Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Daniel Matthew Starks

Fort Myers Police Department, Florida

End of Watch Saturday, October 25, 2003

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Police Officer Daniel Matthew Starks

I was thinking of all the words today that remind me of you. Sweetness, honey, pea pod, cutie pie..all the cute little names that remind me of you and our love. At just the right moment that life seems to be looking up for me, it comes crashing down. Life without you is unfair. So unbelieveably unfair. People have no earthly idea how unfair it is. They try but they have no clue. I have tried to stop being so bitter and jealous but sometimes its so hard. I guess to just be married and happy was too much to ask huh?
The station has put up a memorial inside the station showcasing you and the three other officers that have died in the line of duty from FMPD. Today we went by to see it and it was sweet, yet heartbreaking. Roger and the other guys did a great job on the case, and the sketches look great. It is sad that it has come down to that though. YOU should be walking out that door everynight to your car with everyone else. You just never got a chance to enjoy your new job. You worked so hard for everything and it is so sad. So very sad that you never got a chance to do so many things. But i guess no one can argue with God or with death. It's so final i guess. But anyways, the tribute looks nice and I am hoping that everyone will notice you as they walk by. It's so important to know the risk. I know you knew the risk..you just never thought it would have ended the way it did.
I Love you my dear sweetie pie. You are the love of my life still and always will be. No matter what happens. You will always be in my heart, my mind, and my soul.
Love You Forever -
- Jessica

Dan's Fiancee

June 26, 2005

Dan,
It has been so long since I have written anything here. I was at work today on Father's Day and I really thought of you. I met your uncle some time ago and he really made me laugh. He was like you in so many ways. I was thinking about all the times we laughed and the times that Max drove us nuts when we listened to Roy D. Mercer. I think of you so often when I see the sun shining or feel the wind blowing. So much has happened in my life since you have been gone. I have gotten better and my cancer is all cleared. I have the strength now, knowing you are with me every day. I still have you in my heart and I remember you in all that I do. Along with being cancer-free, I have moved on in my career. I have finished school and I know that if you were here, you would be so proud of me. I also wrote a book in memory of you and it will be out soon. I remember the times when you visited at the hospital and the times that I saw you when I was bald. I felt that we had something in common...we were baldies together...just kidding. I really miss seeing you around. I saw your parents and your brother Ben the other week at Barnes and Noble and I just wished that you were there. When your brother was talking, I could just see you in him. He has your laugh and your voice. I am still so scared of life and what is left. I think of you often because I know you would want the best for me. When your 1st wedding anniversary past, I was really sad. You would have made a wonderful husband to Jess. Jess is in my prayers everyday and she is really special. Even though I haven't seen her since your funeral, I still think of her and pray for her to have strength. You are in my heart everyday and I thank you for looking down on me and keeping me safe. I love you man...you were my best friend and my true frien..Thank you so much for all the learning experiences that you gave me. You were wise beyond your years and you have so much to show for that. You are so special and I have so many pictures of you, that I am so excited to share them with anyone who I talk to you about you. There are so many things that I want to say, but this space just isn't big enough. I hope to see you one day in Heaven and I know you will keep me safe. Thanks a million...stay sweet and live it up!

Love Always,
Allison

Allison Carter
Former FMPD Police Explorer

June 19, 2005

Hi sweetie pie -
Just wanted to tell you I was thinking of you. Thanks for giving me a pretty good week. I haven't had a good week in a long time. I know that you are looking down on me and helping me along. Thank you for letting me smile a little too. ;) I Love you always
- Jess

June 17, 2005

"Mourning is not forgetting... It is an undoing. Every minute tie has to be untied and something permanent and valuable recovered and assimilated from the dust."

