Judith Lynne “Judi” Starnes, 77, of Crawfordsville passed away peacefully Wednesday, May 8, 2019, after her short battle with cancer.

Judi was born Aug. 16, 1941, at Hammond, to Bernard Harold Jacobs and Betty Lou Jacobs. She graduated from Crawfordsville High School in 1959 and continued her studies at American River College and University.

In 1964, Judi went on to become a proud U.S. military spouse and mother to her three children Christopher Dailey, Cami Baker and Corbin Dailey. 

Duty stations took her and her family many places, but there were two destinations she loved most; Puerto Rico and Alaska.

It was in Puerto Rico where Judi’s passion as a writer/journalist would flourish as one of Puerto Rico’s local news anchors. Judi was a phenomenal writer and story teller, with the most creative and vibrant imagination of any one you’ll ever meet. Her fascinating stories will entertain many for years to come.

After their adventures in Puerto Rico, Judi and her family moved to Eielson Air Force Base. They spent most of their free time traveling across the vast state of Alaska in their motorhome, exploring “The Last Frontier” and all of its riches. Judi was a real angler and could tell you stories about her love of fishing for Alaskan Salmon and Rainbow Trout on remote lakes and rivers. These were memories she truly cherished.

In 1976, Judi and her family would return to Indiana, making Crawfordsville their new home. It wasn’t until 1984 that Judi would begin her 32-year career with the South Montgomery School Corporation as Waveland Elementary’s most beloved and cherished head caretaker. Judi loved what she did and the people she worked with; she will always be known for her hard work, dedication and her handmade Milk Carton Christmas Village.

On April 19, 1987, Judi would welcome her first grandchild, Lindsey Dailey; who only a few years later would give Judi the infamous name of “Grandma Fudge” (a name she wore proudly). She always said one of her greatest accomplishments was becoming a grandma. She had 23 grandkids.

On Nov. 11, 1988, Judi was remarried to the love of her life Philip Van Starnes, a retired U.S. Navy Commander. She was a wonderful step-mother to his three youngest children, Sara Starnes, Molly Carrillo and Leslie Sanchez. Judi spent the next 16 years with Phil raising Scottish Terriers, playing checkers, fishing on Lake Holiday, hosting family bonfires in their backyard and mushroom hunting in the spring.

Over the next 15 years, Judi would spend her time doing what she loved most, working at Waveland Elementary School and spending time with her close friends and family. Judi loved to keep herself busy and had many interests and hobbies. She enjoyed cooking, baking and candy making, writing poetry, going to yard sales, solving crossword puzzles and playing board games. She also couldn’t get enough of those TV shows about faraway places and the unknown.

Judi was a caring sister, loving mother and the most amazing grandma any one could ask for. She was smart, talented, thoughtful and found beauty and joy in all things. Her positive attitude, infectious laugh and kind smile somehow always had a way of making you feel like, no matter the situation, everything was going to be okay. 

Judi was, and will always be remembered as, an amazing woman with a beautiful heart.

In lieu of a funeral, a celebration a life will be held for Judi in July amongst family. Her ashes will be laid to rest in the places where her spirit lives on.

Judith Lynne Starnes is survived by siblings, Patricia Sowers, Rob Jacobs and Jon Jacobs; children, Christopher Dailey, Cami Baker and Corbin Dailey; step-children, Christopher Starnes, Julie Watson, Regan Swinney, Sara Starnes, Molly Carrillo and Leslie Sanchez; grandchildren, Lindsey Dailey, Hillary Dailey, Kyson Dailey, Kaiden Dailey, Dylan Baker, Levi Dailey, Logan Dailey, Lexi Dailey, Lacey Dailey, Lily Dailey, Lazareth Dailey, Lani Dailey and Lyrica Dailey; step-grandchildren, Lily Hult, Paige Watson, Madison Swinney, Maryn Swinney, Denise Carrillo, Carli Carrillo, Xavier Carillio, Mateo Sanchez and Eva Starnes; honorary daughter Tammy Butler; and close friend Richard Waltman.

Judith Lynne Starnes is preceded in death by parents Bernard Harold Jacobs and Betty Lou Jacobs; husband Philip Starnes; and step-grandchild Brandon Watson.

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