Lettie Gold Foote Starkey passed quietly in her sleep at home on the morning of September 23, 2021. She liked to call it “graduation”. Born August 14, 1936 in Salt Lake City, she married H. Len Foote in the Salt Lake City Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in June 1954. She bettered the world with her six children (Joey, Lennie-Leigh, Bonnie, Duane, Nathan and Jarum), 25 grandchildren, and 43 great grandchildren. After Len’s passing in February 2009, she married John Starkey in December 2012, whom she had known since 1962. Lettie was the last remaining of 17 children in the Gold family. Her abiding faith in a loving Father in Heaven allowed her to look forward to being reunited with Len and her kindred dead. Lettie had a way of making people feel important, when you were with her, you were somebody special. While she loved reading, music, and travel, her true purpose was always apparent in the way she loved and cared for her husband and children, which in later years extended to her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She enjoyed adventuring with Len, backpacking through the High Sierras or camping on the California coast. Lettie treasured taking in the Pismo Beach sunsets from the balcony of the Sea Gypsy and walks on the sand in the stillness of the day. She would recall with fondness her time spent with Len walking where the Savior walked in the Holy Land.
While at home Lettie worked serving in her church; she did it all, always giving her best, and with a healthy dose of humor. Whether working as a musical director, blessing children in the primary, teaching groggy-eyed youth during her years of early morning seminary, or leading the women of the church in relief society, she gave her heart to the work. And yet, while in the bustle of life, she would gather her family each Sunday for her traditional roast, mashed potatoes and gravy, with peas and carrots. Lettie enjoyed her later years as a “snowbird”, leaving her Sacramento area home to nest in the pleasant Arizona winters, where she began her days with grapefruit and walks on the “bunny trail”, a nature trail bursting with desert blossoms and white tailed bunnies. She found beauty in the majestic desolation of the desert, the mighty Saguaro, the birds, and flowers, and found communion with the Lord of Heaven. Lettie served two full-time service missions; first with Len, managing the Employment Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Mesa, AZ. Later serving with John in Liberal, KS in support of local church members and leaders.
To truly know Lettie, one must see her as a grandmother nurturing her flock. Her stalwart testimony of the principles leading to happiness were always visible to her grandchildren. Lettie’s children and grandchildren will forever remember her as the most fun grandma and ‘GIGI’ a child could wish for. From Sunday dinners to sparkles and “tickle bugs”, missionary letters you could set the clock by, and birthday cards with a welcome surprise. Lettie loved playing games with her “special people”, always having a new game to share as the family would gather. She sent hundreds of photo greeting cards to celebrate special events, and even more frequently was there in person to give a hug and offer encouragement as her posterity marked important milestones in their lives. She was a prolific purveyor of pillowcases; fabric carefully handpicked and personalized for each grandchild, and sent with love each Christmas. She shared her infectious laugh, complete with bobbing shoulders, and insightful wisdom with generations and will be greatly missed. To paraphrase Proverbs, “She girdeth her loins with strength…strength and honor are her clothing, and she shall rejoice in time to come…her children arise up, and call her blessed.”
Lettie’s viewing and funeral details are as follows: Visitation at Price Funeral Chapel, 6335 Sunrise Blvd, Citrus Heights, 916-725-2109, on Friday, October 1, 2021 from 5:00-8:00 p.m. Funeral service will be held at 9:30 a.m. Monday, October 4, 2021 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 2400 Cordova Lane Rancho Cordova, CA 95670. Interment to follow at East Lawn Sierra Hills Memorial Park, 5757 Greenback Lane, Sacramento.
To view the funeral service via Zoom:
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Meeting ID: 281 592 7177
In lieu of flowers, if you wish, you can donate in her honor to the American Heart Association.
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American Heart Association
7272 Greenville Ave., Dallas TX 75231