~Margery Allingham

June 12, 2005

i love you

mom

June 10, 2005

Jess, it definitely was a pleasure meeting you in DC. I wish we had more time to talk since Bert and Daniel died similarly, both in car accidents in pursuit. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks for you knowing that you were not yet married. Although Bert and I were only married 5 months, I know how hard it must be for you. I will never understand why bad things happen to good people, but we WILL see them again someday. They are waiting for us! Until then, we both have to keep trying to move forward while continuing to love them and honor them. If you ever need me, I am here. Love, Denise Zimmerman

Denise Zimmerman
Surviving Spouse of NJ State Trooper Bert Zimmerman 2-5-04

June 5, 2005

Alan Jackson "Rainy day in June"

I need some sunshine on my face
to help me dry my eyes.
I need some blue sky overhead
so I can clear my mind.

Maybe a soft breeze on my back
to make me feel at ease.
Anything more than what I've got
on this rainy day in June.

It's a rainy day in June.
the sky is gray and I am blue.
Trying to make it without you
On this rainy day in June.

I'll keep waiting with a hopeful heart on this rainy day in June.
It's a rainy day in June.
The sky is gray, and I am blue.
Trying to make it without you.
On this rainy day in June.

The thunder rolls.
The lighting flashes.
Every thought begins with you.
I see your face in every cloud that passes.
On this rainy day in June.

It's a rainy day in June.
The sky is gray - and I am blue.
Trying to make it without you.

On this rainy day in June.

June 4, 2005

I have never met you but I feel as though I know you. I have heard the loss and felt the tears. Such a short time on this earth yet the impact has been made. It's has touched my own heart to hear how much you are missed and loved. I think heaven found it's missing angel. My deepest heartfelt condolences go out to your family and your fiance. I know they miss you. I pray that you watch over them and keep them safe. I wish them the best of luck and may the Lord keep their paths straight.

one of God's children

May 31, 2005

hi my darling

happy memorial day.

just wanted to tell you how much i love you. you have been close to me today i know. homesick was on the radio on my way to work.

all the little ways i know you are with me...i thank you. god blesses me daily.

thank you daniel for all that you were and are.

all my love

mommy

May 30, 2005

You are..and still are..my everything baby.

May 30, 2005

Daniel,

My brother in blue, you have such a wonderful family that sooo loves you and misses you that it was MY HONOR to serve them on their recent trip to DC. Keep your hands around them and keep them safe because they know your always with them.

Sgt Gregory E. Scott
Dept. of the Treasury/US Mint Police

May 25, 2005

Hello my sweetheart -

Just me again missing you. :( I wanted to thank you for getting us to and from DC safely. The whole time I was in the place I was just thinking that I was closer to you up in Heaven. Me and your mom are convinced that your up there bouncing around on the clouds "tearin it up."
Oh Daniel I am so lost without you. I have drew support from people I met in DC and stuff but my heart just breaks for you. Unfortunately, life gets the best of most people and they move on with thier busy lives. I SHOULD be doing that. But the days continue to draw on and each day I am reminded you are gone. I can no longer call you when I have a problem. (You always knew the answer by the way). And I know you know the issues im dealing with even today. I am hoping you are sending me some advice from Heaven. I am lonely at times and mostly stressed, and it seems like it will never end sometimes. I am so grateful that I got to be loved by you for the last year and half of your life. I will treasure it always and always remember the good times. I am trying with all my strength to keep your memory alive and to honor you in everything i do. You have such wonderful parents and if it were not for them I dont know what Id do.
I LOVE YOU DANIEL STARKS and always will. I miss all the fun times but I know I will see you in Heaven baby.
Love you more and more each day-
- Jess -

Daniel's Fiancee

May 24, 2005

Hey Dan........just thinking about ya! Miss you!!


