Schermesser Funeral Homes, Inc.
600 East Turkeyfoot Lake Road
Akron, OH 44319
(330) 899-9107
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Heather (Gardner) Starcher

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Heather (Gardner)


MANCHESTER On Sept. 29, 2002, Heather (Gardner) Starcher, our 26-year-old newly wedded an gel, wife of Jason Starcher and daughter of Robert and Rebecca Gardner, became our Heavenly angel as she left us to be with our Lord.

On April 20, 2002, two families were united as Heather Gardner married Jason Starcher. These two families became one long before Heather's wedding day, though, as "Team Heather" was formed in early 2001 upon her diagnosis of breast cancer. Heather may not be with us any longer, but she won her battle over cancer with each of her smiles that lit a room, in each of her heartfelt laughs, through every per son she touched with her strength, and in the grace, faith, and fortitude with which she met her enormous challenges. Heather, a 1994 graduate of Manchester High School and a 1999 graduate of the University of Akron, made it a purpose in life to lighten the hearts of others with her smile and her warm touch. As a member of St. Francis De Sales Parish, Heather drew on her faith and prayer with the onset of each new obstacle. It was Heather's family and friends that helped her to be able to stay positive, but it was undoubtedly Heather's belief in God that gave her the inner strength to touch so many. Heather added her own spe cial influence to the Gardner Insur ance Agency, where she worked with her father, Robert, for over six years. It was her career goal to succeed her father and assume the ownership of the agency. Heather greeted each new face with a welcoming air and took quality time to speak with clients and profession als alike. Heather participated in the National Race for the Cure in Washington. D.C., for the past two years, and offered herself to speak around northeast Ohio on the im portance of early detection and treatment for breast cancer. As a big sister, in the Big Brothers & Big Sisters Program for over six years, Heather was excited to help improve the quality of life for one less fortunate. It was a goal of Heath er's to make her little sister, Jolene, feel wanted and loved and Heather was dedicated to that effort. Heath er also felt extremely fortunate to work with children with disabilities as a volunteer counselor for Camp Wonderlung. Heather enjoyed the escape she provided these very special children.

Heather leaves behind, to go on in her spirit, her dedicated and beloved husband of five months, Jason Starcher; parents, Robert and Rebecca Gardner; brother, Shawn Gardner; sister, Renee Gardner; grandparents, Harvey and Flora Bridgeman; parents-in-law, Roland and Sandra Starcher; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Scott and Dee Green, and neph ews, Logan and Nicholas; brother- in-law and sister-in-law, Sean and Jennifer Starcher, and nieces, Morgan and Miranda; her indomitable circle of best friends, Jennifer Soles, Julie Carpenter, Tracy Young, Angela Rea and Raeal Moore; and many many relatives and friends. Along with countless others who prayed for her, laughed with her, cried over her and were touched by her larger than life spirit, the lives of these 22 relatives will forever be changed by having witnessed the courage in Heather's battle.

All but Heather's spirit was taken from her, and so it is in this that we endeavor to embrace the beauty, joy, and love of life and family. We will forever love and miss you, Heather, our Heavenly angel, until we see each other again.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Francis DeSales Catho lic Church, 4019 Manchester Rd., on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2002, at 10 a.m. Interment at St. Peter & Paul Cemetery in Doylestown, Ohio. Friends may call from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the Schermesser Funeral Home, 600 E. Tur keyfoot Lake Rd. (Route 619). In lieu of flowers, it is asked that you make a donation to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation (www.komen.com or 800-462-9273) as a tribute to Heather Starcher. Heather would be honored to know her fight for life continues on through efforts to end breast cancer by advancing re search, education, screening, and treatment. Thank you all.

(Schermesser Green Chapel,


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Published in Akron Beacon Journal on Oct. 1, 2002
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