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

Hi Dan,

Thought about you today, The Defenders Bike club rode up to the station today. They did a bike ride from Harley Davidson shop to the department to present a donation for the Fallen Officer's Monument that will be built soon in front of the station. It was neat to see all the bikers (mostly officers) in front of the station.

John is doing great - he had his frist day on the road today with Everett as a CSA. He seems to be handling everything great. Although, Jared is leaving law enforcement. We'll miss him. I think he decided it wasn't for him.

Anyway, just wanted to let you know we all still think about you often.... The memorial here at the station should be real nice as soon as they get it finished...

Thinking of you often,

Cindy

Cindra Dunaway, TCO2
Ft Myers Police Department

May 7, 2005

Until We Meet Again

Author Anonymous

Each morning when we awake

we know that you are gone.

And no one knows the heartache

As we try to carry on.



Our hearts still ache with sadness

and many tears still flow.

What it meant to lose you,

No one will ever know.



Our thoughts are always with you,

your place no one can fill.

In life we loved you dearly,

In death we love you still.



There will always be a heartache,

and often a silent tear,

But always a precious memory

Of the days when you were here.



If tears could make a staircase,

And heartaches make a lane,

We'd walk the path to heaven

And bring you home again.



We hold you close within our hearts,

And there you will remain,

To walk with us throughout our lives

Until we meet again.



Our family chain is broken now,

And nothing will be the same,

But as God calls us one by one,

The chain will link again.




To My Dear Jess and all of the Starks' Family,
I cannot wait to see you in one week in D.C. My prayers and thoughts are always with you. I will be thinking of you as you all travel to Tallahassee.

Juli Verkler
Widow of Ptlm. Bryan S. Verkler

May 3, 2005

daniel

i just want to tell you i love you and really really miss you

momma

April 29, 2005

Rest in Peace Brother.


Gone but never forgotten!

PO #12482
Orlando Police

April 27, 2005

It is always tragic to lose an officer, but at such a young age and a short tour it is even harder.Rrest in peace Officer Starks. May God be close to your family and loved ones until you meet again.
Thank you for your service. Our country is great because of men and women like you.
04-27-05


Retired Officer

April 27, 2005

Family & Friends of Daniel,
My sincere condolences to you all. There is so much that I have learned about Daniel's life through his love, Jessica. Although I did not know him, I know that he led an amazing life and was a true testimony for the Lord. It's a precious thought, to think of Daniel resting in the arms of Jesus. I know that my sweet Josh and Daniel are both at peace with our Lord.

Dear Jessica,
You are an incredible person, of whom I have learned from greatly, through our separate tragedies. The thoughts you have shared and the encouragement you have given have been a tremendous support to me and to so many others who have lost the love of their life. I especially loved the poem you shared with the group..."The Road of Life". I often refer to that poem when I feel like I can't handle life's curve balls anymore; especially on those days when the pain of losing Josh is emotionally paralyzing. I think of that poem, and think of you & Daniel; how you both have touched me and encouraged me through my walk with Christ...and we barely know each other. It's amazing how the Lord uses people. I know that Daniel would be proud of you and the life that you lead. I pray daily, that our Lord's peace, comfort, and love will continue to provide a haven for you to run to in your times of sorrow. You are always in my thoughts and prayers.

Love & prayers,
Kelly
"Josh's Kelly"

Kelly Gillain
Sig. Other to Deputy Sheriff Joshua E. Blyler EOW 5.2.04

April 26, 2005

Dan~

Your Jess is one amazing girl! She has stuck by me for the last several months during the most difficult times. I hope that you are having fun in Heaven...i know you miss those you love down here: Jess, your parents and brothers, and your friends. The way jess talks about you, you must have been one awesome guy. i only wish i was able to meet you in life here on this earth. if you could, please send jess some hugs and ask cole to do the same for me. she has convinced me you guys are angels - i can't imagine cole with wings! ;P we will honor you all soon at police week...i can't wait for you guys to get the respect and honor you deserve once more. take care of your loved ones and of my fiance!

