
Jerald (Jerry) Starks passed away January 19th, 2024 after a brief illness. He will be remembered for his sense of humor, work ethic, generosity, and his love of family and friends.
Son of Charles Herman Starks and Marie Ann Cortney, Jerry was born in Sidney, Nebraska on April 26th, 1944. The family moved to Keenesburg, Colorado in December of 1949. Within a few years, the family grew to eight children. In addition to his many chores at home, Jerry worked a wide variety of jobs in his youth, including newspaper delivery, a dairy, lumber yard, service station, grocery store, and many others.
After high school, Jerry attended St. Benedict’s College in Atchison, Kansas. There, he met his wife, Virginia Marie (Ginger) Sittler. Being 6 years her senior, this meeting may never have occurred, had it not been for his four-year break from college. His father had sent him away to serve in the Navy, after he stole the dean’s car as a prank. After graduation, the two were married on November 28th, 1970, at St. Mary’s, Aleppo, Kansas, just two miles from her family’s farm near Garden Plain.
Jerry and Ginger started their life together in the Denver area, where he began his long career in banking. They welcomed a daughter, Courtney, followed a few years later by a son, James. In 1977, they bought a home just off Quail Street in Arvada. Over the next few years, Jerry worked his way up to Vice President of Operations at Central Bank of Denver. He put in many long hours and weekends on the difficult conversion of the bank’s computer to a new system called Hogan.
During the years in Arvada, entertaining became a big part of Jerry and Ginger’s lives. With his large extended family, his coworkers, and a neighborhood full of friends, there were always occasions to celebrate. St. Patrick’s Day was his big event every year, serving massive amounts of corned beef to a packed house. Whenever time allowed, Jerry loved fishing. Sometimes, it would be a quick trip to a lake, or maybe a camping trip to the Elk River. He and his friends from Central Bank would often rent a motor home and spend a week fishing from a raft on the Bighorn river in Wyoming.
In 1988, the family moved to Keenesburg, building a house next to his parents’ former home. In the previous year, Jerry had become president of The Citizens State Bank, a position once held by his father. Every fall, you could find him standing by the large, rotating griddle at the American Legion for the bank’s annual Pancake Supper. He was a member of the Keenesburg town board, and was active with the Chamber of Commerce and the clinic. Jerry worked on the board of the Independent Bankers of Colorado, earning their highest honor, the Ivan D. Fugate Award. He also served as chairman of the Colorado State Banking Board.
Upon retirement and the sale of Citizens State Bank, he continued for several years on the board of directors for Colorado East Bank & Trust. He and Ginger made many trips to the coast of Texas, where they enjoyed fishing, relaxing, and meeting up with friends. St. Louis became another favorite destination, following the birth of his granddaughter. Back at home, they entertained frequently, hosting small weekly gatherings in their basement pub.
Sadly, Ginger passed away in 2021. They had just celebrated their 50th anniversary the prior year, and he missed her terribly. He continued on with his daily routine, waking early, putting the coffee on, and working his crossword puzzles at the kitchen table. But, life was never the same without his beloved wife by his side.
Jerry was preceded in death by his wife and his parents; brother, Kevin Starks; and sister, Mae Starks.
Survived by his children, Courtney Starks (Joe Jez), and James Starks; granddaughter, Kayleigh Jez; brothers, Michael Starks, Roy Starks, and Bob Starks; sisters, Joan (John) Bumpus, and Margo (Joe) Hayes; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, January 27th at 10:00 AM at Sacred Heart Parish in Roggen. A lunch at the American Legion in Keenesburg will follow.
Memorials may be made to either of the following organizations:
Keenesburg American Legion Auxiliary
PO Box 4, Keenesburg, CO 80643
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105