Jeweler Gene Starnes has died

Published 9:12 am Tuesday, January 30, 2024

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Gene Starnes, the longtime owner of Starnes Jewelers in downtown Albemarle, died Monday. He was 82.

Starnes retired in 2022 after operating the jewelry store for more than 45 years.

His sister, Pat Bramlett, and brother-in-law, Chris, owner of Starnes-Bramlett Jewelers, released a statement on Facebook Tuesday morning.

“It is with deep sadness we share that Gene Starnes, long-time owner of Starnes Jewelry Store, passed away yesterday. Gene spent nearly his entire life here at the store. He spent countless hours, here as a youth while his father ran the business. He began working here full-time in the 1960s, after college, and became sole owner in 1976 after his father passed away. Gene spent the next 45+ years here until his retirement in 2022. Gene’s contributions to Albemarle and Stanly County are immeasurable and his presence will be missed by all. We would be honored if anyone would like to share any special memories of time you might have spent with Gene over the years. Please feel free to add them in the comments to this post, send us an email to, or if you happen to live nearby, please feel free to stop by and share any memories with us here at the store. News of a service for Gene will be shared as our family works out the details. Chris and Pat (Starnes) Bramlett.”

This is a developing story.

More about Gene Starnes:

Gene Starnes recognized as Stanly’s 25th Citizen of the Year

Gene Starnes honored, presented with key to the city of Albemarle

STANLY THE MAGAZINE: For Gene Starnes, there really is no place like home