Joe H. Starbuck (April 3, 1924 — September 10, 2017) |

Joe H. Starbuck (April 3, 1924 — September 10, 2017)

Joe H. Starbuck, a lifetime resident of Garfield and Mesa counties, passed away Sunday, September 10, at the Rifle Veterans Home at the age of 93.

Joe was born April 3, 1924, south of Silt, Colorado, on West Divide Creek, at the Newt and Stella Dunn Ranch as the third child to Ray and Margaret Terrell Starbuck.

Joe attended the Divide Creek grade schools at Flat Iron and Fairview schools. He completed junior high and high school in Rifle, Colorado. His favorite sport was playing on the same football team with his brother Frank.

Joe married Lois Paxton on August 27, 1944, and they had two children.

He was a veteran of the Second World War, serving in the Philippines and Japan.

After the war, he returned to West Divide Creek to the Callen Ranch in partnership with his father and brother, Frank. Later, he owned the Banta Ranch in partnership with Frank and rode for ranchers on the White River National Forest. He and Frank spent as much time, as work would allow, riding, camping and fishing in their beloved mountains.

After leaving the ranch, he ventured into ranch real estate and ranch management, which took him all over Colorado, Kansas and Alaska.

He always wanted to be a Forest Ranger, so the last few years of his working career, he was the Park Ranger at Sylvan Lake near Eagle, Colorado, during which time his brother-in-law Carl Mobley worked with him. When he retired, he spent his last years helping other ranchers and friends on his beloved Divide Creek.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents, sister Ardith Barker and brother Frank Starbuck. He is survived by two sisters, MaeBelle Starbuck Philpott and Dee Starbuck (Carl) Mobley; two children, David Starbuck and Susan Starbuck Dempsey; 8 grandchildren; 28 great-grandchildren and 1 great-great-grandchild; and several nieces, nephews, Divide Creek friends and neighbors.

An open viewing will be held at the Rifle Funeral Home on Friday, September 15, from noon to 7 p.m.

Funeral services will be open casket held at the Funeral Home on September 16, at 10 a.m. followed by a gravesite dedication at the Divide Creek Cemetery followed by a gathering with snacks at Karla Mobley’s residence North of Silt at 1274 County Road 237.

In lieu of flowers please donate to your local charity or the Red Cross for disaster victims.

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