Celebrating a Loving Soul
Curtis James Starks, Jr.
The beautiful gift from God Curtis James Starks, Jr. was a kind, sweet, genuine, and loving young man known by many names by those who interacted with and cherished him. He was known as Curtis, C-Note, Caesar, Curtie, Curt, Harvard, and affectionately CJay and SonShine by his parents.
On the spring day of March 30, 1991, Curtis James Starks, Jr. was born in love to his doting parents Bernita Francine Mapp and Curtis J. Starks, Sr. in Philadelphia, PA. From his birth to the age of seven, he was shared by his parents and paternal grandparents Joan and Charles Starks in their family home where he developed an incomparable bond with his father until his sudden transition.
Curtis was a city boy, but country modified as he would often spend long summers and holidays with his maternal family in Siler City, NC, specifically with his grandma Ruth. He would often share childhood memories he and his cousins created during their time together.
Faith and spiritual foundation were at the root of his life. He accepted Jesus as his Lord and savior at an early age, and was baptized at the Most Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Philadelphia in 1991. Throughout his life, he attended several Baptist, A.M.E. Zion and Catholic churches with his family in Philadelphia and in Siler City, NC when he visited.
After attending and graduating from his parents’ alma mater West Catholic High School in 2009, Curtis attended the prestigious Historically Black institution Tuskegee University in Alabama. He was extremely proud to matriculate here with like-minded colleagues sharing laughter, engaging in debates, and creating lasting memories. Curtis had and fierce work ethic, and began his career at the United Parcel Service (UPS) where he was beloved by many of his coworkers and built genuine working relationships.
A man dedicated to the betterment of his community, he was an avid volunteer and became increasingly passionate about social justice issues that affected inner cities. He had a special interest in politics and civic engagement, and was a consistent voter since the age of 18. Curtis really enjoyed having a good time and seeing others enjoying themselves. He was always one to lift someone’s spirit with a simple joke or a musical anecdote.
Curtis was exposed to and experienced many wonderful opportunities in his life. He loved to use dance as an outlet to express himself, and you could often find him sweating it out on the dance floor enjoying the music that moved him. In addition to dancing, his other passions included swimming, traveling, reading, and fervently debating anyone who was up for the challenge on any topic. He truly loved to watch, analyze and critique film. He could wax poetic about a particular director, the themes, color schemes, and actors they used, the editing styles and music selection chosen, and the significance of digital versus 8mm film (film was his favorite).
Anyone who truly knew Curtis knew how genuine and kind he was. His infectious, jubilant, high-pitched laugh was indicative of the person he was: upbeat, affectionate, and delightful.
Curtis James Starks, Jr. was called home to be with his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on Friday, August 20, 2021. His sudden and shocking passing is a stain on the many hearts that he touched in his lifetime. He was preceded in death by his grandparents Burleigh Mapp, Sr., Charles and Joan Starks, uncles Burleigh “Toby” F. Mapp, Jr. and Charles Ronald Mapp, aunts Saheedah McDuffie, Linda Mapp and Phyllis Mapp Siler, and cousin Mijuel McDuffie.
Curtis leaves to mourn parents Bernita Francine Mapp and Curtis J. Starks, Sr., maternal grandmother Ruth Brower Mapp, uncles Richard O. Mapp (Fran), Bruce A. Mapp, Sr. (Stephanie), Theodore “Teddy” A. Mapp (Charlene), James “Bikim” Davis, Ralph Starks (Nasi), Andrew “App” Starks (Vashti), aunts Winnie Smart-Mapp, Isabelle R.S. Mapp, Jessie Moise, Stephanie Degradfenreidt, Patricia Deloatch and Patricia Hayes, godparents Herbert Bracy (Yvonne), and Marsha Billups, special uncle William Emery III, a plethora of aunts and uncles from Delta Sigma Theta and Omega Psi Phi, numerous organizations, close friends Jordan Dillard, William Emery IV, Michael Headen, Malik Neal, Haftom Khasai, Ventris Jenkins, Kamari Marsh, Christopher J. James, Shaun Lutterloh, Kendall E. Alexander, special cousins Andre “Earl” Mapp, Jaliyl “Jolly” Mapp, and Bruce “Bam” Mapp, and several extended family, friends, co-workers, classmates, and colleagues.
Curtis would not want us to be sad, so we must share and cherish the fond memories we have of his life while he was here with us as he will continue to be deeply loved by all those he touched.
From Mom and Dad to Son
We have loved you
And protected you since before you came to be
And watched you laugh, learn, grow, and become a man
Your time on this earth was so precious to us
But to your rightful home you must return
The pain is heavy, we have shed many tears, and our hearts are tired
Yet we are glad your suffering is through
Our unconditional love for you always lives on
And we will carry many special memories of you
There will be days where we will miss you much
But trust that the Lord will reunite us in the kingdom of heaven
Where we will be a complete family in love once again
A Service of Love and Dignity being Provided by: Knotts and Son-Siler City
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