Juanita Jackson Starks
1928 - 2021
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Juanita Jackson Starks

Dec 8, 1928 - February 9, 2021

Juanita Jackson Starks was born on December 8, 1928, in Jackson, Mississippi to Reverend Harrison P. Jackson and Mrs. Willie Epps Jackson. At an early age she united with College Hill M.B. Church in Jackson, and faithfully served in various capacities for as long as she was able, including as teacher and co-teacher for her Sunday School class.

After graduation from Lanier High School she attended Tougaloo College, where she was an outstanding student and was a runner-up to Miss Tougaloo College and was the reigning Miss Omega during her senior year. She graduated with honors in 1949, and began her more than 40-year teaching career, which included assignments to Lanier, Brinkley and Provine High Schools. She loved teaching and positively shaped the lives of countless young people in the Jackson area. With opportunities for local graduate study unavailable to black women at the time, she pursued graduate study at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee and Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin, and later obtained her Master of Arts degree from Jackson State University.

Juanita was married to Charles L. Gettis until his death in 1962. Two daughters, Carmen and Gail, were born of this union. In 1968, Juanita married William P. Starks and to that union a son, Ivan, was born. Mrs. Starks retired from the Jackson Public School District in 1984, but resumed her teaching career as an adjunct English instructor with Jackson State University. She was called home to be with the Lord on February 9, 2021, while at Baptist Medical Center in Jackson, Mississippi.

Juanita Jackson Starks is survived by her three children, Carmen G. Castilla, Gail R. Gettis, and Ivan C. Starks (Emma); five adoring grandchildren, A. Rashad Castilla, Kivatah Castilla, Asia Starks, Evanna Starks, and Catherine Hall; nieces and nephews, Brenda Young, Greg Young (Shahla), Reverend Dr. Embra K. Jackson, Jr. (Rosia), Rita Gettis, Belinda Gettis Moore (Floyd), Meryl Gettis and Cheryl Gettis; stepdaughter Angela S. Knott (Henry); step-granddaughters, Tunya Starks, Bridgette Porter Stubbs (Darrell) and Poteat Porter Medley (Kenny); and a host of family and friends.

Visitation will take place on Saturday, February 20 from 9:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. at College Hill Bapist Church. Memorial service at 11:00 AM. Interment: Garden Memorial Park.





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Published in Clarion Ledger from Feb. 17 to Feb. 18, 2021.
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