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A Long Happy Life Together, An Example Worth Following

By Ed Parsons - Editor | Sep 9, 2020

Jack Starcher stands beside his mother, Frona May Starcher, beside her home in New Martinsville.

Seventy-three years ago, Jack and Frona Starcher of New Martinsville settled into their home on Leap Street, where they lived and raised a son, Jack Jr. who still calls it home. Although Jack went on to become a great athlete for the Blue Eagles, he also got a good education and raised a family of his own in Paden City where he and his wife both taught school.

While growing up in New Martinsville, Jack received the ultimate support from his parents in everything he did. If you lived back in those days, you are sure to remember the voice of his mother in the stands cheering him on as he thrilled the fans with his long range shooting on the basketball court.

His father Jack Sr. who was just as vocal and supportive, was also a highly respected member of the community and served a few terms on City Council. Jack senior passed away ten years ago, while Frona, still living in the home-place, continues to be a great neighbor to all and has kept the good family name.

Her son Jackie, as she calls him, never forgot the love, respect and admiration his parents gave him and he passed it on to his own child Joffrey who was an exceptional athlete in his own right at Paden City. Jack is now 73 years old, and Frona who said she didn’t mind saying so is 93. She said she still likes to piddle around a little in the flowers or yard, but she can’t mow, trim, or shovel snow any longer.

I caught up with them this past week as Jack was fighting off the 97 degree heat and high humidity to keep “Mom’s” yard looking good. Jack lives out on Indian Creek in Tyler County, about 30 minutes away, but out of love and respect for “mom” he makes the trip as often as he can to take her to the grocery store, the doctor, or for other appointments. He also makes the weekly trip to cut the grass and in the winter lend a hand any way he can.

At 73 years of age, Jack is no spring chicken himself, but he keeps himself in decent shape by working on his farm and helping mom take care of business. Jack Jr. and wife Roberta are also the proud grandparents of a granddaughter who is making quite the name for herself as a junior in high school tennis player . For more information on that you can get a hold of Jack. Let’s just say you might hear about her sometime in the future.

For now, it would be a good thing for young people to take lessons from Jack Jr. about how to not just say you love your parents, but to demonstrate it on a steady basis.

“I tried to pay Jackie for what he does for me, but he won’t accept a penny,” said Frona. “He say’s it the least he can do for everything I’ve done for him. I don’t feel like I did much for him except raise him the way I was supposed to. And I can add it wasn’t always easy.”

“Her and Dad did so much for me that I could never do enough to repay them. What I do is just what every person should do: help those who have helped you,” said Jack Jr.