Bette Starns
Date of Birth
July 28, 1934
Lincoln, Nebraska
Entered into Rest
August 22, 2019
Ashland, Nebraska
Celebration of Life Directions

Friday, August 30, 2019 ~ 2:00 p.m.
First Christian Church ~ Ashland, Nebraska
Private interment at Clear Creek Cemetery ~ Ashland, Nebraska

Visitation Directions

Thursday, August 29, 2019 ~ 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
Marcy Mortuary ~ Ashland, Nebraska


In care of the family for future designation

Bette Starns, Age 85, of Ashland died peacefully, Thursday, August 22, 2019 at Oxbow Living Center in Ashland, NE. Bette was born July 28, 1934 to George and Viola (Holder) Clark in Lincoln, NE. She graduated from Lincoln High School and continued her studies at the University of Nebraska receiving her undergraduate degree in music. She continued her education, ultimately earning two master’s degrees in music and English.

Bette began teaching music in Ashland in 1967 commuting from Lincoln until she married John Starns where they made their home in Ashland. She taught music for many years and looking for a new challenge, she headed back to school so she could teach English. Bette brought an exciting and fresh approach to the Music, Drama and English Departments. She directed numerous musicals and plays. Her style was frank and tough, but she served as a mentor to many students. In the last five years of her career, Bette taught part time, one class per day and night school. It was her night school classes that she made a significant difference to some of the toughest, at-risk students who later thanked her often for believing in them. After 44 years of teaching Bette retired at the age of 77.

Bette is survived by her seven children, Don (Terry) Marti Jr. of Frederick, CO, Charlie (Diane) Marti of Lincoln, Geoffrey (Kay) Marti of Lincoln, Julie (Jeff Retzlaff) Starns of Ashland, Sarah (Chris) Roth of Bennington, Carey (Lyle) Mead of Omaha; and her youngest son, Steven Starns of Ashland; many grandchildren; great grandchildren; nieces and nephews.

Bette was preceded in death by her husband, John, her parents, George and Viola Clark and her only sister, Georgia Hawthorne.

Condolences for Bette Starns
  1. • August 23, 2019 - 12 months ago

    Mrs. Starns was one of the best teachers I had in High School. I always respected her and admired her boldness. I wish to express my sympathy to her whole family for their loss. I will greatly miss her but will never forget her. I still sing some of the songs she taught us to sing by heart after all those years since High School in 1976. Our world needs more teachers like her who aren’t afraid to do the right thing.

  2. Lynnette Hansen Winters
    • August 23, 2019 - 12 months ago

    She was strick but if you listened to what she taught you would learn music that never left your heart. Thank you Mrs. Starns for being such an awesome teacher. May you teach the Angels to sing. You are gone but not forgotten.

  3. • August 25, 2019 - 12 months ago

    Simply one of the greatest people & educators that I was lucky enough to be taught by.

  4. Gretchen Lax-Ermeling
    • August 26, 2019 - 12 months ago

    We were so blessed to be taught by the best! We will never forget her.

  5. Colleen Sinnott
    • August 26, 2019 - 12 months ago

    Some of the absolute best memories I have of AGHS were because of this lady; I will cherish them.

  6. Kristine Pruitt - Slizewski
    • August 27, 2019 - 12 months ago

    I have always had the most respect and admiration for Mrs. Starns. She was one of my favorite teachers. Rest in peace and fill heaven with sweet beautiful music.

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