View Archive


Jan. 9, 1947-Sept. 15, 2012

WILSON -- Claude Dees Starling, 65, Wilson, died Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012.

Funeral will be Saturday at 11 a.m. at Elmwood Cemetery in Fremont at the corner of Vance Street and North Drive. The Rev. Ray Wells will officiate.

Claude was born in Morehead City Jan. 9, 1947, and was the son of James Thomas Starling and Lillian Smith Dees Starling.

He was raised in Morehead City and later in Fremont, before moving to Lumberton, where he graduated from high school in 1965. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, receiving a degree in journalism in 1969.

He came to Wilson that year, and began working for The Wilson Daily Times, where he held positions for more than 40 years as a reporter, columnist and editor, until his retirement in 2010.

He was a recipient of North Carolina's prestigious Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

Claude was a talented writer, who loved the English language, delighting in puns and word games. He was a humorous and witty conversationalist and a fount of knowledge on many subjects from the trivial to the profound.

He enjoyed reading, particularly science fiction, fantasy and history, and loved watching movies, playing word games and visiting with his many friends.

He was an avid supporter of Carolina in all things, particularly Tar Heel basketball.

Claude was a lifetime member of the Wilson Evening Optimist Club, and greatly enjoyed the club's activities, especially the annual Christmas tree sales and the oratorical contest.

He was a charter member of the local Andy Griffith Rerun Watchers Club and a board member of the Fremont Historical Society.

He loved to travel, and found great joy in relating accounts of his travels, especially regarding any fine eating establishment he may have discovered along the way.

Claude was held in high esteem by his co-workers and the many friends he made throughout his lifetime, and will be remembered as a loyal and steadfast friend.

He is survived by his loving sister, Edwena Starling Letchworth of Wilson; two aunts; numerous cousins; and a family of close friends.

It was Claude's request that, in lieu of flowers, memorials be made to the Boys and Girls Home of North Carolina, P.O. Box 127, Lake Waccamaw, N.C., 28450.

Wilson Memorial Service, 2811 Fieldstream Drive North, Wilson, 252-237-7171, wilsonmemorialservice.com.


Published in Obituaries on September 19, 2012 1:50 PM