Jessi Garger
Fiancee of Cole Martin EOW 4.25.03

Jess
the GA one ;P

April 25, 2005

Daniel,

I have to tell you something!

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:)

Jess

April 23, 2005

i love you


mom

April 23, 2005

Daniel,

This is an incredibly awkward thing to say on what would have been your one-year wedding anniversary, but thank you for sharing your wonderful bride with me. While she is a fabulous girl, I wish we never HAD to meet and become friends. It's so weird how tragedies bring random people together and make them what I hope will be lifelong friends. I know exactly why you were going to marry your beautiful bride, Dan. She is such an encouragement and blessing to my life. While I know sometimes I bring her further down rather than lifting her up, I am trying to walk with her on this journey the best I can. I'm so sorry that you did not get to carry out your dreams with Jess. I know the feeling all too well, but don't you worry. She and I will stick together through the worst of these times. I can't wait to meet you in Heaven and see if you really are as wonderful as Jessica always says you are!! ;P I know, of course, that you are. It shines in her. Please take care of my fiancee Cole. I miss him terribly especially as we are coming up on two years without him. If only you guys knew how much love beats in our hearts every single day. Send Jess some heavenly hugs, Dan...she could use them today especially.

the GA Jess ;)

Jessi Garger
Fiancee of Cole Martin EOW 4.25.03

April 17, 2005

Dear Daniel,
I think of you and Jess today as today was "The Day". I know it would have been your one year wedding anniversary today, and I am deeply saddened that so many hopes, dream, and future plans died when you were killed in the line of duty. Although I never got a chance to know you, your smile seems to light up a whole room, and I can only imagine how big your smile would have been the minute you saw your beautiful Jess, dressed in white, ready to walk down the aisle to meet you.
Your memories and your hopes and dreams will live on through Jess, your mom, your dad and your brothers'. You must know that they ALL have truly been a inspiration and have given so much hope to other survivors', including my mom, my brother and myself.
Well, Take Care Daniel, say Hello to Verkules for me.
Wishing Much Love to Jess and the Starks' Family,

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

April 17, 2005

Officer Starks as a fellow Explorer who at the time of your death had 5 months of Explorer Service Your name will not be forgotten
"Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God."
Matt.5:9

Explorer

April 16, 2005

My Sweetie Pie Daniel -

I haven't left you a message in awhile. Maybe I didn't know what to say or -- how to say it. Sunday is April 17th. We would have been married a year. It all seems like a blurr now. I can remember like it was yesterday, how I was thinking of so many wedding plans,I wanted everything to be perfect and how I thought the day wasn't going to get here fast enough. Little did I know it would indeed get here, and pass me by, with nothing but a memory of you to hold on too. Things have happened since you've been gone. People have tried making me feel better. I do a good job of getting by and not letting people know how much I truly still miss you. But it all comes down to those "big days". Your birthday, our anniversary of dating, your EOW, holidays and other things that you loved. They are just a memory now. The days come and go without any real answers to what happened. There arn't any answers except the ones that God had when he took you that night. I guess we will never know the true reason until we get to Heaven -- and just have to settle with the fact that he needed you. I still believe you are with me as an angel. There have been days where I KNOW you are with me. All the times I've seen the number 311, or the times where I have had the right words for other fiancee's in my similar situation. I know it has been you, there, helping me -- for I would never have the courage or strength to get through life without you. And I have to remember that even though you are gone I am convinced that you are still here. Still, other days -- I don't feel your presence. Maybe you are up in Heaven very busy. After all, you are probably directing all the new guys and girls in and telling them where to go. "Showing them the ropes" as they say. :)

I'm sure you've met Cole,Dennis, Bryan, and Brian Haas. I bet Heaven is great and I am hoping that you are happy and not feeling any pain, or sadness like I'm feeling. For somedays it is incredicably heartbreaking and almost unbearable. But your wonderful parents and brothers are here and that makes life a little better. Constant reminders of you and how they raised you so good. Your mommy misses you terribly, and I can understand that feeling. She loved you so and so do I.

