On Tuesday, December 20, 2022, at 9:36 a.m., God called Alphonso Lee Starkey home for his final rest. He was 80 years old. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend.
Alphonso was born to Louis Starkey and James Brown on August 15, 1942. He was raised by his grandfather and grandmother, William, and Ella Starkey. Alphonso grew up in Roanoke, Virginia’s “Ballyhack” and graduated from Salem’s Carver High School in 1960. Alphonso moved to Washington D.C. shortly after graduation and then joined the United States Air Force in 1961.
His earthly life was lived in four phases. Phase I: Birth to 18 years was spent in Roanoke Virginia. Phase II: Ages 18 to 25 were spent in active-duty service to the United States Air Force in the following locations: Thule, Greenland; Homestead, Florida; Okinawa, Japan; and San Jose, California. Phase III: Ages 25 to 59 was spent in Miami, Florida in service to the United States Post Office (USPS) and the United States Air Force Reserve Unit. Phase IV: Ages 59 to 80. He retired from the Post Office in 2001; the Air Force in 2002 and then moved to Georgia in 2006 where he remained until his death.
He attended Bethlehem Baptist Church in Ballyhack, Virginia and it is where he accepted our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ at the young age of 9 and was baptized. He was an active member of Olive Baptist Church of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida until he moved to Atlanta in 2006. Once in Atlanta, he joined the Word of Faith Cathedral where he faithfully served as an Usher for the last 15 years of his life. He graciously played Santa Clause at many of the Word of Faith Christmas events and was a dedicated volunteer tirelessly filling whatever positions as needed i.e., (youth basketball league coach, parking lot attendant, funeral worker, ushering, security, etc.)
He was a real family man and played an active role as a father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend. He showed up for his entire family. He acted as a father to many, even his children’s friends. He attended basketball games, baseball games, dance recitals, football games, cheerleading events, and wrestling matches. Sometimes he showed up as just Dad. Other times, he came as Dad and Coach. He attended elementary, middle school, high school, and college graduations. He showed up to elementary school career days, disciplinary matters, and Grandparent’s Day. He took his kids fishing, and on family trips, and made certain his children and grandchildren were connected to his Roanoke roots. He was the first-born sibling and the patriarch of our family in every sense of the word. Like the Roanoke Star shines over the City of Roanoke, Alphonso Starkey shines in every city where he touched down-domestic and foreign.
He was extremely proud of his service to the United States Air Force and the United States Post Office. He served 30 years in the United States Post Office; six years active duty in the Air Force and 24 years in the Air Force Reserves. During his years in the Air Force, he worked as Staff and Technical Sergeant and earned the National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award, and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award. At the United States Post Office, he worked his way up the ranks to Post Office Superintendent. He also received many awards during his tenure at the United States Post Office, i.e. (Years of Service Awards, Perfect Attendance Award, 1500 Sick Leave Club, 2000 Sick Leave Club, Patriotic Service Award, Excellence Award, etc.)
Alphonso was also a real Renaissance man. He fixed his own plumbing; worked on his vehicles; managed his own lawn. He owned an elite toy transportation collection-complete with a town, trains, cars, and people. He was a photographer; coached basketball and football; was a prolific bowler and was, in fact, the commissioner of a Miami bowling league for many years. He was excellent on the pool table and played ping pong and tennis equally as well. On the basketball court, he had a mean sky hook that rivaled Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s. The Lakers were his favorite basketball team, and the Minnesota Vikings remained his favorite football team, regardless of their record.
Alphonso was a force of light. He left an indelible impression in every room he entered. He taught his family to be on time, keep their word, and never make excuses. He showed his family consistency and discipline as he racked up perfect attendance awards at the United States Post Office and faithfully honored his reservist obligations to the United States Air Force. In Fact, in his journal book, among other things, he wrote: 1) “He who is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else, and 2) “Discipline is doing what is needed whether you want to or not.” He was always available to help when needed. He left every place better than he found it.
He was preceded in death by his Grandparents William and Ella Starkey, his mother Louise Starkey Childress, his father James Brown, his daughter Crystal Davis, his brother Jerome Childress, and his sister Lillie Mae Childress.
He is survived by his loving wife, Sherrie Fiskey Starkey; and children: Alphonso Lee Starkey of San Antonio, Texas, Anthony Leon Starkey of Frederick Maryland (Gale), Rory Keven Starkey of Atlanta, Georgia (Shelly), Tanya Starkey-Linder of Lithia Springs, Georgia (Levert), Marc LeJuan Starkey of Miami, Florida (Shelley); Nicholas Fiskey of Miami, Florida, Francis Fiskey of Tampa Bay (Christina), Florida and Charles Fiskey of Temple, Georgia; and seventeen grandchildren; and six great grandchildren; and his five siblings: Thomas Lee Childress, Rowena Taylor, Melvin Childress, Tina Board and Shawanda Stephens, and a host of beloved family and friends.
Messages of condolence may be sent to the family at www.jones-wynn.com. Jones-Wynn Funeral Home & Crematory of Douglasville is in charge of the arrangements. 770-942-2311