Obituary of Grace Marie Starrs
Grace passed peacefully in her sleep, in her home of 65 years, on July 20th. She was born in Pacific Grove, CA. to parents Albert Puget & Aldine Klauman. At a very early age, the family relocated to Santa Cruz, where she spent the remainder of her life. She was a talented athlete at Santa Cruz High School that participated in as many team sports as time would allow. Many summer and weekend hours were spent hanging out at Cowell’s beach with members of the original Santa Cruz Surfing Club. Grace was also a member of the water ballet team at the Boardwalk “Plunge”. Sports were a large focus of her life, and she was still enjoying watching her beloved Giants on TV in her final days.
Grace met her husband Reg while working together at the Del Mar Theatre. They were married in 1946, and that union lasted 58 years until his passing in 2004. They were both “regulars” at the DelMarette & Teacup Restaurants, spending social times with friends Tom & Peach Williams, Bob & Yola Hughes, Bill & Shirley Leonard, Joe & Marie Franks, Don & Lily Yee and many others. In her early years, Grace went to work on her uncles apricot ranch in Aromas. She worked several years at the downtown theatres before starting a short career as an operator for the Pacific Bell Phone Company. In 1953, when her first child was born, she became a homemaker, eventually raising two children. Grace was an active participant in her children’s endeavors. During the fall and spring months, you could bet that as soon as their school day was over, she would be shuttling them straight to the beach for recreation time, weather permitting.
In 1963, when the need for a P.E. teacher arose at Hole Cross Elementary School, Grace and several other parents stepped up to help. “Mrs. Starrs”, as the kids knew her, eventually spent 25 years there as a volunteer. She somehow found time to assist many other organizations, helping at the Santa Cruz Little League, Pony League, and Colt League food booths, as well as Santa Cruz High School football games. She was a group leader for local cub scouts and brownies, a door-to-door collector for the American Heart Association, and as her final act of giving, she assisted at the Santa Cruz High School Alumni office twice a week for over 25 years, finally stepping down due to health issues in 2002.
Grace was predeceased by her parents, her husband Reg, and brothers, Bob Puget (Ruby) and Bill Puget (Betty). She is survived by her daughter Denise Sudd (Bruce) and son Bill Starrs (Cory), along with many nieces, nephews, grandchildren & great grandchildren.
At her request, a private ash scattering will be conducted. The family requests that any donations in her memory be made to the Santa Cruz High School Alumni Association or the Boys and Girls Club of Santa Cruz. We would also like to acknowledge all of her wonderful caregivers for the last 16 years, especially Tapu, Mele, Kasanita and Minnie.