Well I will be thinking of you all day Sunday when I am at work. Even though work calls - you will be on my mind and Heart all day. I'm going to try to stop by the cemetary with something for you -- I don't know what would be good enough to leave you by your grave, but I'll think on something. Maybe some purple flowers?? HAHA.

Oh yes, one more thing - I finished your scrapbook of your life. It was really hard to finish but I did. Ironically, I finished the last page on Easter Sunday. I will look back on the memories we made with great joy -- and try to remember the good times -- and not the hard times that I faced after your death. I will always love you and honor you -- even for years to come. No one will ever be able to understand the depth and joy that our love gave to me while you were here.

Watch over your parents and brother. They love you so much.

I Love You Daniel,

- Jessica

Dan's Fiancee

April 15, 2005

my darling daniel

sunday is the 17th of april and would have been your first wedding anniversary. how wonderful it would have been to celebrate that with you and your precious little girl. she is really something daniel - you chose well and wisely. daddy and i are so very grateful that you brought her into our lives. she is full of warmth, love and life.
we all miss you so terribly every day. we are having the house painted and are considering if you would have insisted on purple. perhaps you have a purple mansion - or station - in heaven.
all our love to you each and every day my love. watch over your brothers and guide them - they miss you so. they have tried so hard to add your picture to our family portrait - i think they will before they are finished.
my heart still aches for you
i love you my son

mom

April 12, 2005

Daniel~
It has been SO great to talk to your beloved fiancee Jess over the past year, and I LOVE hearing "Daniel" stories and sharing in what was once your life on this Earth. From what I have heard, you were an awesome cop and you touched so many different lives in so many different ways, ways that even you may not have realized at the time.
The reason that Jess and I met was so horribly unfortunate, but I must tell you that your fiancee is such a kind, beautiful, warm and giving person that gave ME support during the National Police Week last year. I met her during the Candlelight Vigil 2003, and all she did was hold my hand throughout the whole ceremony because I was crying so hard I couldn't see straight. Jess gave me SO much support and this past year I really feel like we have helped each other in so many ways. I am so sad Daniel that you had to leave this Earth, but I wanted to take a moment to thank you for your gift of allowing me to meet her...
Rest Easy Daniel, I will do everything I can to always support Jess and I know she will do the same for me. Please tell Bryan I love him and I miss him as you patrol Heaven's Beat together.

Jess~
Thank you as always for all of your support and love..Hugs from Southern Cali!!:):) I can't WAIT to see you in about a month and spend some time together. As the song goes, "What a long, strange trip this has been.." Right? I thank God everyday for having you as a fellow survivor, but most of all as a someone that I can truly call my friend. Your support has given me strength to realize what my "new" hopes and dreams are, and you have given me to faith and hope to try to achieve those goals.
See you in D.C. in a month!

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

April 8, 2005

If Heaven was an hour, It’d be twilight.
When the fireflies start dancin’ on the lawn.
And supper's on the stove and mamma’s laughin’
And everybody’s workin’ day is done.

If Heaven was a town it’d be my town
On a summer day in 1985.
And everything I wanted was out there waiting.
And everyone I loved was still alive

Chorus:
Don’t cry a tear for me now baby
There comes a time we must all say goodbye.
And if that’s what heavens made of
You know I’m not afraid to die.

If Heaven was a pie it'd be Cherry.
So cool and sweet and heavy on your tongue.
And just one bite would satisfy your hunger. And there’d always be enough for everyone

If Heaven was a train it'd sure be a fast one to take this weary traveler round the bend

And if Heaven was a tear it'd be my last one, And you’d be in my arms again

Chorus:
Don’t cry a tear for me now baby
There comes a time we must all say goodbye
And if that’s what heavens made of
You know I’m not afraid to die
"If Heaven" by Andy Griggs

April 7, 2005

Officer Starks,
I am on vacation in Ft. Myers, and I came upon your name and reflection. I read the pages and pages of reflections and starting crying after reading what a great police officer you were and how many people you touched. As a fellow Explorer Alumni, I understand your true love for law enforcement. Godspeed 311.

