LTC Donald D. Starnes, US Army (Retired)

  • Born: March 11, 1935
  • Died: May 14, 2020
  • Location: San Antonio, Texas

Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
Tel. (210) 495-8221

Tribute & Message From The Family

LTC Donald D. Starnes, US Army (retired) age 85, passed away peacefully with his family by his side in his home on Thursday, May 14, 2020. His celebration of life will be Wednesday, May 27, 2020 at 12:00 PM at Porter Loring Mortuary North, followed by interment with his wife in Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery. The viewing is Tuesday, May 26, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Porter Loring North.
Donald was born March 11, 1935 in Galveston, Texas to Mary and Homer Starnes. He graduated from Ball High School, Galveston, Texas and completed his education at Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX. On November 25, 1960 he married Patsy Perez in San Antonio, Texas. She became a military wife and took over as head of household while Donald was deployed, serving his country in Vietnam. Together they raised seven children and were blessed with eight grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Over the course of his 20+ year military career he received numerous commendations to include Silver Star, Bronze Star Medal (1st Oak Leaf Cluster), Purple Heart and the Valorous Unit Award. Upon retirement he started a second career as an Officer Instructor for Junior Reserve Officer Training at Dr. Leonides G. Cigarroa High School in Laredo, Texas. After retiring from the Laredo School District, Donald and is beloved wife, Patsy, returned to San Antonio Texas and became involved with the Alzafar Shriners where he held the position as the Recorder for several years. Donald is preceded in death by his devoted wife of 59 years Patricia "Patsy" Starnes. He is survived by sons David Deleon of Galveston, TX, Robert Deleon of Dallas TX; James Starnes and wife Gloria Starnes of San Antonio, TX; daughters Teresa Marie Taylor, Sulphur, LA, Donna Starnes, San Antonio, TX, Lisa Gregg and husband Kevin Gregg Sr., San Antonio, TX; numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Condolence & Memory Journal

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow. LTC Donald Starnes was a great instructor at Martin high JROTC program I'm glad I got to meet him and to be his student he will greatly missed.

Posted by Sandra Dee Pottin - Student   May 28, 2020

My deepest condolence. LTC. Starnes was my JROTC instructor and had a major impact in guiding me to where I am today. As a senior in high school he took me to Laredo Nation Bank and walked me into Mrs. Melissa Cigarroa's office. She was a bank VP and huge Aggie. She handed me a Texas A&M University application packet. A few weeks later LTC Starnes asked me if I had sent in my application. I had not and the general scholarship deadline was only a couple of days away. He instructed me that I was to leave the building only to secure one more recommendation letter and was to sit down on a computer to write my essays and finish my application. I finished and mailed my application that day and a few months later I was selected for a University Scholarship. Attending Texas A&M has been a huge part of my life. I am thankful that LTC.Starnes not only saw some potential in me but also gave me that extra push. RIP LTC Starnes.

Posted by Joe Rodriguez - Student   May 27, 2020

My condolences. He will always remain in my heart for if not for his discipline and training I would not have become the soldier I am and carry that training as well to my civilian life. He instructed us not only in military training but in courteousness and proper manners. Martin High School ROTC was great because of him. I was great because of him. This world was greater because of him. His commitment to teaching and guidance of students in the right path played a grand role not only in my life but all who met him. Thank you Sir!!!

Posted by Rigoberto Delgado - Laredo, TX - Student   May 27, 2020

As I sit here taking in the news of the passing of your beloved Father, Grandfather and friend. I can not help but wonder if LTC Starnes ever knew the profound impact he had on a bunch of under privileged kids from South Texas. 1984 was the year LTC Starnes came into our neck of woods a towering man looking sharp in his greens with his signature black briefcase at his side. He was a male role model for many that crossed his path here in Laredo. Never wavering in his commitment to his students even when things got rough and parents did not fully understand what it meant to be a cadet in his corp. For many of us first generation Americans he taught us to be proud patriots of this beautiful country. If there is a lesson that has stuck with me, it has been to own my mistakes and be proud of my accomplishments. I did not serve in any branch of the military, but he did influence my life to better myself and in the process my community. Last time I spoke to LTC Starnes he was in town for a WBCA event with the Shriners he asked how I was and what I had been up to. I went on to share that I had married my HS Sweetheart also a cadet Sara and that we had two kids. He asked about my career I still remember his face as he told me he was proud of me knowing that I had received multiple degrees but most of all that I was happy. To his family your loved one came into an area of Laredo that many had discarded, and he saw the potential in our lives and polished us to be productive members of society. He introduced many of us to a bunch of firsts in our lives from how to conduct ourselves in a formal dining setting , how to sit while we were in uniform, how to great and maintain conversations with anyone in the room no matter the social class or standing. Lessons that still resonate in my everyday life. Que siga la Fiesta Brava para el Teniente Coronel D. Starnes.

Posted by Luis Sanchez - Laredo, TX - Student   May 26, 2020

I had Ltc. Starnes as a colonel at martin high school and he was the best at his job. Leave my condolences to his family.

Posted by Juanita Gamez - Laredo, TX - Student   May 26, 2020

Please accept my sincere condolences at the passing of Col. Starnes. I had the opportunity to meet him when he was at Cigarroa High School in Laredo. Then at the Shriner Auditorium when I was with the Constable's Dept; it seen like time had stood still.

RIP, Sir.

Matthew 5:9

Posted by Betty Kramer - Boerne, TX - Friend   May 25, 2020

Don was my student at TAMIU in Laredo, back in the 1990s (I believe). He was a good student and a good person. You could count on Don to volunteer. My condolences to the family.

Posted by Stan Green - Teacher   May 24, 2020


R.I.P. Cousin.

Maureen O'Hara

Posted by Maureen O'Hara - galveston, TX - Family   May 23, 2020

So sorry to hear this. Sending love and prayers to the family.

Posted by Claudia Goodgame - Galveston, TX - Family   May 22, 2020

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