Roberta Starkey


Date of Funeral:

Born 13 June 1921, Passed 17 October 2013. Survived by sons Joe and Bill and daughter Elaine. Dr. Roberta Starkey taught her first classes as a high school senior when the funds to pay the teacher for the Eskota school were stolen and the district couldn’t replace them. Her first class as a certified teacher was at Lincoln Jackson elementary in Clovis, NM. She had 23 black and Hispanic first graders in a school system that did not expect over 50% of her class to reach, much less graduate high school. They soon learned that her expectations were different. If you were not in class to start the day, Mrs. Starkey would walk to your house at first recess with your homework for the next day. She believed that reading was the key to success and every single one of her first year’s students went into the next grade reading well above class level and believing in their ability to learn. {{more}}One student was killed walking home when two gangs started shooting. The other twenty two graduated from High School and more than half went on to college. She did not always do that well but always started the New Year with those same expectations. She went on to earn a Masters Degree in Education with night classes at Eastern New Mexico University and a Doctorate at Texas Tech. She was recognized in Who’s Who in American Women for her teaching of reading. Still the achievement she was always most proud was the achievements of those first 23 students. A celebration of her life will be held at the Trent United Methodist Church on Saturday November 17th at 1 PM.

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