Grace Starry West
October 5, 1946 - May 19, 2019
Grace Starry West, 72, of Hillsdale, Michigan, died of complications from lung cancer on Sunday, May 19, 2019 at her home. Grace was born in Oklahoma City on October 5, 1946, to McKinley (“Mac”) and Joy (Champlin) Starry.
Raised in nearby Blanchard, Okla., and Carlsbad, N.M., she earned her B.A. from Scripps College in Claremont, Calif. and Ph.D. in Classics from UCLA. In 1974 she married Thomas West and spent most of the next 35 years in Irving, TX, where she taught at the University of Dallas (U.D.) before moving to Hillsdale in 2011 to teach at Hillsdale College.
Grace was a devoted teacher, advisor, and colleague, earning tenure amidst the bearing and raising of a raft of small children. She built what eventually became a Department of Classics at U.D. and initiated generations of students into philologically serious study of ancient Greek and Roman literature. Among various publications in the field of Classics was her best-selling translation of Plato and Aristophanes, co-authored with her husband. While she taught in “Great Books” curricula, she maintained a wide-ranging taste that was reflected in recent papers she presented on Frank Miller’s graphic novel 300 and Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad.
Grace was an excellent cook, an energetic hostess (often inviting college students into her home), an avid gardener, and a dedicated member of the altar guild at Holy Trinity Anglican Parish.
A loyal wife, mother, and sister, she was predeceased her sister Joy Turner (d. 2005). She is survived by her husband Tom, daughter Susannah (Peter), sons David (Alessia), Michael (Mary), and James (Leslie), and grandchildren Caleb, Benedict, Robert, Miriam, Cecilia, Philip, and Charles.
The funeral service will be held on Wednesday, May 22 at 2:00 pm, Holy Trinity Parish, 263 Spring St., in Hillsdale. Arrangements are entrusted to VanHorn-Eagle Funeral Home in Hillsdale.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Hillsdale College, 33 E. College St., Hillsdale, MI 49242, with the words “in memory of Grace West.” The funds will be used in support of Classics students.
Fr. Adam Rick
A prayerbook Christian with a patristic twist.