FMPD

May 24, 2005

hi my honey

we are home from dc. boy was it hard to leave you picture at the wall. even though we know you are not really there it is such an amazing place. i heard so many people discribe it as hallowed ground. it was wonderful to just sit and look and your picture.

i love you always and miss you like crazy.

love forever

mommy

May 23, 2005

Dan,

Well I sure am glad your FL Jess finally got that picture of you changed on here! ;P Just kidding! She was so set on changing it, so I'm sure it makes her feel better knowing you are happier with this pic! I just want to ask you to especially watch over Jess and your parents. It is so hard being here without our loves, but we know this world is only temporary. Please take care of Cole and Bryan up there, too. I can't wait to meet you in Heaven, Dan!

the GA Jess

May 23, 2005

Daniel,
I was lucky enough this year to meet up again with your wonderful, beautiful Jess, and your loving Mom and Dad this year. It is like I learn something new about you every year, because we try so desparately to celebrate and honor your life, not your death.
I know that you are so proud of Jess in so many ways. When I saw her scrapbook and all of the love and adoration that she put into it, I cried. The picture of her in her wedding dress was a true sight to behold, and I am so saddened by how many broken dreams that were lost the day that you died.
To Jess and all of the Starks' Family, I wanted to thank you for taking the time to connect with our family last year at the Candlelight Vigil. I know that we will all be friends' for life as we remember Our Fallen Heroes in our hearts forever.
Love You All,

Juli Verkler
Widow of Ptlm. Bryan S. Verkler EOW 12/13/03

May 20, 2005

I said, "God, I hurt."

And God said, "I know."

I said, "God, I cry a lot."

And God said,
"That is why I gave you tears."

I said, "God, I am so depressed."

And God said,
"That is why I gave you Sunshine."

I said, "God, life is so hard."

And God said,
"That is why I gave you loved ones."

I said, "God, my loved one died."

And God said, "So did mine."

I said, "God, it is such a loss."

And God said,
"I saw mine nailed to a cross."

I said, "God, but your loved one lives."

And God said, "So does
yours."

I said, "God, where are they now?"

And God said, "Mine is on My right and
yours is in the Light."

I said, "God, it hurts."

And God said, "I know."

May 20, 2005

Dan, it’s been a while since I last wrote something to you. I still think about you everyday and miss having you here with us. I missed getting to go to police week this year due to still being in the academy, but whatever I have to do I will go next year. I have been really busy trying to finish up the academy, I only have two more weeks and I will finally be finished. I can’t believe I am almost there, and I only wish you could be here to see me now. I am going to be working for the Sheriff’s office now, but I guess you already know that. I met a Deputy a couple of weeks ago who went to the academy with you, and we were talking about all of the fun times that we had together. Well man I guess I will go for now, until next time watch over us bro. #311

Deputy Trainee-Travis Daniels
Lee County Sheriff's Office

May 18, 2005

"To Where You Are"
Music and Lyrics Copyrighted by Josh Groban

Who can say for certain
Maybe you're still here
I feel you all around me
Your memory's so clear

Deep in the stillness
I can hear you speak
You're still an inspiration
Can it be
That you are my
Forever love
And you are watching over me from up above

Fly me up to where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile to know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are

Are you gently sleeping
Here inside my dream
And isn't faith believing
All power can't be seen

As my heart holds you
Just one beat away
I cherish all you gave me everyday
'Cause you are my
Forever love
Watching me from up above

And I believe
That angels breathe
And that love will live on and never leave

Fly me up
To where you are
Beyond the distant star
I wish upon tonight
To see you smile
If only for awhile
To know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are

I know you're there
A breath away's not far
To where you are


May 17, 2005

Daniel,

Thank you (and Cole) so much for leading me to Jess. She was an amazing friend to be around during Police Week. Your strength must have transferred over to her, because she is one tough cookie! I learned so much about the life you lived and what an honor it was to be a part of that these past few days. I thank God every day that He allowed Jess and I the opportunity to travel to D.C. again this year to honor our guardian angels. Your family is wonderful, Dan, and there is no doubt in my mind that you were, still are, and always will be loved deeply and completely. Watch over the FL Jess, your parents (FL Mom and Chief Daddy-o), and your brothers (even though I didn't get to meet them). Keep Cole in line, too. He likes to get into all kinds of mischief! Thank you, Daniel!

