Trinity United Methodist Church

Hal Fletcher Starnes

Hal Fletcher Starnes, Sr.
(19 Oct 1925 – 12 Sep 2023)

Hal Fletcher Starnes, Sr. passed away peacefully on September 12, 2023, 5 weeks shy of his 98th birthday.
Hal was preceded in death by his parents, O.E. Starnes, Sr. and Marion Fletcher Starnes, and by his wife and best friend of 67 years, Alberta Evans Starnes.
Hal is survived by his son, Hal F. Starnes Jr. (Elizabeth Valentine) and their four children Hal F. Starnes, III, Theresa, Ian and Valentine, his daughter Martha Caroline Douglas (Bill Douglas) and their two children Catherine and Will, and his son Andrew Starnes (Linda Wisler).
Hal grew up on Blue Ridge Ave. and in Malvern Hills, attending Vance Elementary, Hall Fletcher Junior High and Asheville High School. He attended the University of South Carolina graduating with a degree in Civil Engineering.
Hal enlisted in the Navy during WWII and worked on an aircraft carrier as his flat feet prohibited him from enlisting in the Army. He served 3 years and was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant JG when the war ended. Hal returned to Asheville and joined the Imperial Life Insurance Co. where he worked originating loans as part of the company’s investment portfolio. He served as the company’s Assistant Secretary and later as Assistant Vice President. He served in the same role after the company was purchased by Western & Southern Life Ins. Co.
When a promotion required a move to Ohio, Hal decided to stay in North Carolina and joined Wachovia Bank as a Vice President in the Mortgage Loan Dept where he worked for many years during which he moved his family to Winston-Salem to establish a Mortgage Loan department there.
Hal later moved back to Asheville and founded Blue Ridge Savings Bank where he served as President until his retirement. But golf was boring. So he got together with a friend and started developing mountain land. Hal did appraisals and arranged financing while his friend cleared land and built houses. They had a successful partnership for many years until Hal finally “retired” around age 80 when he and Alberta moved to Givens Estates where he took about every exercise class available.
Hal had a long association with Givens Estates where he was one of the founders and served as its second Treasurer. He was a long-term Board member having joined in 1979 but was never allowed to retire from that – when his final term was up, they made him a lifetime board member. Hal played a key role when Givens was founded helping to secure funding to build the first housing units. He travelled to many of the region’s United Methodist Church conferences soliciting donations and obtaining government funding to help build and support Givens’ vision of a retirement community with ongoing health and nursing care. The Starnes Special Care wing is named for him.
After returning from WWII and starting work, Hal enjoyed activities and social events around West Asheville. One night while attending a square dance at the Malvern Hills pool and community center, he was smitten by a girl twirling around the dance floor amongst many suitors. All Hal needed to do was flash his blue eyes and she melted. They married in 1950 and had 67 years together.
Hal was raised in the Oak Forest Presbyterian church but moved to Trinity United Methodist on Haywood Rd after he married. He remained an active member there and in the Sprinkle-Bagwell Bible Class. At Trinity, he served as Chairman of the Council on Ministries, a Lay Leader and Sunday School Superintendent. He answered phones at the Crisis Help line when living in Winston-Salem. He served as Church Treasurer and after retiring from the bank, worked with Alberta delivering food with Meals on Wheels for many years.
Hal was a member of the American Institute of Real Estates Appraisers and the Western NC Builders Association. He served on the Asheville Board of Realtors, the City of Asheville Board of Adjustment and the Asheville Transit Authority.
A funeral will be held on Saturday, October 21st at noon at Trinity United Methodist Church on Haywood Rd. The family will greet friends in the church fellowship hall immediately following the service. A private burial will take place at Green Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, Heifer International, Habitat for Humanity, Givens Estates Residence Assistance, or the charity of your choice.