Mrs. Neva Isabell Starnes passed away Thursday, September 10, 2020 at Oakview Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Summerville, Georgia.
Neva was born April 10, 1929 in Laclede County, Missouri, daughter of Ellis and Lula Bell Armstrong. She was preceded in death by her mother and father, one brother and two sisters. Also preceding her in death were her daughter Beverly M. Holbrook, her great-grandson Joshua Marlin Hall and her husband of sixty-nine years, Rev. Marlin L. Starnes.
Neva met the Lord when she was ten-years-old at Antioch Baptist Church in Laclede County, Missouri. Three years later she met her husband, Marlin, and they were married when she was sixteen.
Neva was known as “Nan” first to her grandchildren, and then many others as she and her husband ministered at churches from Georgia to Alaska. Nan and Bro. Starnes started their ministry at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church at Cloudland, Georgia. They then served at Emmanuel Baptist Church in DeSoto, Missouri, First Baptist Church of North Pole, Alaska, again at Emmanuel Baptist Church, First Baptist Church of Delta Junction, Alaska, Ebenezer Baptist Church in Haywood Valley in Chattooga County and lastly at Cove Road Baptist Church in Mentone, Alabama.
Nan’s passion was pre-school children. She taught pre-school classes in all of the churches where she and Bro. Starnes ministered. She operated a daycare at Emmanuel Baptist Church. She also worked for the Alaska Baptist Convention and the Home Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, putting on pre-school training workshops.
Nan is survived by her grandchildren Tammy and Mike Cupp of Laurel Fork, Virginia; Jimmy and Maria Holbrook of Lyerly, Georgia, Shane Holbrook and Stacey of Hillsboro, Missouri and Elizabeth Holbrook of Austin, Texas; also surviving: her great-granddaughter Alissa Cruz and great-great-granddaughters Analia and Rory Cruz and her son-in-law Lebron and Helen Holbrook of Fredericktown Missouri.
Nan didn’t want a funeral and asked that she be buried as soon as possible. She asked that a memorial service be held at a later date with “lots of singing and a meal.” The family plans to hold a memorial service on Nan’s birthday, April 10, 2021 at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church at Cloudland.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to Cove Road Baptist Church, P.O. Box 25, Mentone, Alabama 35984 or Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, 26692 Georgia Highway 157, Cloudland, Georgia 30731.
The family would like to say a special thanks to Opal Deering and all the staff at Oakview Nursing and Rehabilitation, especially the G-Hall staff, who took such loving care of Nan, and to Henry Mason and Mason’s Funeral Home who handled the arrangements.