OBITUARIO

Polly STARR

22 octubre , 19291 abril , 2021

Polly Starr, 91, of Winter Park, Florida, passed away on April 1, 2021. Born in New Haven Connecticut, she lived in Minneapolis and Manhattan and moved to Central Florida in 1995.

Polly earned a Bachelor's degree from Antioch College and a Master's degree from Hunter College. Polly, an artist and a poet, worked at Rollins College in the Executive Education Department from 1995 to 2000.

She is survived by her loving husband, Martin; sons, Christopher and Loren (Gail); grandson, Michael; and sister Betty. She is terribly missed and always in our hearts.

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Recuerdos

Polly STARR

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Gail Starr

11 mayo , 2021

A lovely poem to celebrate Polly by the incomparable, Victor Hugo, my favorite author.

En 1816, quand Victor Hugo avait seulement 14 ans, il écrit À maman, de beaux vers dédiés à l’amour qu’il ressentait pour sa mère :

« Mon coeur me dit que c’est ta fête
Je crois toujours mon coeur quand il parle de toi
Maman, que faut-il donc que ce coeur te souhaite?
Des trésors? Des honneurs ? Des trônes ? Non, ma foi !
Mais un bonheur égal au mien quand je te vois. »

Gail Starr

11 mayo , 2021

A lovely holiday memory from 2012!

Martin Starr

26 abril , 2021

This is my third entry. It describes how Polly wanted to travel to understand how the various cultures of the world differ. She fundamentally believed that people were no more different within a culture than between different cultures. So, soon after Polly graduated from Antioch she went to live with a Swiss family in Zug. That was in 1950. We were married April 3, 1955, and by 1956 we were again in Europe staying for 3 months in a whitewashed rental 10 miles East of Palma de Mallorca. Our landlords would whisper things to us about being controlled by the dictator Franco who was very much alive. We loved Plitvice in Croatia (then, part of Yugoslavia) and Troy in Turkey. We decided to return home when we were in Genoa because, as Polly stated unequivocally, “I want to have a baby.”
A family just did not happen immediately. Meanwhile, Polly decided to become an entrepreneur. She developed a very successful venture starting in 1956. It was called International Horizons and it was located on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village. Polly sought out and purchased, in wholesale quantities, a great variety of artistic items and clothing from all over the world. Customers loved her merchandise and the prices were right. By 1958, Polly was making as much money as I was as a management consultant. Money was not her objective.
Three years later when we landed in Havana on our initial trip to Buenos Aires. Castro’s troops removed us from our de Havilland Comet 4 (the first jet planes) while deciding what to do with us. Polly was unperturbed. This was her constant way of meeting adversity; quite unlike me. As she predicted, they let us continue on our way. We lived in Amenabar, behind high walls, outside of Buenos Aires. For ten months Polly ran our household as though we were living in New York City. But then, she had to fly home to the U.S.A. because Pan Am would not transport a pregnant lady after her eighth month.

Martin Starr

26 abril , 2021

One of Polly’s most important life’s goals was now beginning. She wanted to be a mother first and foremost As usual Polly achieved what she wanted. I became a professor at Columbia to assure that we would have a stable home base.
At this point, let me tie in a bit of history that explains why it was wonderful to live with Polly. She poured sunlight into the darkest corners. Things were getting tense around Columbia University in the late 1960’s. In large part, the Vietnam War had penetrated university life. It was unpleasant to go on (what had been a delightful college) campus. I had taken a half sabbatical and thereby agreed to give a talk for Robert’s College in Istanbul. (It was still a college then.) Polly suggested going to the Far East ending up in Turkey. That seed germinated and soon we were talking about taking Chris (8) and Loren (7) out of Bank Street (then in Greenwich Village) for an entire term to take a trip around the world (literally).
Where, when, and how occupied many hours of discussion. Polly checked off pros and cons repeatedly adding and subtracting new thoughts until it was clear that the unconventional approach of extensive travelling had over-powered the conventional approach of staying put. So, in 1968 the Starr Family began our round-the-world trip always flying from East to West, spending months in Kauai and Australia, weeks in Kyoto and New Caledonia, and ultimately sailing on the Michelangelo from Naples to New York. Polly scrubbed, cleaned, and rearranged our double A-frame home in Hanalei after Reverend Hardenberg and his daughter Penny gave us the keys to our 4 month stay in Hawaiian heaven with daily visits to beautiful Haena beach.