In love and honor,
Jessi

the GA member of "Jess Squared"

May 16, 2005

Jess,

I hope to meet you in DC in a couple of days. What an honor it will be to honor our guardian angels. Have a safe trip and I will see you soon.


Daniel,

Please make sure that everyone who is going to DC to honor you gets there safely.

Jennifer Aaron
Wife of Ofc. Duke G. Aaron, III (EOW 07/20/04)

May 10, 2005

My Daniel Darling -

We just got back from Tallahassee to see your name at the wall again. I cried and cried. I got to meet aot of other really nice people. Thank you for allowing me that priveledge. Help us have safe travels to DC and watch over the GA Jess.

I Love you my sweetheart -

Jess

May 10, 2005

well hey there dan,
this is the GA jess, not to be confused with YOUR FL jess! ;P

i just wanted to ask you to watch over your family and jess as they are traveling this week. we are all meeting up for police week, and i know they will need your love and God's strength to make it through. you should be so proud of jess, dan. she is helping others through her own grief (especially me!). i'll meet you in heaven someday!

j

Jessi Garger
Fiancee of Cole Martin

May 10, 2005

Warrior!!!!!!

May 9, 2005

This letter was written to WayFM (a Christian radio station in Fort Myers) on December 6, 2004. I asked the station to honor Officer Starks on his birthday and this is why.
I would like the entire Starks family and Jess to know that I love them, pray for them and support them everyday.
January 17:

On January 17, 1982, Daniel Matthew Starks was born. Throughout his life, this young man was a loving son, brother, fiancé, friend and Christian. He spent his entire life chasing his dream of becoming a police officer and helping the community that he grew up in. I met this young man about a year before a tragic accident claimed his life at the tender age of 21. He had become that star police officer and volunteer fire fighter, but he also became a wonderful, devoted servant of God. I never got to know him well, just took his presence for granted. I met his family and friends and was able to see the generous and loving person he was known for, but not to the extent I know him now.
On the day I read in the paper that he had died, I felt an overwhelming pull to a church I had been to only a couple of times and knew very few people. I actually had seen Dan the Friday before he died, but only spoke briefly of his upcoming marriage and then he left. When I arrived at the church that Sunday after his death, I went to sit in the back row as Pastor Gary asked the Starks family to come to the front so that the church could pray with them. He asked that anyone who had it on their hearts to pray with them, they could also come to the front. At that moment, the entire church stood up and walked towards that grieving family and everyone laid hands on whomever they could reach and there so much love as we prayed for the family’s comfort and courage to get through each minute of each day.
It was also this day, that I realized that my life had been changed. It took me almost a week to decide that I needed to accept Jesus into my life. On November 2, 2003; I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
Unfortunately I never got to know Daniel well while he was alive, but I feel like I know him like a brother now. Since his death I have heard so many amazing stories of his generosity, kindness, friendliness and his silliness. It is now that I understand why there were so many lives touched by this one unique man and why so many people stood hours in line to honor him and celebrate his life.
He led me to God and my salvation in the way he lived his life and in his death.
Although my life has not been easy since my acceptance of Jesus there is one distinct difference. That difference is now I no longer feel secluded, alone and helpless. I know now that I always have Jesus by my side, holding my hand and guiding me. I have security in knowing that God has a purpose for my life and that I am special and loved. For this, I thank you Daniel. You led me, someone who had never known or trusted love, to a place where I am comfortable in knowing that there is a Sovereign God and an entire church that loves me and supports me through any desert or valley regardless of my past. I have a bright future with God and I have faith that He will provide.

So I ask you, Way FM, to play “Thank You” by Ray Boltz. If Daniel Starks had never given all he could, including his life, to love God, family and community then this lost soul would have never known that love. Thank you Daniel for giving to the Lord, I am so glad you gave.

In loving memory of Officer Daniel Matthew Starks, Fort Myers Police Officer 311.

Jennifer Westlund

May 8, 2005

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