Bill Starkel was born in National, Washington, which was located just south of Ashford and the park entrance to Mt. Rainier. He was the first of seven children born to Theodore J. and Margaret E. Starkel, and all have preceded him in death except his youngest sister. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Alta; sister Sue Starkel Nelson Bottcher (Dick) of University Place, WA; sister-in-law, Mary Starkel of Madris, OR; and numerous cousins, nieces, nephews, and a host of friends.
Graduating in 1938, Bill attended schools in Ashford and Eatonville. After high school he moved to Alaska where he worked for Morris and Knutson in construction at Dutch Harbor and Cordova. From 1950-52 he worked for the government at Point Barrow at a power house. Upon returning to Washington he purchased the Ashford Chevron gas station and a log truck. Then he met and married Alta in 1953, and together they ran the businesses. In 1967 they sold the businesses and moved to Puyallup where he worked for St. Regis in the distribution yard until he retired.
Alaska always remained dear to his heart. As a member of the Alaska Yukon Pioneers, he served as president in 1986 and was a trustee for five years. In 1996 he served as president of the International Sourdough Reunion in San Francisco. Bill and Alta traveled back to Alaska seven times among many other traveling adventures to include a trip to Ireland to visit family. Both have enjoyed activities, traveling, and dancing at various senior centers. Recently Bill received his 75 year pin as a Life Member of the Elks Fraternity in Fairbanks, AK where he held the distinction of being the member with the longest membership.
Bill shared his life stories and was always interested in new information that came his way. It seemed like he never met a stranger. He will be missed by friends and family near and far. A celebration of life was held on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 1:00 pm, at Powers Funeral Home in Puyallup.