Martin Starr

26 abril , 2021

Before the “empty nest” syndrome could occur, Polly decided in 1975 to study for her Master’s degree at Hunter College as a career guidance counselor. After receiving her degree, she worked at Baruch College of the City University of New York and then John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She loved helping students select their best professional paths which often required their switching from “pre-set” unfulfilling choices to more challenging, higher personal reward opportunities. Twenty years later, Polly was still receiving calls and letters of appreciation from students whom she had guided to make beneficial life changes. Friends and family trusted Polly’s advice because she only gave it when the facts supported her intuition. She truly possessed second sight. I miss that sixth sense more than I can say.

Charles Bracco

26 abril , 2021

I am writing this on behalf of The Bracco Family...

After learning of Polly’s passing and speaking with Martin, we wanted to share a little bit about how we got to know the Starr’s. Our parents, Frank and Sherril, started a local plumbing company back in 1975. In looking at our records, the Starr’s have been clients of ours since 2002. Martin referenced that Polly would write insights about company owners that they were interested in featuring. Fortunately for us, we ended up being one of them. What started out as a series of interviews in April 2007, grew into a friendship between our families that has unfortunately been impacted by the loss of Polly and before that our dad.

The Starr’s and the love they shared was so touching and heartfelt that it was always a joy and pleasure to be around them. It is rare to find two individuals who are so kind, worldly, understanding, compassionate and still in love after so many years. The mutual respect they shared for one another and those they interacted with always left us aspiring to have a relationship like theirs…that endured the test of time. We are grateful, honored and privileged to have spent time with them both. They are truly special people. Salt of the earth, authentic, amazing. We will miss Polly dearly -- her warmth and bright spirit -- and look forward to seeing Martin and possibly some of the other family at our favorite lunch spot where we frequented often with them. Each time we left lunch saying how lovely they are and how much love you could see between the two of them. We miss you Polly…may you Rest in Peace.

Loren Starr

26 abril , 2021

Photograph of Polly (left) and her sister Betty (right). Barefoot and holding freshly caught flounder, Polly was 14 and Betty was 13. Circa October 1943.

Loren Starr

26 abril , 2021

Picture of the house where Polly lived while going to high school, on Beard St. in Minneapolis, MN

Martin Starr

14 abril , 2021

The hurricane of September 21, 1938 (no storm names were used then) impacted Polly’s life in ways that reverberated many years later and likely forever. Polly who was going on age nine in a month (see the pictures below from Gretchen, Polly's niece) and Betty were taken by Grandmother Marnia to lunch in Ocean Beach from their Fire Island Pines home. As they walked to the general store and dock area near their lunch date, the waters started rising rapidly. They went instead onto the ferry boat (to Bay Shore) which stayed tied up as the only safe haven that entire day and night while homes and debris floated past them. Polly did not doubt it; this lunch date saved their lives. From then on, Polly believed that accidents might appear to be strictly chance events but might have been avoided if you only knew how to see the true picture. We counted on each other for such insight.

It was September 27, 1985 when I was headed up to Columbia to teach my morning class and I saw that the waters of the East River were over their banks snarling traffic. I drove off the East River Drive and went to a telephone booth (there were no cell phones and still were telephone booths). I told Polly to get out of our house on Peconic Bay Inlet immediately. She told me the water was rising and she would evacuate. She saved her own life. All phones were down. It took me hours to locate my love, safe and secure.

Loren Starr

13 abril , 2021

More photos

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