William J. Starkweather, 89, of Highland died Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, at St. Josephs Hospital in Highland.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 7 at Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland and from 9 to 10 a.m. on Feb. 8 at First Baptist Church in Alhambra. A funeral service will be at 10 a.m. on Feb. 8 at First Baptist Church in Alhambra, with the Rev. Matt Candlish, youth pastor, officiating. Burial will be in Roselawn Cemetery in Bethalto.
He was born on Oct. 9, 1924, in Broken Arrow, Okla., to John W. and Mildred K. (Castel) Starkweather. On Nov. 3, 1951, he married Margaret L. Claxton, who passed away on May 31, 2009.
Mr. Starkweather moved to Illinois at age 2. He was a 1942 graduate of Hettick High School in Hettick, Ill. He worked at Owens Illinois Glass for seven months, then went into the Army, with duty in Northern France. On Jan. 30, 1945, he was wounded. He was discharged on March 20, 1946, as a sergeant. He received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.
He lived in Maryland for a year, New Jersey for 3 1/2 years, and returned to Illinois in 1950. He then moved to Columbia, Mo., to work for Foremost Farms Dairy for 2 1/2 years, then School of the Ozarks as herdsman for 2 1/2 years. He then went back to Foremost Farms for 2 years.
In 1958, he returned to Owens Illinois Glass, and on Sept. 1, 1958, he became a dairy herdsman at Alton State Hospital, where he worked for five years. From 1963-1965, he worked in Wisconsin as herdsman. From 1967-1972, he managed a dairy farm in Greenville. From 1972-1974, he worked in Alabama as herdsman. In 1974, he went to Nanitou Farm at Alhambra for 2 1/2 years and Granada Farms. In 1976, he went to Highland and worked at the Highland Post Office for 11 years. In 1990, he worked for Clean The Uniform Co., from which he retired in 2000.
He traveled with his wife on senior citizen tours. He moved into Faith Countryside Homes in late 2007. He enjoyed watching the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, following Tiger Woods and doing activities at FCH. His family and his faith were very important to him.
He was a member of First Baptist Church in Alhambra; VFW Post 5694 in Highland, where he served as chaplain for 20 years; Lee Iten American Legion Post 439 in Highland; and the Disabled American Veterans, where he was a lifetime member. He had also served as president of Harris Cemetery Board in Alhambra and was a past president and delegate for Veterans Assistance Commission in Edwardsville.
Survivors include daughters, Glenna J. White of Brighton, Betty G. (Ronald) Wilson of Delavan, Wis., and Sherry G. (Michael) Lappe of New Douglas; and a son, Bruce A. Starkweather of OFallon.
He was also preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Eldon L. Starkweather; a grandchild, Joy Lynn White; and a son-in-law, Robert White.
Memorials may be made to Disabled American Veterans.