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Welcome to the memorial page for

Mrs. Katie Lee Etheridge

September 1, 1918 ~ February 2, 2018 (age 99)

Mrs. Katie Etheridge, was born in Ward, SC, on September 1, 1918.  She transitioned from her earthly home, at her residence in Columbia, SC, in the loving care of her daughter and grandchildren, on Friday, February 2, 2018.    She was the only child of the late Henrietta Wallace West and the late James West, and the eldest granddaughter of her paternal grandmother, Mrs. Elmira Barkley West (former “Mother” of New Ebenezer Baptist Church). 

Mrs. Etheridge was educated in Columbia public schools. At age 9, Katie was baptized at the New Ebenezer Baptist Church (formerly located on Lady Street).  For 90 years, she devoted her life to Christian service and the care of her family.  She loved to sing, was a member of New Ebenezer’s very first Junior Musical Choir and sang most of her adult life as a member of the Senior Musical Choir. Her legacy of Christian works include service as a Deaconess who regularly visited the sick in the community; a faithful member of Adult Sunday School; a member of the Senior Missionary; and Treasurer of the Elderly Ministry.

Mrs. Etheridge was initially employed as a domestic maid in prominent homes throughout Columbia.  She also worked in the laundry section at Fort Jackson during World War II.  In 1970, she continued her domestic career with the SC Department of Mental Health.  While working at the ‘Old Bull Street’ State Hospital facility, Mrs. Etheridge received her Nursing Assistant’s certificate in July of 1976 from the Columbia Vocational Institute.  After 16 years of service to the State of South Carolina, she retired in 1986. 

At a young age, Katie married Leroy Starks, and they had two children:  Emma Lee (aka: “Dot”), and Willie Lee Starks. On January 18, 1952, she married Daniel Etheridge (of Batesburg, SC) and they enjoyed 44 happy years together. She was a member of the Order of Eastern Stars, Esther Chapter1, Ridgewood Lodge #630, for many years. 

Katie loved cooking for the Friday night fish fry and Sunday’s family dinner, sewing, coordinating her outfits from head to toe, and traveling throughout the US with her family—(especially with her grandchildren piled in the car). She even took her first cruise well past the age of 80.  Additionally, she enjoyed fellowshipping and traveling with the “Golden Girls of New Ebenezer”.  One of her proudest accomplishments was to be featured on the cover of IMARA Magazine, as an active senior citizen (at age 86).  She was also a member of the Ridgewood Lodge #630, Order of Eastern Stars, Esther Chapter.  

Mrs. Etheridge was preceded in death by her parents, husband Daniel, and beloved son Rev. Dr. Willie Lee Starks, Sr.   She leaves to cherish her memory and carry her legacy, her precious daughter, Emma Starks Jenkins; four grandchildren:  Rev. Karen V. Starks, and Willie Lee. Starks Jr, (Tonya), Columbia, SC; Janet L. Starks (Tallahassee, FL); and Audrey K. Starks Lane (Martin), of Charleston, SC; and four great grandsons: Brandon Lee Starks, Moses Luther Lane, Reginald Paige Starks, and Micah Lee Lane. She will also be fondly remembered and sadly missed by a great host of cousins, extended family, many “adopted daughters”, her church family, and friends.

 Service Information

February 7, 2018

2:00 PM to 4:00 PM
Myers Mortuary & Cremation Services
2624 Alpine Road
Columbia, SC 29223

February 7, 2018

5:00 PM to 4:00 PM
New Ebenezer Baptist Church
1236 Gregg Street
Columbia, SC 29201

Funeral Service
February 8, 2018

12:00 PM
New Ebenezer Baptist Church
1236 Gregg Street
Columbia, SC 29201


Palmetto Cemetery
5050 Fairfield Road
Columbia, SC 29203

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