Oliver Marion Starkey

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Oliver Marion Starkey Obituary
Oliver Marion Starkey 1925 - 2013 Oliver Marion Starkey was not perfect. Who is? However, Oliver was smart, creative, a voracious reader and so honestly blunt it could hurt, but also prove instructive. Born on January 7, 1925, in Chester, Pennsylvania, Oliver died in Bakersfield on April 15. He was 88. Survivors include children, Oliver Paul Starkey, Cynthia Ann Smith, Harry Oliver Starkey; grandchildren, Baylee Starkey, Connor Starkey, Nicholas Radon, Danielle Radon and Great grandchild Lily Radon. Oliver was a testy easy man, along with being talented, hard working and brave. He was a WWII Veteran and served in the U.S. Navy and Army. Oliver fought in the battle of Normandy landing on Juno Beach. He enlisted in the Navy at 17, fudging about his age so he could get out of the house and serve his country. He was a medic for a forward gunner on a landing ship tank. He later served in the Army and was a proud Veteran and a regular at the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Civilian life included teaching math and science for the first part of his career and serving as a deputy probation officer with the County of Kern. His paid work absorbed only a part of his intellectual and creative prowess. Oliver was a self-proclaimed renaissance man. After taking classes at BC, he began making jewelry, turning out wedding rings for friends in a spin centrifuge (one with gold rose branches). He painted, worked with leather, tied his own fishing flies and was an outdoorsman who practiced taxidermy. Oliver loved dogs, cats, the desert and staring at the stars with his many telescopes. He was a voracious reader who would spend eight hours a day reading if no one stopped him and no one did. He loved to eat out, had a sweet tooth and probably did not tip enough to reflect the level of service he demanded. Oliver was a complete study. God help his friends if he became interested in a subject as he did with Erwin Rommel, the Desert Fox. He read everything, took every class and seized every opportunity to rain information down on his audience but also encouraged them to do the same. Oliver asked people to question the party line of companies, government and their own individual ethos. He did not suffer fools lightly, nor did he tolerate the undereducated or uninformed. This made him lively to be around. He liked to laugh. Some laughs were conspiratorial, as in you know what I'm talking about, others at the expense of himself and then there was the belly laugh. They all included a twinkle in his eye. Services are scheduled 10:45 a.m. on Thursday, April 25, at the Bakersfield National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, flowers donations may be sent to the the Veterans of Foreign Wars. www.bakersfield.com/obits
Published in Bakersfield Californian from Apr. 21 to Apr. 24, 2013
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