Starry retires after 38 years of working for Germantown

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A couple common phrases are often heard around City Hall – “Call Starry!” or “See Starry!”
On October 30, Starry Stigger celebrated his retirement from the city after a memorable 38 years.
Starry was born in Rossville on May 1, 1958. He attended first, second and third grade at Stinson Public Schools. He later attended Moscow Elementary until the 8th grade. While at Moscow, he enjoyed playing basketball. Starry completed his education at Fayette-Ware High School (North Campus) in Somerville and graduated in 1978. Throughout high school, he took courses in auto mechanics as well as body and fender work. He also played leftfield for the Rossville Tigers.
When Starry wasn’t participating in sports, he was either rabbit hunting or helping on the farm to raise hogs, chickens, horses and cattle.
Starry’s father, E.F. Stigger, worked for Foreman Construction for 27 years and Coleman Construction for 20 years. His mother Nettie worked for Troxel Manufacturing in Moscow. He was the third child of three brothers and four sisters. Starry is married and has six children.
After high school, Starry’s first job was working at Shoney’s at White Station Road. His second job was working for Piperton Brothers in Collierville where he made tractor plows for International Harvester.
Starry began working for the City on September 15, 1982, in the Parks & Recreation Department. The City Administrator at the time was Jim Holgerson, the Mayor was Boyd Arthur, Jr. and the City’s population was approximately 22,000. The Parks Director at that time was Lynn Thomas, the Parks Supervisor was David Jones and Starry reported to Supervisor Bobby Carter. Lynn was followed by Harvey Faust, and Starry would later report to Jim Kendall who was over Building Maintenance. Starry was awarded Employee of the Month and Employee of the Year in 1986, 1989 and 1991. Next, he reported directly to Bob Hailey. Pam Beasley would follow Harvey Faust in Parks and Recreation. Later, when General Services, Finance and Court were bundled together, Reynold became General Services Director and both he and Starry worked under Kristen Geiger.
When Starry began the Depot was being remodeled, the grounds crew for the Parks & Recreation Department met in Neshoba School, and Public Works was in a building in the Water Tower compound off Poplar Pike. Fleet Maintenance was at the rear of the Germantown Charity Horse Show stalls.
Starry has such a well-rounded knowledge of the municipality because his hands have played a part in the care of practically all city-owned facilities. On his first day of work he was assigned to cleaning stalls for the Germantown Charity Horse Show. He soon became responsible for prepping ballfields at Riverdale, the Germantown Soccerplex, Germantown Station, Municipal Park and the second phase of Cameron Brown Park. They even cared for soccer fields at the north end of Allenby and on Effingham off Hacks Cross Road, that are no longer existent today. There currently are 17 buildings and 18 parks requiring maintenance.
Starry has worked special events and has supervised employees with two weekly shifts from 6 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 11:20 p.m. There are also weekend shifts from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
He has assisted Melba Fristick, Coordinator of the Germantown Festival, for over 30 years and remembers when the festival was located in “The Woods” on Poplar Avenue at Germantown Road, extending south on Germantown Road to Poplar Pike. He would make sure that the speakers worked, vendor spaces were marked and trash was collected. All these duties require a person with a skill in customer relations – one of Starry’s finest attributes.
Starry said that times have changed and he misses the older people more. They conversed more than the younger people today and a few of his favorite former co-workers included Henry Branch, Richard Tuggle, George Roger, Delores Mitchell, Francis Sparkman, Betty Ginkinger and Joyce LeCroix.
Throughout his career with the City, Starry was promoted from Maintenance Worker to Senior Maintenance Worker and ultimately to Supervisor of Facilities Service. All of Starry’s accomplishments, awards and involvement over the last 38 years makes it an extremely difficult task to find someone to fill his shoes. City employees will greatly miss Starry’s smile, his helpful attitude and his dedication to his job.

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