Anonymous
Indianapolis Police Department

April 2, 2005

my darling daniel

once again we are preparing to go to washington. this time we will be better prepared and hopefully able to help someone else. i know you and brian will be there with us - let brian know we will take care of mom and dad. bring devon and christy with you, i know for sure you are holding both of there hands and helping them along the way. still with that blue light on you angel wings directing traffic in heaven.
i love you so much
i know this is rambling but once in a while you just have to get it all out
i wish i was better with words but i can only say
i love you so much and miss you so much

all my love darling

kathe
mom of daniel

April 1, 2005

By Way of Sorrow
Julie Miller

You've been taken by the wind
You have known the kiss of sorrow
Doors that would not let you in
Outcast and a stranger

You have come by way of sorrow you have come by way of tears
But you'll reach your destiny come to find you all these years
Come to find you all these years

You have drunk a bitter wine with none to be your comfort
You who once were left behind will be welcome at love's table

You have come by way of sorrow you have come by way of tears
But you'll reach your destiny
You will one day come to know
You will one day come to know

All the nights that joy has slept will awake to days of laughter
Gone the tears that you have wept
You'll dance in freedom ever after

You have come by way of sorrow you have come by way of tears
But you'll reach your destiny
You will lay your burden down
You will lay your burden down

March 22, 2005

"The wicked flee when No Man pursueth but he RIGHTEOUS are bold as a lion"

Always remembering you, the sacrifice that you made, and thinking of what you and your beloved Jess would be doing if you were still alive.

March 21, 2005

"The wicked flee when No Man pursueth but he RIGHTEOUS are bold as a lion"

Always remembering you, the sacrifice that you made, and thinking of what you and your beloved Jess would be doing if you were still alive.

March 21, 2005

Dear Daniel,

I happened upon this page looking for memorabilia, I searched for your name on here and there you were. I was amazed and at the same time not, that so many people had posted on this website. I sat for a while reading others' reflections, crying and laughing at others' memories of you. It's taken me a while to get to a point to be able to put my words together, I feel like I need to say just the right thing, but then I think that doesn't really matter. It's hard to put our many years of memories together all at once. More than anything though, the past few years, the more recent ones before you were taken from us, are the years I reflect on the most. Our first year of college, one we started together but apart, will be a semester I will never forget. Before that time I knew we were good friends, but I was shocked by how we would only grow closer. Then and now, when I think back I realize how much we needed one another, if not for anything else than just an ear to listen. A lot happened within those few months of that semester. We shared many thoughts and concerns about our lives, through our e-mail devotions every day for as long as it was. We shared out tough times with one another, prayed for one another, and believed in one another. I remember the greatest thing of all, that would change your life, was the night you told me you met your wife. Dan, now you know I was shocked, but I couldn't have been happier for you. I still have those e-mail devotions, thankfully I had enough mind to print them out every day I received one. Those do I cherish among my many memories of you. After that semester we would continue to grow closer, our friendship even stronger, and when I moved away and came back things never seemed to change between us. You were always there for me, no matter if it was moving me back to Florida or just hanging out and doing what ever. I know we lost contact for a year, or at least our contact was sparse my first year at FGCU. I'll never forget that horrible math class we had early in the morning, the one you would always call me for to wake me up and remind me we had class...That lasted all of 3 weeks! After that communication was slim, I went through a pretty bad spot in my life that I'm sure you probably know about now. Then I remember my last week in Florida. We talked on the computer, you asked me where the heck I had been and why I hadn't called, I told you I was embarrassed that I hadn't kept in contact and I let my pride get to me. I asked you if you were upset with me and you said,"no." Daniel, you don't know how thankful I was to hear that. At the end of that conversation we talked again another day, you told me we had to hang out before I moved away. Little did I know that would be the last time I would see you. I am so happy looking back that you were so adament that we hang out that night before I left. We went to dinner and ate sushi with some friends of yours from the Academy. I can't say I love sushi now. After dinner we hung out and talked for a while, and it felt like old times. Old times like when you used to come by my house when you were still a police explorer and we'd sit in my room and we'd listen to your cop radio. I thought it was all so cool and I would keep asking "you what are they saying, what's going on?" You'd translate and just laugh at me. I thought it was the coolest thing ever though. That night though, we shared things with one another niether of us knew and just caught up. Finally deciding it was time for you to go, it was almost as if you knew we'd never see each other again. I told you not to worry I would be back, after all my life was still in Fort Myers, but you were so reluctant to say goodbye and now I know why. I gave you hug, told you I loved you, not to worry about it, and to be careful driving home. That would be the last time I saw you until I paid my final respects to you. We talked every now and then once I left Fort Myers, and the words of our last conversation ring in my ear daily. This was the conversation when you told me you were officially a police officer, my heart jumped both with excitement and nervousness. You had accomplished your dream! I couldn't have been more proud of you, that was, until I saw how many lives you had touched besides my own. Can I just say Daniel to this day you continue to amaze me. Not a day goes by that I don't think of you, there's always something in the day whether it's a song, a memory, or it's 3:11 on the clock. You always seem to be there and it's always to bring a smile to my face or a feeling of comfort. Now and always will your memory continue on, may you never be forgotten by those you loved, and may we continue to bring you honor and make you proud. You are one-in-a-million Daniel!! I can't wait to meet you up there to make new memories. Until then, keep bringing smiles to the faces of those who love you and miss you dearly. You're in my thoughts every day and I hope you've got your "blue blockers!" Miss you buddy, love you. Forever #311!
-Katie Welker

