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Ernest David Starling Jr., 1934-2021

Ernest David Starling, Jr., 87, of Lake Wales passed away Friday, Aug. 27, 2021 at Somers Hospice House in Sebring.

He was born April 15, 1934 in Lake Wales to the late E.D. and Bertha Starling. Ernest was a retired self-employed contractor and was a veteran of the United States Navy, serving in Korea for four years. He was a member of West Side Baptist Church and was past president of Sertoma International of Lake Wales.

Ernest was preceded in death by his daughter, Lisa Fite. He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Barbara Starling; daughters, Kathy Starling (Schultz) of Boulder Creek, California, Tina Dennis of Tennessee, Rebecca Dykes of East Tawas, Michigan, Lynnette Baldwin of Lakeland, and Carol Free of Ohio; sons, Jon Dunn of Ashville, North Carolina, and Reuben A. Free, III of Lake Wales; 11 grandchildren; and 7 great-grandchildren.

A funeral service will be held at 6 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 2 at Marion Nelson Funeral Home in Lake Wales. Interment will take place at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell at 11 a.m., Friday, Sept. 3.


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