Tom Starr, 94, of Maplewood, passed into eternity at the VA Medical Center in Minneapolis on Monday, October 25, 2021.
Tom was born July 6, 1927, in Council Bluffs, Iowa, to Floyd & Fern Starr, the fifth of seven children. Tom grew up in the St. Paul area, a 1945 graduate of Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis, and a proud member of the Minnehaha Singers & the King’s Messengers Gospel Quartet. He attended Wheaton College and Bethel before earning a BS in Education at the University of Minnesota. To that he later added an MA degree from UW-River Falls.
Tom married Ardyce Maurine Carlson on March 27, 1951 and left 3 days later for a year-long US Army deployment along the West German/Czechoslovakian border. Tom had a commitment to education and has always connected well with young people. He taught English, History and Reading, and he served as a counselor in the Roseville and St. Paul school districts, as well as the Department of Defense Schools when he returned to Europe with his family in the 1960’s to plant Young Life in Germany.
Young Life meant a lot to Tom. He started the first club in Minnesota and spent many years leading College Club and training leaders. In 1975 he and Ardy returned to Germany once again, to work with the US Chaplains’ Corps as a director of Young Life’s ministry to American High School students. Tom’s faith & desire to serve Christ was evident throughout his life.
In his later years, Tom & Ardy lived in California, managing the Chimney Sweep Inn in Solvang, CA, and in Tucson, AZ where he worked as a Chemical Dependency Counselor with Casa De Vida. In 2010, they returned to Minnesota. Everywhere they lived, Tom was actively involved with his church, teaching classes and serving wherever needed.
Tom loved books, trains, travel, puzzles, music, humor, history, and black licorice. Among his family and their penchant for nicknames, he was known as “Constant Comment”. As someone described it, teasing was his love language. Tom loved to talk, but also to listen and there are many who’ll tell you of long and thoughtful conversations - as well as all the banter. Tom deeply loved his family and is dearly missed by them. Tom & Ardy had 3 children and celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary this year.
Tom is the last of his generation. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Fern “Sis”, Ed, Jack, Bill, Chuck, and Chet; as well as a son, Rob; a daughter, Jean; and son-in-law, Andy. Tom is survived by his wife, Ardy; his son, Jack (Cheryl); grandchildren, Leah (Kieran) Adcock-Starr, Henry (Shannon) Golden-Starr, Arden Pifer, Starr Brainerd, Celesta Brainerd, and Kay (Jay Ross) Rossbach; and a whole slew of nieces & nephews, all of whom he insisted, call him their favorite uncle.
**UPDATED as of Friday, November 12th**
The Memorial Service for Tom has been postponed and will be held at a later date.
Private Interment at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. Memorials to Young Life or First Evangelical Free Church are appreciated.
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