Homer Barksdale Hill Stark
Homer Barksdale Hill Stark, 84, of Orange, passed away Tuesday, March 11, 2008 at Harbor Hospice in Beaumont after a long and happy life. Memorial services are scheduled at 1 pm Saturday, March 15, at the First Presbyterian Church in Orange with Reverend Michael E. Nugent, officiating. Visitation will follow in Fellowship Hall. Services are under the direction of Dorman Funeral Home in Orange.
He was born April 26, 1923 in Tennessee , then adopted through the Settlement Home in Gatlinburg by H. J. Lutcher Stark and his first wife, Nita Hill Stark. (Although his birth certificate listed Jamestown, Virginia, as his birthplace, it was later learned that no births have been recorded there since the 1600’s.) He discovered several years ago that his adopted father also was his biological father, yet seemed to take it in stride.
A 1941 graduate of Orange High School, Homer attended Texas A&M University, then enlisted in the United States Navy and was proud to serve as a gunner’s mate on the U.S.S. Richmond, a light cruiser assigned to the Pacific fleet. Prior to shipping out, he married his childhood sweetheart, Becky Havens Stark, who captured his heart in the fourth grade and took good care of it for the rest of their lives together. They eloped and were married January 22, 1942.
Returning to Orange in December, 1945, Homer built and operated the Sabine Yacht Basin for many years. He served on the Board of Directors of the First National Bank, Easter Seals Crippled Children’s Society, Sunset Grove County Club, March of Dimes and the Stark Foundation. While his family came first, he also loved to hunt and fish… and was known to spend considerable time on the golf course. Through the years, he earned the respect of others as he displayed a gracious manner and always seemed to find good in even the most evil individuals.
Homer is preceded in death by Becky Havens Stark, the love of his life and wife of 65 years; his parents; and his twin brother, William H. Stark. Those left to cherish his memory are daughters Rebecca Nugent of Bryan, Texas; Ramona Sands of Boulder, Colorado; Rebel Falcone and husband Bill of Eureka, Missouri; son, H. J. Lutcher Stark II of Orange. Seven grandchildren: Michael Nugent and wife, Dara of Hurst, Texas; Patrick Nugent and wife Lezley of Dallas, Texas; Haven Sands Heinrichs and husband Travis of Boulder, Colorado; Jacob Sands and wife Lindy of Dallas, Texas; Stark Sands of Los Angeles, California; Becca Falcone Rouse and husband Brian of Eureka, Missouri; and Bill Falcone of St. Louis, Missouri. Nine great-grandchildren: Kyle Nugent, Hayley Nugent, Macy Nugent, Kate Nugent, Marshall Nugent, Mae Sands, Bunker Sands, Jordan Rouse and Jackson Rouse.
Homer, Dad, Daddy, Papaw, or GWH. He answered to many names and always treated individuals from all walks of life with respect, dignity and a polite, easy going manner that defined his personality. Friends and family will greatly miss his honesty, sense of humor and loyalty. One childhood friend said, “Homer would not only give you the shirt off his back, but if you needed another one… he’d go back and get it for you.” And another perhaps said it best, “if you measured wealth in friends rather than dollars, Homer Stark was the richest man in town.”
The family wishes to extend its sincere thanks to Dr. Qamar Arfeen and the compassionate, professional staff of Harbor Hospice in Beaumont. For those desiring memorial contributions, the family has asked that donations be made in Homer’s memory to Harbor Hospice Foundation, 2450 Major Drive, Beaumont, TX 77713; the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band (c/o Texas A&M University Foundation); or The First Presbyterian Church, 902 Green Avenue, Orange, TX 77630.