March 7, 2005

Hi Dan

I can't get over how much time has gone by. I met your dad a couple of weeks ago for the first time. He was at my son's best friend's house. (The Burns') Apprently your father and his are best friends from church!! It was nice remembering you together. Seems like such a nice guy, no wonder you were such a great guy yourself.

Jared is on my shift now - he sounds like a seasoned officer on the radio.

John seems to be coping pretty well since the accident with his fiance. We all in Communications hope to get him back soon. He's been working in the Community Affairs office.

I know everyone misses you so much. You made such an impact on everyone's life.

Remembering You Often,

Cindy

Cindra Dunaway, TCO2
Ft Myers Police Department

February 28, 2005

It breaks my heart to see who young some of the hero's listed here were when God called them. Then to learn they were on the verge of starting a family of their own.

Daniel,

You must feel the love everyday Jessica and your family feels for you. I believe our love ones in heaven feel the love we send them.

I lost my fiancee, Scott, over 2 and half years ago. Not a day goes by that I do not think about him, nor has my love for him lessen. Reading Jessica's posting's I can tell she still love's you very much.

Jessica,
I know how hard it is to lose your love suddenly and tragically. You are not alone there are many s/o's out there who will love to lend support and share in your memories of Daniel. Getting all of the s/o's together will be difficult, but a step has been made. A yah group site has been created. All you need to do is search the groups for the below as listed. We hope to hear from you.

Daniel's Family,
Words cannot express the sympathy I feel for you. No parent should have to bury their child so young. I believe Daniel is alive with all of you in your hearts and will always be with you.

Hugs,
Monica
Fiancee Scott Stewart EOW 8-11-02 Detroit

OfficerDownSignificantOthers

February 16, 2005

Pea Pod -
Well another birthday is approaching for me tomorrow. I will never forget my 22nd birthday and how you proposed. You always told me that you were going to ask when I least expected it. I least expected it that day! I still remember the look in your eye and your reaction when I said yes!! Those were the happy days right? I guess they are still happy today to a point. Two years later I never thought I would be without you. Nothing replaces the emptiness of not having you around. Nothing can replace you, or what you represented in my life. Which was love, acceptance, and the reassurance of knowing you always loved me, and always cared; no matter what. I thnak you for bringing me friends that are GOOD for me in my life. I think I am making progress in hanging around better people that like me for who I am and not what they want me to be. I've been very frustrated lately with other people. They seem to want to spread the good news of their life around me. They don't realize how much it hurts, still to this day. But I know that you would not let it get to you, so I try not to. But there are some days that it just seems too much. I guess they don't know any better. They don't understand the road I have had to walk, or what your family has gone through either.
I love you and I hope you are well in Heaven. I miss you so much!!
- Jess

January 30, 2005

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