Alvira Marie “Vi” Starks, 89, formerly of Whitefish, died Friday, May 4, 2012, in Billings after a brief illness.
She was born May 18, 1922, in Burdette, Alberta, the oldest of five children of Harry and Martha Phipps. She grew up and attended schools in Alberta and British Columbia as the family moved about the provinces. They settled in Creston, British Columbia, where she attended high school.
On Nov. 6, 1943, she married Richard “Dick” Starks of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, who was farming in the Kootenai Valley. They lived in Spokane, Wash.; Seattle; Bonners Ferry; Whitefish; and Missoula, where her husband died in September 1981.
In Whitefish, she was active in the Methodist Church and Vista Chapter 44 of the Order of the Eastern Star, serving as Worthy Matron of that chapter and as Mother Adviser of the Order of Rainbow for Girls for several years in the 1970s. She held the Grand Cross of Color honor from that organization.
She baked birthday and wedding cakes for friends and neighbors in Whitefish and Missoula. She volunteered at the Senior Center in Whitefish and worked as director for a few years in the late 1990s. She was named Flathead County Senior Citizen of the Year in 2001.
Nine years ago, she moved to Billings to be near her daughter and family. She attended the Senior Center and the ladies group in Hope Methodist Church.
Survivors include daughters, Cheryl Grantham of Billings and Donna Rae Stollfuss of Marion; five grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and three sisters, Marble Gray, Lois Price and Nina Nesbitt, all of Creston, British Columbia.
Services were pending. Arrangements were by Cremation & Funeral Gallery.