Wilma M. Starkey

February 3, 2019
Wilma Starkey

Cherokee, Iowa

Wilma Marie Starkey, 87, of Cherokee, passed away Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019, at Cherokee Regional Medical Center with her family by her side.

Services will be 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cherokee. The Rev. Jonathan Riggert will officiate. Burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery. Visitation will begin 2 p.m. Monday, with the family present 4 to 7 p.m., at Greenwood-Schubert Funeral Home in Cherokee. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.greenwoodfuneral.com.

Wilma Marie (Sievert) Starkey was born on a family farm near Galva, Iowa, on Oct. 13, 1931, to William and Louise (Rusch) Sievert. She was baptized and confirmed at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Galva. She attended and graduated from the Alta (Iowa) Community School District in 1949. Wilma then attended and graduated from the Lutheran Hospital School of Nursing in Sioux City on Sept. 2, 1952, and from Westmar College in Le Mars, Iowa in 1974.

She was married to Walter Starkey at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Alta on March 21, 1954. To this union, two children were born, Walt and Karen.

Wilma worked as a registered nurse in Sioux City, Storm Lake, Iowa, Colorado, and Michigan before moving to Cherokee in 1958. She worked at Sioux Valley Memorial Hospital and the Cherokee Clinic before becoming the school nurse for the Cherokee Community School District. She retired in 1993 after 30 years of service.

After retiring, she continued to help with the Early Childhood Learning Center and as the parish nurse for Trinity Lutheran Church in Cherokee. Wilma also taught at Cherokee Mental Health for the psychiatric affiliation for the various community colleges and also served as the nurse for the NWIA YES Center.

Wilma was a past president of the Iowa School Nurse Organization, named honorary referee for the Tomahawk Relays and was Cherokee Citizen of the Year in 2001. She also served as a board member of the Cherokee County Work Activity Center, Cherokee County Fund Drive, and the Associated Charities. She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church.

Wilma is survived by her son, Walt of Atlantic, Iowa; daughter, Karen (Gary) Lueders of Clinton, Iowa; grandchildren, Heather and Erik Trilk, Ben Lueders, Sarah Starkey, Erin and Andy Meine and Ryan Starkey; five great-grandchildren, Maggie and Owen Trilk, Connor, Colson, and Carlee Meine; a sister-in-law, Donnabelle Sievert; a daughter-in-law, Patricia Starkey; her extended family (those who called her mom); and by many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Walt in 1981; a brother, Clarence Sievert; two sisters and their husbands, Lois and Earl Lichtenberg, and Lorna and Melvin Pepper; two nephews, Eugene Lichtenberg and Harlan Pepper; and a niece and her husband, Connie and Howard Leitz.

In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials to Trinity Lutheran Church or to Trinity Lutheran Preschool.

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