Aug. 24, 1937-Aug. 19, 2020
Theron Eugene “PeeWee” Starnes Sr. of Natchitoches passed away Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2020, at the age of 82. “PeeWee,” as he was affectionately known to friends and family, was born Aug. 24, 1937, in Monroe, N.C. He was the youngest of eight children born to William Vance and LouZettie Baker Starnes.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 22 in the Chapel of Blanchard-St. Denis Funeral Home. Burial will follow at Central Cemetery in Robeline. The family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 21 in the chapel.
PeeWee learned to work hard at a young age. That work ethic would become his trademark throughout his life. To his family and friends, he was known as one of the hardest working men they’d ever known. While a young man, he began to develop his love for fast cars, motorcycles and auto racing. He would take both his work ethic and love for fast cars with him when he moved to Natchitoches in 1956. It was there he met and married his wife of 61 years, Helen Hall Starnes, May 30, 1959. It was in Natchitoches where PeeWee put down new roots, worked hard, built their homes where he and Helen raised a family of four children for the remainder of his life.
PeeWee loved both fast and old cars, motorcycles and trucks, as well as racing them! His love for auto racing began on the dirt tracks of North Carolina and came to fruition while in Louisiana, building and wrenching several very successful race cars, including his beloved #79 “The Oak Grove Stud.” He was also a huge NASCAR fan, particularly his favorite driver, the late Dale Earnhardt.
PeeWee was the consummate “tinkerer.” He loved to tinker, to take old things and make them useful again, from old cars and trucks to lawn mowers and four-wheelers. He loved to tinker when he got home from work.
PeeWee was a bricklayer his entire life, not just any bricklayer, he was the best and a very successful one at that. He continued to work diligently at his profession, forever perfecting his craft, until his health began to fail him well into his 70s. His work will continue to be seen and admired for many years to come by homeowners from Louisiana to North Carolina. He would be very proud of that!
PeeWee was preceded in death by his parents, William and LouZettie Starnes; brothers, Harrison, Bud, Willie and Wildred Starnes; sisters, Mary Melton, Ann Clark and Carol “Pete” Richardson; son, Theron Starnes Jr.; and grandson, Wesley “Wes” Rollo.
Those left to cherish his memory are his wife, Helen Hall Starnes; daughters, Bridget Briley (Louis), Sonya Rollo (Jeff) and Melisa “Missy” James (Chad); daughter-in-law, Melony Boydston Starnes; granddaughter, Ashley Johnson (Jason); grandsons, Luke Briley (Desiree), Vance Starnes (Katy), Caine Starnes, Brodie Starnes, Andy James and Landry James; and nine great-grandchildren.
The family would ask, in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the W.A.R. Foundation, created in memory of PeeWee’s grandson, Wes Rollo. The foundation provides dream fishing trips for pediatric cancer patients. Donations are tax deductible and can be sent to WAR Foundation, 301 Plantation Point, Natchitoches LA 71457.
The family would also like to thank PeeWee’s caregivers at the Courtyard of Natchitoches, particularly Karen, Kim and Judy. You held a special place in his heart! Thank you for taking such good care of our Daddy!