Obituary of Matyln Drew Starks
Matyln D. Starks was born on January 4, 1946, to Boyd and Mattie Williams in Detroit Michigan. Matyln received her education from Detroit Public Schools. Matyln was married in 1962 to Robert L. Witcher and from that union came four children. Matyln left Detroit in December of 1973, arriving in Boston where she completed her education majoring in psychology and business at Northeastern University.
Matyln was a kind and considerate woman helping anyone who was in need. She spent twenty years working in the medical field as the Administrative Supervisor for the Emergency Room and Admitting at Children’s Hospital, Boston, Ma; The Satellite Admitting Coordinator for New England Baptist Hospital; and as an Admissions Coordinator for Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital.
In 1992, Matyln was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, and from there she became a tireless advocate for the disabled. As the Executive Director of the Vivienne Thomson Advocacy Center/Minorities with Disabilities Advocacy Center, she helped to improve the quality of life for thousands of low to moderate-income minority individuals and their families by providing them with access to a peer role modeling system of advocacy and skills training.
In July 2002, Matyln led a group of disabled consumers in a lawsuit against the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), which resulted in many improvements to the MBTA, making it much easier for individuals with disabilities within the State of Massachusetts to ride the MBTA. Matyln received numerous awards in recognition of her work to advance the issues of people with disabilities, including the Ruth M. Batson Advocate of the Year Award and the Health Care for All Award from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Matylnsat on numerous Governing Boards including the Disability Law Center, the Project on Women with Disabilities, and the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Council. She was also a member of Women Waging Peace International.
On September 27, 2018, she passed away peacefully at home, after a long illness, surrounded by her loving family. She leaves behind to rejoice in her memory, four daughters: AnadreaWitcher of Providence, RI; Pheamo R. Witcher of Cranston, RI; Bedellia Labadie of Malden, Ma; and Roberta Witcher of Boston, Ma; one Son-in-Law John Labadie of Malden, Ma; two loyal companions Mischief and Loki; one brother Levi Starks of Detroit, Michigan, two sisters: Avonne Johnson of Patterson, New Jersey; and Bonita Fyfe of Detroit Michigan; eight grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren, a host of nieces, nephews, and many adopted children and friends.