Mansfield matriarch, Leslie Jean Stark, mother of 9, passes at age 95. The very large Stark family here today announced that their mother passed away from natural causes at Brethren Care Village in Ashland on Monday, June 24, 2019.
A loving and, in spite of her small stature, remarkably strong woman, Leslie Jean Stark gave birth to and raised nine children, eight of whom - Julie S. Polak of Bucyrus, OH; Jenny Reeves of Raleigh, NC; John Stark of Sun City Center, FL; Jake Stark of Rancho Cucamonga, CA; Jeff Stark of Barstow, CA; Jackie Neumann of Mansfield, OH; Judd Stark of Malibu, CA and Joel Stark of Las Vegas, NV - survive her along with twenty-two grandchildren; twenty-four great grandchildren; and 7 great-great grandchildren. Daughter Jean Stark and husband John Stark predeceased her, as did two grandchildren, Jean Neumann, and Brandon Polak. Brandon Polak was killed June 11 in a motorcycle crash in Mansfield. Her brother, Richard Sigars, also preceded her in death. Stark is also survived by two sisters, Suzanne Batory of Crestline and Sharon Beal of Columbus, OH; and one brother, Oliver Sigars of Spring Hill. FL.
Born Leslie Jean Sigars in Joplin, Missouri, on January 24, 1924, she would become valedictorian of her graduating class at Crestline High School before becoming the devoted wife of young Marine and high school sweetheart John Stark. The couple married in Yuma, AZ, on December 6, 1942. Leslie Jean lived the full life unique to those of "The Greatest Generation". As the family grew, it would follow their father to such posts as Cherry Point, NC, and Orange County, CA, finally settling in the Woodland neighborhood of Mansfield in 1971.
In 1972, the Starks launched the famed Mansfield Antique Show and Flea Market, a monthly attraction held at the Richland County Fairgrounds. The Starks also owned the Ohio Bookhunter, which trafficked in rare books and historical manuscripts and ephemera. The business thrived until John Stark passed away in 1987; it was well before this momentous day in the Stark family history that Leslie Jean would begin to travel the world, a practice she would continue, with great joy, late into her life.
The family wishes to thank the staff at Brethren Care Village of North Central Ohio for their care and compassion. It was where Leslie Jean Stark was singing out her last days, surrounded by family, and also where she spent the last several years continuing her passion for Poker, her serial mastery of the Scrabble board and playfully plinking at the piano keys. There will be no public service as per Leslie Jean’s request. Instead, her ashes will be scattered in California’s Joshua Tree National Park, following those of husband John and daughter Jean.
The Diamond Street Home of Wappner Funeral Directors is privileged to serve the family.
Words of comfort may be expressed to the family at www.wappner.com.