Bernice Starkie of Port Ewen, New York, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by love on the morning of Monday, December 21, 2020. She was 84 years old.
She was born and raised in Jamaica, Queens. A true New Yorker, she left the city with her young family for Long Island, and in 1969 settled her family in the Hudson Valley. She never lost her love for the big city and visited often.
Bernice’s greatest joys in life were spending time with her family and being at the beach. Not a summer went by where she was not wearing her bright colored terry cloth cover up and her signature red lipstick on the shore in Avalon, New Jersey.
The ultimate Matriarch, she lit up any space with her fiery red hair that was matched to her fiery spirit. The cool Granny, she had a sense of style and elegance that was all her own.
Bernice is predeceased by her parents, Herman and Annette Segal.
She is survived by her loving husband of 63 years, Richard H Starkie, Jr. and their five children. Jill Van Etten (Peter), Jay Lieske (Donna), Richard H. Starkie III, Shelley Sakellariou (Christos) and Tammy Firmbach (Karl). Her eight grandchildren, Chad Martin (Andrea), Casey Martin (Sarah), Molly Sterrs (Kyle), Hannah Sterrs, Andrew Starkie, Jonathan Starkie, Sophia Sakellariou and Grace Sakellariou. And her three great grandchildren, Gavin Bogert, Tessa Martin and Jameson Martin. Bernice is also survived by her two sisters, Leni Conte and Ann Marie Farrell, both of Long Island, New York, and their families.
Bernice will be remembered most for her selfless acts— the way she loved with her whole heart, the excitement she got from giving gifts, and the joy she felt when hugging any and all of her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She will be dearly missed by all who loved her.
There will be a private memorial celebration of Bernice’s life in the Spring. Her family would like to offer a special thank you to her home aide, Terry, and to Hudson Valley Hospice. Memorial contributions may be made to HVHospice.org
The family has entrusted the Gilpatric-VanVliet Funeral Home, 339 Broadway, Ulster Park, Town of Esopus with the care and cremation arrangements for Bernice. Send her family an expression of condolence by visiting Bernice's Book of Memories: www.GVVFH.com