Donna Pauline (Chapin) Starr

June 29, 1930 ~ November 3, 2019 (age 89)


Donna Pauline (Chapin) Starr passed on November 3, 2019, at the age of 89, in Lexington, OH.  She was born on June 29, 1930 in White Sulphur, OH. Her mother came from Yugoslavia. Her father, who came from Austria, died when she was seven. She graduated from Bellepoint High School in 1948, and married C. Kelly Starr in Richmond, IN on December 27, 1950. He preceded her in death on March 22, 2019.  

She worked at Shoe Corporation of America from 1948-1953, babysat, cooked for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden, PA at St. Pius X, and then was the cook and housekeeper for the priest there where she worked a total of 37 years, from the 1960’s to the late 1990’s. She also worked as a waitress at the Columbus Athletic Club, the banquet department at the Holiday Inn in downtown Columbus, and had her own catering company for many years. 

Donna was the heartbeat of her family.  She did it all: president of the Altar Rosary Society, and the PTA, den mother, brownie leader, made sure her three children went to church and saw to their religious education.  Member of the MNO Club (Mothers’ Night Out), and Catholic Women’s Club.  She was nominated in 1991 and 2000 as Catholic Woman of the Year in the Columbus Diocese.  She dug ditches, cleaned, cooked – whatever needed to be done she did it.  She was the kind of woman who you could literally stop in anytime day or night and be assured you would be fed a delicious and bountiful meal.  She educated herself in etiquette, how to set a proper table, and all she needed to know about being the perfect hostess!

She was a dedicated Democrat and worked the elections in Licking County for decades. 

Volunteered many years at the school for the blind, and with those that were developmentally disabled.  She was a faithful donor to the American Red Cross, volunteered at Licking County Memorial Hospital, and Newborns in Need.  When they moved to Newark after living in Summit Station for 47 years no one stopped to welcome them, so mom baked cookies and went around to all the neighbors and introduced herself!  She loved attending the Licking County Playhouse and events at the Midland Theater. 

Her famous white cake, German chocolate cake, Croatian nut rolls, and dish pan cookies will long be remembered! 

She embroidered and crocheted and loved to sing and dance, especially the jitter bug and the polka!  She said if a man doesn’t dance – don’t marry him! 

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by son Steven Starr, parents Stephen Chapin and Anna Lakich, father and mother-in-law C. Wellington and Mary Starr, sister Margaret (Robert) Thomas, sister-in-law Mary Evelyn (Maurice) Cahill, and brother-in-law Harry Starr. 

Survived by daughter, Brenda (Darrell) Starr-Jude, Lexington, OH; son, Timothy Starr, Newark, OH; grandchildren, Laura and Christopher Estandia and Chase (Hannah) Starr; step-grandchildren, Joseph Jude, Nathaniel (Julia) Dutton Jude, and Rebecca (Ben) Newmeyer; step-great-grandchildren, Ava, Xander, Allison, Niko Jude, and Haiden and Helena Newmeyer; and sisters-in-law Mamie (William) Chesser and Margie Starr

Visitation 3-6 p.m. Sunday, November 10 at Cotner Funeral Home, 7369 E. Main St., Reynoldsburg.  Mass of Christian burial 11 a.m. Monday, November 11 at St. Pius X Catholic Church, 1051 Waggoner Rd., Reynoldsburg.  Interment to follow at Holy Cross Cemetery. 

A special thank you to the entire staff of Lexington Court Care and a special note of thanks to Heather; also to Molly of Hospice of North Central Ohio.    

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to Mid-Ohio Guardianship Services, Inc. 

Arrangements by Cook & Son-Pallay Funeral Home.  Online guestbook at

To send flowers to Donna's family, please visit our floral section.


November 10, 2019

3:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Cotner Funeral Home
7369 E Main Street
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068

Mass of Christian Burial
November 11, 2019

11:00 AM
St. Pius X Catholic Church (Waggoner Rd, Reynoldsburg)

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