Starling Gray Pullum
July 20, 1943 – November 27, 2019
Starling Gray Goodyear Pullum passed away peacefully on November 27, 2019. She was born on July 20, 1943, in Denver, Colorado, the first child of William Stacy Goodyear, Sr., and Esther Mooney Goodyear.
Starling earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology from the University of Colorado, then a Master’s degree in Sociology from the University of Chicago, where she completed all requirements toward a Ph.D., other than the dissertation. For two years as a graduate student, she was a research assistant at the National Opinion Research Center, working intensively on the early development of SPSS, a software package for statistical analysis.
At Chicago she met and married a fellow graduate student, Thomas Pullum. They were together from 1965 to 1989. They had two children: Jessie, who died in 1995, and Sara Pullum-Pinon, who now resides in Forest Grove, Oregon, with her husband, Enrique Pinon. Their children, Starling's five beloved grandchildren, are Thomas, James, Anne, Henry, and Catherine. Starling’s brothers William, Jr. and Paul predeceased her.
Her surviving siblings are Melody and Brian. From the 1980s until her retirement, Starling worked in data processing and as a systems analyst at the Population Research Center of the University of Texas at Austin. She collaborated with faculty and co-authored several academic publications. She was known as one of the leading experts on campus in SAS, another software package for statistical analysis. Prior to that, she worked with the World Fertility Survey in London and Battelle Memorial Institute in Seattle. For many years, Starling was devoted to her hobby of weaving, spending long hours creating textiles. The elements of design, attention to detail, and accuracy were common to both her work life and leisure time.. She also enjoyed reading, sewing, knitting, cooking, and gardening. She made many heirloom gifts for her cherished grandchildren.
She remained close to her former mother-in-law, Ruth Pullum, who survives her; sister-in-law, Margaret (Peggy) Pullum, who does not; and Peggy's daughter, Willow Hemphill. The family is grateful for the support given by Marie Laing, who was Starling’s closest friend in her final years. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Hospice Austin or to the Alzheimer’s Association.