Ray Love Starnes

PARIS — Surrounded by his loving family, Ray Love Starnes, long-time Methodist minister who served in this community for almost 40 years, died at his home January 16, 2014. After retiring from the United Methodist Church in 1991, he served as the first Protestant chaplain for St. Joseph’s Hospital for nine years.
Ray was born July 8, 1927, to Ray Anderson Starnes and Iva Mae Love Starnes. He graduated from Stark (West Orange) High School in Orange, Texas, then from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, where he met and married Mary Lynn Webb Starnes who predeceased him in 1960. They had three children, Charles, LeAnn and Jeff.
He later attended Southern Methodist University and became a diaconal minister in the United Methodist Church. This training prepared him for his many years of service as a youth and education minister.
Ray served the First United Methodist Church of Paris on several occasions, finally settling here in 1976. He also served the Lord at Methodist churches in Florence, Corsicana, Waco, Austin, Temple, Longview and Denison.
Ray was known as someone who could be counted on to be there for those in need and to provide comfort. His contributions went far beyond the Methodist Church, as he served as an interim pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Paris and even acted as Cantor at the Jewish Synagogue in Longview. He was also sought after by many families to provide services at both weddings and funerals. He served on the board and volunteered at Co-Ministry.
Throughout his life, Ray loved music. Publicly, he would sing solo or with others or he would lead the choir and congregation. Privately, he liked to slip into the Sanctuary of the churches he served on quiet weekday afternoons to enjoy playing the pipe organ.
He is survived by his beloved wife of more than 50 years, Carroll Moore Starnes; children, Charles Wesley Starnes and Pamela Joy Starnes of Ingleside, Illinois, LeAnn Elizabeth Starnes Barbee of Paris and Jeff C. Starnes and Missy Starnes of Paris; grandchildren, Aaron Starnes, Alexander Starnes, Erin Barbee, Ethan Barbee and his wife, Caroline Barbee, Caitlin Barbee, Ellen Starnes and Carol Ann Starnes; great-grandchildren, James Alexander Starnes and Titus Paul Starnes; and many friends and relatives.
Services were conducted Monday, January 20, 2014, at First United Methodist Church in Paris.
Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church.
Online condolences may be made at www.fry-gibbs.com


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