Dr. Leonard Starling – September 26, 1931/September 18, 2015

Filed under: Obituaries |

starlingDr. Leonard Starling was ushered into the presence of the Lord on September 18, 2015, as his loving family watched him go. He was born on September 26, 1931, in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and was the son of Leonard Starling, Sr. and Meta Jernigan Starling. Dr. Starling received his Bachelor of Science in Music Education from East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, and his Master of Sacred Music and Doctor of Musical Arts from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.

Dr. Starling served 26 years in the Air Force. During his military career, he served as musical director for various chapels and churches where he was stationed. He directed the Keesler Male Chorus in Biloxi, Mississippi, and also directed the Gulf Coast Choral Society and Orchestra in annual performances of Handel’s Messiah. He retired from the Air Force with a rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 1978. Upon retirement he and his family owned and operated a Christian retreat center in Lake Lure, North Carolina. Dr. Starling taught high school band from 1979-1985 at Rutherfordton-Spindale Central High School. From 1986-1994 he taught Music Appreciation, Music History, and private instrumental students at Isothermal Community College and Gardner Webb University.

Dr. and Mrs. Starling moved to Texas in 1994 when their youngest granddaughter was born since they wanted to be involved in the lives of their four grandchildren. He sang in the Silver Serenaders of Texas and played his saxophone at nursing homes throughout the community.

Dr. Starling was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Evelyn Starling Fussell. He is survived by his wife, Mickey of 56 years, son, Joel Starling of Dallas, Texas, daughter, Gina Starling, Portland, Oregon, and four grandchildren, Joshua, Alyssa, Abby and Annie Starling. He is also survived by his nephews Bennie Fussell, Cary, North Carolina, and Michael Fussell, Abington, Maryland, and niece Jane Fussell Corbin, Charlotte, North Carolina.

There will be a visitation Monday, September 21, 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Jaynes Memorial Chapel, 811 South Cockrell Hill Road, Duncanville, TX 75137.

The funeral is Tuesday, September 22, 10:00 am at Hillcrest Baptist Church, 265 W. Pleasant Run Road, Cedar Hill, TX 75104 with Pastor Mike Simmons officiating.

jaynesA graveside service will be held in Manila, Arkansas.

Contributions can be made in memory of Leonard Starling to the Silver Serenaders of Texas, P. O. Box 223911, Dallas, Texas 75222, silverserenaders.org, or to Hillcrest Baptist Church designated for the Palaung people or missionaries working in Papua New Guinea. Flowers may be arranged through Flowers by Sandra, 914 S Cedar Ridge Drive, Duncanville, TX 75137, 972-296-5957, sandrasflowers.net.