Starr died at home on December 4, 2008, from the effects of a stroke. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Honour Buell Edgerton; two daughters, Pamela and Mary, both of Brunswick, Maine; and a grandson, Daniel.
Starr was prepared to study at Harvard but attended Amherst after his family asked him to join the family firm, the Penfield Saw Works. In 1940, he became the treasurer and superintendent of the Saw Works in Bristol, Conn. While in this position, he learned many different skills, including machine design, manufacturing and metallurgy.
In 1956, he sold his interest in the Saw Works and joined Wm L. Barrett Co. where he was chief engineer for 10 years. Later jobs included a stint with the Accurate Brass Co., where he did estimating work. He was a lifelong member of the American Society for Metals and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers.
During his working life, Starr maintained an effective metal and machine shop where he turned out all kinds of work, often helping out friends and neighbors with mechanical problems.
Starr had a lifelong record of community service. Among his activities were steady church service and community involvement (United Way Family Service in Bristol and Thomaston, Conn., and Rotary). He was a Paul Haskins Fellow, a licensed ambulance EMT and a home designer and builder. He designed the molds for making the socks worn by the astronauts going to the moon. The range of products designed by him include metal flag poles, bird watering stands and furniture for nonprofits.
Starr had many and diverse personal interests—tennis, fishing, railroading and travel. He and Honour enjoyed trips to Africa, Germany, France, Switzerland and Scandinavia. Toward the end of his life, he studied ethics and wrote an essay on “Greed.” This summarized a life of concern for society and fairness for all its inhabitants.
—Henry W. Seeley ’39