Dr. Gary Bertram Starnes

January 11, 1943April 12, 2021
Obituary of Dr. Gary Bertram Starnes
Gary Bertram Starnes, 78, passed away on Monday, April 12, 2021.Dr. Starnes believed God gives us each a gift and that history was his. A love of history and a desire to teach were ignited when he was 8 years old by a teacher in Gary’s elementary school who related WWII experiences. The motivation to teach was reinforced by his mother’s love of teaching. He began developing his own teaching skills when he led a College and Career Sunday School class at First Baptist Church of Smithfield while working on his bachelor’s degree. He studied history at Arlington State College (B.A.) and Texas Christian University (M.A., Ph.D.) and then began working at Dallas Baptist College (DBC) in 1969, which became Dallas Baptist University (DBU) in 1985, where he taught full time for 43 years and continued to teach in his retirement. Early in his career, Starnes was asked to lead an effort to establish a new career-oriented degree program. “In 1973, a quite radical idea was transformed into a non-traditional learning program. …. this well-planned and well-executed program….was a blessing for DBU” (Moses, 1994, p. 69). In addition to the BCA program, Starnes developed the Master of Liberal Arts degree at DBU. Starnes was promoted to full professor in 1981 and was chosen Outstanding Professor of the Year in 1989. He encouraged countless individuals to continue their education and to achieve college degrees. Dr. Starnes authored a number of articles and two books: The San Gabriel Missions, 1747-1756 and Juan de Ugalde y los Provincias Internes de Coahuila y Texas. He was awarded The Presidio La Bahia Award by the Sons of the Republic of Texas in 1971 for most outstanding publication on Spanish Texas that year. Dr. Starnes loved to read, teach, tell jokes and travel. He visited 47 states and many countries, from Austria to New Zealand, and he led students on study abroad trips to at least 17 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. Gary was preceded in death by his parents, Bert and Ita; his sister, Sharon; and his brother Kenneth (K.O.) He is survived by his wife of 53 years, Sonja; daughter, Emily Kinsky and her husband, Ed, and their children, Josiah and Katie Grace; his brother, James and his wife, Cathy; nieces, nephews, and numerous cousins. A memorial service will be held at the Dallas Baptist University Pilgrim Chapel at 10 a.m. on May 8, 2021. The service will be live streamed, which attendees can register for in the link provided below.

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Past Services

Saturday, May 08, 2021

Memorial Service