The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas


June 22, 2012

Larry Weldon Starr

The Honorable Larry Weldon Starr died Wednesday, June 20, 2012 in Tyler, Texas. A service of remembrance and thanksgiving for Judge Starr’s life will be held at First Baptist Church in Longview, Texas on Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 2 p.m. The Starrs will receive friends and family immediately following the service. A graveside service for the family will take place at Starr Cemetery near Elkhart, Texas at 10 a.m. on Saturday. Welch Funeral Home will handle the services.

Larry Weldon Starr was born June 26, 1932 in Elkhart, Anderson County, Texas to the late Alonzo Rilden and Ruth Hamby Starr. The youngest of nine children, he received his early education in Waco, Texas until his family returned to Elkhart. He played football for the state regional champion 1949 Elkhart Elks as well as the bi-district champion 1950 team. Starr graduated Elkhart High School valedictorian of the class of 1950 and received a Naval ROTC scholarship to attend the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky. After graduating with a B.A. in Mathematics, he served our country as a naval aviator and navigator in the United States Navy from 1954 until 1957. Starr then attended Baylor University School of Law where he received the Bachelor of Laws degree (later Juris Doctor) in 1960.

Larry spent the first six years of his private law practice at the Houston law firm of Fulbright, Crooker, Freeman, Bates & Jaworski.  While in Houston, he met and married Nancy Elizabeth Ogletree of Griffin, Ga. on June 23, 1963. He moved to Longview in 1966 to join Kenley, Boyland, Hawthorn, Starr & Coghlan as a partner. Starr spent the last two years of a 20-year practice as a partner with the firm of Sharp, Ward, Ross, McDaniel and Starr.

In 1981, Starr was appointed as the first judge of the County Court at Law of Gregg County, Texas, an office in which he served for five years. He was elected as the second judge of the 188th Judicial District Court and presided over that court for nine years.  In 1996 Governor George W. Bush appointed him as the first Republican to serve as justice of the Texarkana Court of Appeals.  Judge Starr was the first Gregg County resident in several decades to serve on any of the Texas appellate courts. After retiring, Judge Starr continued to serve as a visiting judge on the Texas Courts of Appeals and as a visiting trial judge in several East Texas counties.

Judge and Mrs. Starr joined First Baptist Church of Longview in 1966 where they taught sixth grade Sunday School. Judge Starr also enjoyed singing in the sanctuary choir for many years. He also served as a member of the board of directors of the Greater Longview United Way and the Longview Symphony. Larry enjoyed travel, reading and music.

Judge Starr is survived by Nancy and their three children and spouses and nine grandchildren: Michael and Sarah Starr and Elizabeth, Emily and Matthew of Tyler, Texas; Jeffrey and Ellen Starr and Emma, Anna Mary and Rebecca of Walnut Creek, California; David and Jennifer Starr McCumberand Will, Michael and Andrew of Los Alamos, N.M. Also surviving Judge Starr is one sister, June Slabey, and many nieces and nephews.

Memorials may be made to the W. Morris Ford Foundation at First Baptist Church, 209 East South Street, Longview, Texas 75601 or the Longview Symphony Orchestra at P. O. Box 1825, Longview, Texas 75606.


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