Cover photo for Dorothy L. Starnes's Obituary
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1950 Dorothy 2020

Dorothy L. Starnes

November 1, 1950 — November 21, 2020

Dorothy L. Starnes was born November 1, 1950 in Franklin, Tennessee to the late Fannie L. Miller and James Tucker Leach. She departed this life on Saturday, November 21, 2020 at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She was preceded in death by brothers, James H. Leach, Jr., and Larry E. Leach.

Early on, Dorothy developed a love for learning. She was educated in the Williamson County school system in Franklin, Tn. After completing high school, she attended Meharry Medical College, earning a degree in Nursing and becoming a License Practical Nurse (LPN). During her time as a nurse, Dorothy dreamed of practicing law. She went on to receive her undergraduate degree from Kansas State University and her law degree from Memphis State University (currently known as the University of Memphis) Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law, where she was a member of the Law Review as well as Articles Editor. She served as a Law Clerk for the Honorable Robert M. McRae, Jr., who was Chief Judge of the Western District of Tennessee.

Dorothy joined King & Ballow Law Firm in 1994. A few years later in 1998, she was made Partner in the Tax Section and Head of the Employee Benefits Section at King & Ballow. Her practice areas included Pension Law, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), Employee Benefits, Business Law and Tax Law.

During her tenure as an attorney, Dorothy was awarded the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating of “AV Preeminent”, which is the highest level of professional excellence.

Dorothy loved practicing law and working alongside fellow Partner and friend, Larry Crabtree. She continued serving clients until her untimely death.

As Dorothy journeyed through life, her love for learning turned into a passion. Over the years, she learned how to paint, knit, sew, crochet, make quilts, garden, play piano, and play tennis. Of all the hobbies, playing tennis was her favorite! If you want to see her eyes light up, just ask her about tennis. When she wasn’t playing singles or doubles tennis, she was talking about it, watching it on TV, or teaching the beloved sport to children at the Hadley Park Tennis Center. She was most proud of her serve!

Although she had a passion for learning, she was more passionate about loving. Dorothy was a loving, dedicated and supportive wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. When caring for or talking about her family, she was zealous! She married her high school sweetheart, Robert C. Starnes, on April 27, 1968 in an intimate ceremony at home with family and a few close friends. They were married for 52 years.

She leaves behind to cherish her memories: her high school sweetheart and husband, Robert C. Starnes; devoted daughters, Angela Starnes and Andrea (David) Crews; loving grandchildren, Quintin (Jasmine) Starnes, Jade Crews, and Davon Crews; and great-grandsons, Santana, Carter, and Brixton Starnes.

“Honor her for all that her hands have done.” Proverbs 31:31

“Let all that you do be done in love.” 1 Corinthians 16:14

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