Charles Morgan Starnes of Waynesville, 86, passed away on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, at StoneCreek Health & Rehabilitation in Asheville.

A native of North Carolina, he was a son of the late Charlie and Lillie Mae Morgan Starnes. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a sister, Mary Beth Atkinson.

Charles graduated from Gardner-Webb University in 1955 with an associate of arts degree and earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Appalachian State University in 1958. In 1968, he obtained his master of arts degree from Appalachian State University and later completed his Education Specialist degree from Western Carolina University in 1988.

During his career he taught and coached in New Haven, Michigan, in North Carolina, he was as an Assistant Principal at T.C. Roberson High School and later was a principal at West Lincoln High School. Charles retired from Tuscola High School as principal after 23 years of service.

Charles was inducted into the Gardner-Webb Gallery of Distinguished Graduates in 2005, of which he was nominated by his peers and chosen by representatives from Gardner-Webb University. The gallery honors alumni who made positive contributions in their careers and communities. Charles is a past President of the Waynesville Rotary Club, was a member of the National Educators Association and the North Carolina Association of Educators, Division of Principals.

Charles participated on the board of advisors for Haywood Hospice and the board of directors for Haywood Community Foundation. He also served on the Haywood Community College Board of Trustees and was a member of the Gardner-Webb Advisory Board. He was a member of First Baptist Church of Waynesville where he served as a deacon.

Charles loved beach music and was a member of the Mountain Shag Club in Asheville, NC. He loved spending time with family and friends, entertaining in his home, and eating out with the “Breakfast Club”. His family, friends and community will miss him tremendously.

Charles was a loving father and grandfather. He is survived by his daughter, Kim Cabe of Waynesville; his son, Greg Starnes and his wife, Kim, of Clover, SC; a sister, Terrie Henderson of Asheville; and three grandchildren, Allison Frost (Deric), Josh Starnes, and Ben Starnes.

A private memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. Services will be live streamed and may be accessed through Charles’s obituary on Wells Funeral Homes website.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Haywood Dementia Response Effort: HayDRE, 81 Elmwood Way, Waynesville, NC 28786 or Gardner-Webb University, Attn: Annual Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 997, Boiling Springs, NC 28017, or online at (go to give now, choose Annual Scholarship Fund, notate in memory of Charles Starnes).

The care of Mr. Starnes has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Home of Waynesville and an online memorial register is available at “Obituaries” at

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