William Bill Starnes, 72, who filled thousands of prescriptions for Brooking-Harbor residents, has died following a long illness.

Mr. Starnes and his wife, Betty, since 1975 have owned Harbor Drug Store and Nadines Hallmark. Until he entered Providence Hospital in Medford a couple of months ago, he was positioned behind the counter filling his prescriptions.

He knew hundreds of his customers by their first names, and would call a thanks to them as they left with their purchases. For years, he worked as many as seven days a week staffing the pharmacy. Lunch breaks were late in the day.

Death came Friday night. He was released from the hospital a short time ago to return to his Winchuck River home.

Mr. Starnes was a 1963 graduate of Oregon State College with a bachelor of science in pharmacy. He maintained his interest in the schools athletic teams, especially the football team, throughout his adult life.

His wife, Betty, worked next to him in the store. The former Betty Barrett and Mr. Starnes were wed on Dec. 23, 1958.

They enjoyed playing golf on the course in Del Norte County.

Before going to Oregon State he served for four years in the U.S. Air Force.

Mr. Starnes was a member of a pioneer Oregon family for which the town of Riddle is named. He was born June 3, 1928, in Malin.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son William and his wife, Patricia, both of Portland; son Robert of Brookings; brothers Walter and Fred; sisters Ferol McKenzie, Margaret Mann and Patricia Chytte; dogs Booker and Party.

Services are scheduled for Friday, Sept. 9, at 2 p.m. in the Brookings chapel of Littys Funeral Directors.

Donations may be made to the Leukemia Society of America or to Curry County Hospice.

Arrangements are under the direction of Litty Funeral Directors, Brookings Funeral Home.