He was born March 19, 1930, in Norwalk, to Marion M. and Rachel (Smith) Stark. He was a 1948 graduate of Norwalk High School and was a member of the First Presbyterian Church.
James was a partner with his father and brother at the former Modern Market and founded Stark’s Sanitary Service in 1971, which continues as a family business now operated by his grandson, Ty Keefer. He enjoyed traveling extensively, over 46 states and 38 countries including the Arctic and Antarctica. He was an avid collector of clocks, Norwalk memorabilia, antiques and restoring his 1930 Model A Ford pick-up. He was an advisory board member for 60 years at the Norwalk Salvation Army and was a member of the Elks and Eagles clubs. He was also active with the Huron County Heritage board of directors, Shakespeare Club and morning coffee club at Berry’s.
He is survived by his wife, Reta Stark of Norwalk, whom he married in 1997; daughter, Linda Keefer of Norwalk; son, Jack (Mary) Stark of Oklahoma City, Okla.; stepdaughters, Ann (Rob) Renau and Amy (Paul) Muska; stepson, Keith (Kirsten) Leimbach; grandchildren, Ty (Abby) Keefer, Kail (Mark) Shope, Travis (Ksenia) Stark, Kelsey (Michael) D’Emilio, Nathan Muska, Hannah Muska, Addison Renau, Luke Leimbach, Jack Leimbach and Sofia Leimbach; great-grandchildren, Alex (Maddi) Keefer, Ian Keefer, Zach Keefer, Greg Keefer, Eli Keefer, Haley Shope and Drew Shope; and his sister, Jane Hoffman of Norwalk.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 47 years, Betty (Chapman) Stark in 1994; son-in-law, Greg Keefer in 2009; and brother, Bob Stark in 2018.
Friends may call 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 11, at Evans Funeral Home, 314 E. Main St., Norwalk, and from 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 12, until services at 11 a.m., at First Presbyterian Church, 21 Firelands Blvd., Norwalk, with the Revs. Clair Brewer and James Hodsden officiating. Burial will follow at Hester Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be sent to the Salvation Army, 55 Whittlesey Ave. Norwalk, OH 44857, Answering the Call Together, Inc., P.O. Box 564, Norwalk, OH 44857, or Stein Hospice, 1200 Sycamore Line, Sandusky, OH 44870.
Condolences may be shared at norwalkfuneral.com.