Carol  Stark


Carol Stark, 61, died surrounded by family and friends on Wednesday, August 14, 2019, at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis after a long battle with cancer. Carol was born on July 30, 1958, the first-born daughter of Dewayne and Nancy Cowan of Carthage. She was a 1976 graduate of Carthage High School.
In many ways, Carol's life was defined by her dedication to journalism and the ink in her veins. At the age of 19 she began her career at The Carthage Press. Her decades-long commitment to The Joplin Globe began when she was hired by the paper in 1983. Over the years, she served in a number of reporting and editing positions, including assistant city editor and metro editor from 2003 to 2007. She was named executive editor of The Joplin Globe in 2007, when she became the first female executive editor in the paper's then 111-year history. In 2018, she was named regional editor as part of the expanded news leadership structure announced by CNHI.
Carol was recent past president of the Missouri Press Association. In September, she will be inducted into that organization's Newspaper Hall of Fame, becoming only the second person in the Globe's history to earn that honor. Following the 2011 Joplin tornado, She led her newsroom in the coverage of that event, for which the Globe received numerous honors, including the Distinguished Writing Award for Deadline News Reporting from the American Society of Newspaper Editors in 2012. The paper also was named CNHI's Newspaper of the Year and awarded first place in public service in 2012. As a reporter, editor and columnist, she received numerous awards and honors from the Missouri Press Association, The Associated Press, CNHI and other professional organizations. Carol was especially proud of serving multiple times as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes.
Carol believed in teaching future generations of journalists. She served as an adviser to Missouri Southern State University's The Chart, worked with Joplin High School's student-led newspaper, The Spyglass, and led an annual journalism workshop for high-school students for more than 30 years. In addition, Carol supported legislation that would protect the journalism produced by high-school students. In what would ultimately become her last contribution to future reporters, she helped establish the Carol Stark Excellence in Journalism Scholarship for students at Missouri Southern State University.
While many knew Carol by her professional accomplishments and community presence, her family knew her as a mother, grandmother, sister and friend. She packed an entire lifetime into her short 61 years. Carol was an avid traveler, journeying to China, Greece, Denmark, Ireland, Costa Rica, England and states across the US. In 2016, she biked more than 200 miles in six days from Amsterdam to Bruges. She enjoyed social gatherings with her dear friends, many of whom were like family to her. She was a passionate gardener and took great pride in posting on social media photos of her many varieties of daylilies. Carol's favorite afternoons were spent hiking or reading. She was an avid collector of art and photography.
Carol was diagnosed with a rare form of sarcoma in 2005. She battled the disease with courage and grace, facing months of chemotherapy and multiple surgeries throughout the years. In the end, she made the decision that her fight was over. Carol spent her last days the same way she had lived her life - on her terms. Do not say that Carol lost her battle with cancer. She lost nothing. Instead, Carol did what she always did. She saw what she wanted and pursued it. She saw an opportunity to go home and made the decision to do just that. She truly was the author of her own story.
Carol was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by two sons, Craig Stark and his wife, Christen, of Pilot Grove, and Joe Stark and his wife, Katy, of Ozark; six grandchildren, Austyn, Garrett, Evelyn, Sam, Henry, and Nora; two sisters, Marcia Snyder and her husband, Pat, of Avilla, and Diana Moffett of Joplin; six nieces and nephews, and extended family.
A visitation will be held from 9 to 10:45 a.m. Saturday, August 24, at First Community Church of Joplin, followed by a funeral service at 11 a.m. A private burial will be held.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Carol Stark Excellence in Journalism Scholarship Fund. Funds can be sent by check in care of the Missouri Southern Foundation, 3950 E. Newman Road, Joplin, MO, 64801. Gifts can also be made online at In the designation field, please select "Other" and denote the gift is for the Carol Stark Excellence in Journalism Scholarship Fund.
Published on August 18, 2019

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10 posts

Steve T. Urie
Aug 23, 2019
Written in the Stars was purchased for the family of Carol Stark by Steve T. Urie.  Send flowers
Steve T.
Aug 23, 2019
With all her accomplishments, it was Carol’s personal friendship I will always cherish! The many years of, “May I send someone to interview you?” became, “How are you doing today?” Personal visits that I will miss dearly but as we shared our experiences I know this is a temporary parting. She will continue to write in Glory and tend her day lilies. Prayers for all of her family and those touched by her.
Aug 21, 2019
Written in the Stars was purchased for the family of Carol Stark.  Send flowers
Tracy klepper
Aug 20, 2019
Carol, was a exceptional editor. Everything she wrote about she made it sound as if she lived it herself . As if she felt it . I’m sure she did in some situations. I remember reading the things she wrote about. She did everything with class . She was a very classy lady. She was the best at what she did! She will be missed tremendously. ♥️
Charles Davis
Aug 19, 2019
Carol was one of the most caring, kind, community-oriented editors I ever knew. Loved working with her. She will be missed.
Carole King
Aug 19, 2019
Much love and many blessings to my favorite editor, writing colleague and dear friend. What a privilege to have known and worked together with you, Carol, on so many special projects!
Penny Smart
Aug 18, 2019
Thank you for all your years of friendship. All those years we had of you in my chair and in front of the mirror, I am so very grateful for. Sharing, caring, advising, consoling and friending. God Bless you Carol. You will always have a place in my heart. I will light a vigil at church for you often and hope my prayers find their way to you.
Julie Beatty
Aug 18, 2019
Pretty Please was purchased for the family of Carol Stark by Julie Beatty.  Send flowers
James DeArmond
Aug 18, 2019
Basket Full of Wishes was purchased for the family of Carol Stark by James DeArmond.  Send flowers
Mike DeArmond
Aug 18, 2019
One of my Mom's best friends, and a fellow journalist of great passion.