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Vere enlisted in the Navy at 17 and served six years Vere Starks was born on Nov. 30, 1928, near White River, S.D., the son of Steve and Alma (Flint) Starks. Vere passed away on Dec. 5, 2008 at the age of 80 years and 5 days.
When Vere was 8 years old their family moved to Pavilion, Wyo., where they homesteaded a farm. Vere’s mother was a school teacher, and he could read before he started school.
Vere enlisted in the Navy when he was 17 and served six years, and was on one of the last U.S. Navy ships to leave Shanghai, China when it fell to Communism.
After leaving the Navy, Vere worked various outdoor jobs, including for the Bureau of Reclamation in Colorado. While there he met his one true love, Bonnie Jean Lakey. They were married after a short courtship, and remained married until her death in 1991.
Vere and Bonnie had two children. The first a daughter, Holly Loraine, died on the same day she was born and is buried in Montrose, Colo. The second was a son, Dale Levi, with whom he was living at the time of his death in Manchester, Mo.
In the early 1960s, Vere and Bonnie moved to her hometown of Ava, Mo. Due to the efforts of various people including Clyde Cox and Harold Lakey, Vere and Bonnie decided to attend the First Baptist Church of Ava. On their first Sunday there, Bonnie accepted Jesus Christ as her Savior, and the next Sunday Vere did the same. Shortly thereafter Vere felt the calling of God to full time service for Christ. He graduated from Mid South Bible College in 1972, and shortly thereafter became the pastor of Times Beach Bible Church where he served until God led him in a new direction. The remainder of Vere’s life was spent living in a home he built for Bonnie in Dittmer, Mo. He worked as a welder, until his retirement, and focused his Christian ministry on individuals that God would bring to him.
Vere was also preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, Loraine Davis and Gladys Davis, and one brother, Jim.
He is survived by his son, Dale Levi Starks and wife Annette; one grandson, Todd Simon Starks, all of Manchester, Mo.; one sister, Betty Case, Riverton Wyo.; three brothers, Ralph and Charles Starks, Riverton, Wyo., and Earl Starks, Rock Springs, Wyo.; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Services were at 2 p.m., Monday, Dec. 8, in the Clinkingbeard Funeral Home, Ava, Mo., with Pastor Pete Patton officiating. Interment followed in the Ava Cemetery with full military honors by Ava American Legion Post 112 and VFW Post 5993.
The family requests memorials to Gideons International. Online condolences may be made at www.clinkingbeardfuneralhome. com.