2011-01-27 / Obituaries

Mary Lou Starr

Born Mary Lou Balaam, one of eight children, in Wakena, June 6, 1928, Mary Lou Starr passed away in Tracy at Sutter Tracy Community Hospital at the age of 82 on Jan. 20.

She was married for 37 years to the late Cecil Martin Starr who passed away in 1985. She is survived by her three children: Rebecca Mock and her husband Frank of San Jose, Cecil “Bud” Martin Starr II and his wife Pamela of Bakersfield and Hallie Jean Starr of Reno, NV.

She is also survived by her sister, Clara Byrd and husband, Wally, of Tulare; sister, Nancy Jordan and husband, Dennis, of Merced; brothers, George Balaam and wife, Jo, of Tulare; and Clarence “Bud” Balaam and wife ,Claudia, of Tulare; and sister-in-law, Norma Balaam. She was preceded in passing by sisters, Jean Stinson and Billie Hughson; and brother, Clayton Balaam. She is a grandmother of seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren and aunt to numerous nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews.

Married to Cecil Starr in 1948, she lived in various central California communities , following her husband’s construction jobs. They settled in Tracy in 1955 when the oldest child Rebecca started to school. All three children graduated from Tracy High School.

A resident of Tracy for 25 years, Mary Lou worked for 12 years at Courier-Citizens business forms printing company and for three years at Montgomery Ward. Mostly she was a homemaker, actively participating in whatever involved her children and their friends. She was a 44-year member of the Joaquin Chapter #348 Order of the Eastern Star in Tracy.

Mary Lou moved to Mariposa in 1996 to be closer to her children and to her other Central Valley relatives. She returned to Tracy in February, 2010. She enjoyed reading, embroidering, quilting, making ceramics, cooking, baking and canning. She always had some treat to contribute to a gathering whether it be a business meeting at her mobile home park, someone’s birthday social or just visiting.

Mary Lou was gregarious. She was a kind-hearted and generous person who liked to socialize and to give little gifts to people. After relocating to Mariposa, she enjoyed helping her sister Nancy and husband Dennis conduct estate sales so she could meet and talk to new people. She was also known as a highly-principled, feisty lady who took no guff and would not back down from what she believed was right and/or fair. She liked to express her opinion.

Mary Lou loved children, especially babies. Her proudest achievement was her satisfaction in having all of her children graduate from college. She was loved by many and will be missed by all.

Memorial services will be Saturday, Jan. 29, at 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mt. Oso Masonic Center, 1601 N. Tracy Blvd., Tracy. There will be no visitation and interment will be at Fort Jones Cemetery in Siskiyou County at a later date.

In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorial contributions be made in Mrs. Starr’s name to: Rheumatoid Arthritis Foundation, P.O. Box 7669, Atlanta, GA 30357, (800)-283-7800 or to American Diabetes Association, P.O. Box 2680, North Canton, OH 44720, (800)-342-2383

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