Cover photo for Gene Harrison Starbuck's Obituary
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1946 Gene 2024

Gene Harrison Starbuck

September 3, 1946 — May 22, 2024

I was born on September 3, 1946, in Salida, Colorado. My parents lived in Meeker at
the time, but Mom stayed with Dad’s family for better medical care and family support.
Although I received the best possible care at St. Mary’s cancer center, cancer proved it
was in charge. I died on May 22, cared by the respectful and kind staff at Hope West
surrounded by my wife and family.
Most people who ever lived preceded me in death, so I won’t name them all. A few,
however, were exceptionally important in my life. Mom, Ethel Stone Starbuck (1917-
2020) and Dad, Paul F. (“Coach”) Starbuck (1911-199) were wonderful parents.
Whatever I did that was good is because of them. Whatever I did badly is on me. Other
than my parents, the person with the most influence in my life was my university
sociology mentor, Professor Howard Higman. (1915-1995)
My first wife and mother of my children, Arlette Hunter Starbuck (1941-1986) died
before I did, as did my son Scott Floylyn Starbuck (1969-1983), and my daughter India
Rose Starbuck (1973-2020). Surviving from that chapter are grandchildren, Angelique,
Brad, and Scott, and five great grandchildren. From my line are my sister, Paula Ruth
Starbuck Armstrong and her husband Bob Armstrong. Their daughter, Cynthia
Armstrong (Chris Becker) their children Lexi, Cia, and Cameron. My nephew, Paul
Armstrong and his wife Heather Stickler and their children Josephine and Walker, have
shared wonderful times with us in recent years.
My marriage to Tish (LaTisha) in 2004, who also survives me, gave me several other
wonderful relatives. They should formally have “step” in front of their kinship names, but
they don’t interact with us as “steps”. They are daughter Kim (Scott Nelson) with
Samantha and Melissa (Pat) with great granddaughter Elaina, son Brian Bohl (Krystal
Howlin) with Olivia and Henry, daughter Michelle (Cody Lyster) with Nora and Wyatt,
daughter Meagan (Paul Pierson) with Taylor, Carter, and Violet.
Meeker provided the kind of wonderful childhood that can only happen in a relatively
isolated small town. After graduating in the Meeker High School class of 1965, the first
year of the baby boomer grads, I attended the University of Colorado in Boulder. From
there I received a B.A. (1969), M.A. (1971) and PhD. (1985).
In 1974, I took a break from graduate school and joined the sociology faculty of what
was then Mesa College. I had 31 wonderful years there. During that time, I had
approximately 6,000 students. Some learned something in the classes, but don’t
remember where they learned it. A few might remember me and taking my class. A few
have told me that I was an important and positive influence on their lives. I probably
learned more from teaching them than they learned from me. I was proud of the awards
I received from my teaching.
As gratifying as teaching was, I did other things at the college. I was Faculty Senate
President for two years during which I initiated the Honors Program for students at
Mesa. I was on the faculty technology committee in the late 1990s. I supervised the
research and writing of the college’s Self Study that led to a 10 year accreditation of the
college. I also published a sociology textbook, “Families in Context” that eventually
went through five editions and added original concepts to the field of study. I was a
long-term member of the Western Social Science Association and was the Section
Leader for two years, in both of which I received the Outstanding Section Leader award.
I was the Department Chair of Social and Behavioral Science at Colorado Mesa
University for two years.
Post retirement, Tish and I moved to Santa Monica California in 2005 and returned to
our Grand Junction home in 2012. We are grateful for our many friendships here and
we deeply love Western Colorado. Adios amigos.
Services pending. Memorials can be sent to Colorado Mesa University Foundation 1100
North Avenue, Grand Junction, CO 8150. A scholarship fund for first generation college
students will be created in Gene’s honor.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Gene Harrison Starbuck, please visit our flower store.

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