Cover photo for Thomas Ellyson Starnes, Jr.'s Obituary
Thomas Ellyson Starnes, Jr. Profile Photo

Thomas Ellyson Starnes, Jr.

March 8, 1938 — October 10, 2023

O'Fallon, Illinois

Thomas Ellyson Starnes, Jr.

LtCol (R) Thomas Ellyson Starnes Jr, age 85, passed away on Tuesday, October 10 in O’Fallon, Illinois. His graveside service, including military honors, will be held on Wednesday, November 1, 2023, at 3 p.m. in Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, 3888 US-70, Goldsboro, North Carolina 27530. Pastor Tanner White and Pastor Anderson Barnes will officiate. 


There will be a Memorial Celebration of Life for Tom held at the Hillsborough United Methodist Church in Tampa Florida on Saturday, November 11th at 2PM. The celebration will be simul-cast on the HUMC YOUTUBE channel. Reception will follow the service.  


Tom is survived by his loving wife, Virginia Starnes; Daughter Tanya Byrn and husband David Byrn of Tampa, Florida; stepson, Craig Herring and wife, Rita Herring of O’Fallon Illinois; granddaughter, Erin Arent of Tampa Florida; grandsons, David Byrn Jr., Taylor Herring, and Andrew Mullinax, and great grandchildren, Daniel Arent, Sebastian Arent, Emmanuelle Byrn, Benjamin Arent, Henry Arent, and Everly Arent. 


Tom’s top priority in everything was his walk as a follower of Christ. He took every opportunity that was available to be a servant of Christ and to make apostles of others, assuming many leadership roles within his church families. 


Tom’s love of country was a constant in his approach to life. He served for over twenty-two years in the United States Air Force including a combat tour in Vietnam. To Tom, love of country included action and sacrifice, and not just passive appreciation of all the blessings made available to us in this great country. 


Following his military career, Tom spent over thirty years self-employed in almost every aspect of the residential construction trade, to include being a general contractor responsible for building whole neighborhoods, while serving even as the friendly neighborhood handy man. 


We will greatly miss our “Grampy,” husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. Well done good and faithful servant - now go unto your God. 


In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Hillsborough United Methodist Church, Thrift Store, 9008 Harney Road, Tampa Florida 33637. 


Condolences directed to Joyner’s Funeral Home and Crematory at



To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Ellyson Starnes, Jr., please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Graveside Service

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Starts at 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

Evergreen Memorial Park

3888 US 70, Goldsboro, NC 27530

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


Visits: 1297

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree