Kenneth E. Starling

Birth Date: 
Friday, February 2, 1945
Date of Passing: 
Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Ken Starling.   

Dad. Papa. Friend. Teacher. Mentor. Painter. Volunteer. And so much more. 

Kenneth Eugene Starling was born February 2, 1945, in Shelby, Ohio, and died Wednesday August 26, 2020, in Wooster following a 20-month battle with pancreatic cancer. He was pre-deceased by his parents, Walter and Alice Jean Starling and by his older brother, Gary. His survivors include daughters Ellen Starling of Wooster and Beth Keck of Wadsworth; son-in-law Brad Keck and grandchildren Edie and Joseph Keck. Others very special and dear to Ken were Connie Simpson, his long-time companion, as well as a multitude of cousins, friends, and students. 

Ken went to Upper Sandusky High School, Bowling Green State University, and received a Master’s in Education from the College of Mt. St. Joseph. In 1968 he was hired to teach Art at Wooster’s Edgewood Junior High and continued there for 30 years. A former student remembers that he was always open-minded and encouraged his students in realizing all they could do. He permitted students to bring their favorite records to play during class. Ken also coached Edgewood football and basketball, and WHS girls’ track and field during that time. 

Teachers might have summers off – but not Ken. He and fellow teachers had a house painting business for many years. “I can’t tell you the number of times he painted our house over 46 years – and always brought his dogs along” reminisces one friend. After retiring, Ken continued house painting, Ken Starling Painting, often hiring young men and mentoring them in many ways. 

Ken enjoyed both watching and participating in sports. He loved his back yard and often had projects there, including but not limited to building very quirky bird houses. For many years a group of buddies gathered and traveled for “Fishing Club.”  Painting sets for Summer Stage was fun for Ken. “He’d mix 6 different colors together and come up with exactly the right shade which was needed.” His artistic talent brought scenes to life. 

First Presbyterian Church was a main-stay of Ken’s life. Serving on the Physical Facilities Team was his niche for years. He knew the building, and his sense of and talent for design and appearance was evident in many projects. Ken also became proficient in running the FPC dishwasher for the many dinners and receptions. His strong work ethic set a high standard in whatever he undertook. “Ask him to do something. He’d always say yes.” 

“Heaven just got a good man.” Those who knew him in any way would agree. Ken loved life and loved inspiring others to do the same. 

Because of the pandemic and in keeping with his wishes, there will be no calling hours or services at this time. His family hopes his friends will be able to gather at First Presbyterian Church, to laugh, to remember, to share stories – perhaps in the spring. 

McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster is assisting the family.

Memorials can be made to First Presbyterian Church, 621 College Avenue, Wooster, OH, 44691 or Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, 1900 Akron Road, Wooster OH, 44691. 

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com

 

Memorial Contributions: 

First Presbyterian Church, 621 College Avenue, Wooster, OH, 44691 or Ohio’s Hospice LifeCare, 1900 Akron Road, Wooster OH, 44691

Service: 

Because of the pandemic and in keeping with his wishes, there will be no calling hours or services at this time. His family hopes his friends will be able to gather at First Presbyterian Church, to laugh, to remember, to share stories – perhaps in the spring. 

Condolences

my sympathies to the family, sure will miss him,Aunt Betty

So sorry to hear of Ken‘s passing.
Sympathy to all of you.

Art was my most hated subject in school. I could never even draw stick figures to save my soul. But Mr. Starling changed all that for me in seventh grade. He saw potential in every student and gave encouragement even to those of us that would surely "starve" as artists in the real world. Art became something to appreciate no matter how lacking in talent the artist may have been. He made a positive difference in every student that went through his class. rest in peace, Mr. Starling. Your mark on this world will live on in your students.

Ken was a fellow parishioner at First Presbyterian Church. More than that, he was a good friend and a good man-someone who always stepped up when asked. I am honored to have known him as a colleague and friend.

When I was in 8th grade I was taller than Ken and he would have me get things on the upper shelf in art class he couldn’t reach. Later in life when I first got married I lived across the street from Ken. He taught and coached my kids. Truly a special man and friend. Sorry for his passing but thankful for his life.

Ken will be greatly missed in the neighborhood! Honored to know him. Prayers to all his family and friends

My first and favorite memories at Edgewood were in Mr. Starling’s homeroom. He made school fun and taught us the ropes. A very special man and educator. God bless him.

When I was at Edgewood Mr. Starling was my favorite teacher. I was not good with art & he was very patient & helped me learn to enjoy it. My condolences and prayers to his family & friends.

So sorry . for your lise . he was a great teacher

He was a great teacher

Mr Starling was a really good teacher. I didn’t have two ounces of visual art ability in my body but Mr Startling could see that I was trying and would give guidance. I truly liked the man. Nothing but the best of wishes to his family.

Mr.Starling was the best teacher at Edgewood Junior High! R.I.H! Sir!

He was a great teacher when I went to Edgewood! I remember Ken as a very positive, kind and solid person!
My deepest sympathy for your loss!

Always one of my favorite teachers in junior high! I will always remember him.

He was one of the "good guys". He walked the walk and set an example for all. He made art approachable and a personal experience. The world is richer for his presence.

Truly one of my favorite and most influential teachers. In 1969 we all thought he was so cool and hip......and he really was,

A good man one of my favorite teachers. I remember him letting us play records in his class of course those were the vinyl days. I remember getting ready to take one to Edgewood and mom didnt believe me that he would let us play it rest in peace Ken Starling your star shall never be forgot love Brian Smith

Condolences to all the people in Ken's life. Rest in peace, kind soul!

Ken will be missed and remembered by many! I am so glad to have memories of Ken....his wit, talent and giving nature. May his family and close friends find comfort in their memories.

Heaven has gained an angel! My condolences to his family.

As a kid, I can’t count the number of times I stayed over at the Starlings’. They always treated me like family! I will cherish these memories forever. My heart Especially goes out to Ellen, one of my dearest friends growing up, and her sister Beth for the loss of their father, but also to Mr. Starling’s family & friends! Yes he was my favorite art teacher too!

You will always be "Nuge" to me.
Always and Forever,
With Love,
Edith

Daddy,
Thanks for opening your heart and home to Dakota and I.
We Love you,
Bailey aka/Stinky
Dakota

Ellen and Beth,
Very sorry for your loss.
Derek Somogy

Beth, Ellen and Brad,

We are so sorry for your loss. Your family is in our thoughts and prayers. May Ken Rest In Peace.

Love,

Katie and Trevor

See you in a while Ken. In the meantime you will be missed!

I’m sorry to hear of “ Mr. Starling’s” passing of cancer. I knew him as an art teacher and was always a nice man.

Ken was a big help to me when my teaching schedule sent me to Edgewood Junior High. I enjoyed sharing the Art classrooms with him, and know that he will be fondly remembered by many.

You and Gary were wonderful cousins and great
Pals to the Young kids. We
Shared a lot of good times and great memories. Keeping the girls and Connie in our hearts and prayers. Til we meet again.

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Ken. He was a great friend and a great person.

We send our sympathy to Ellen and Beth and the entire family. We've known Ken for decades, both at Edgewood and as our painter. We will continue to have you in our thoughts and prayers.

I loved art before meeting Mr. Starling at Edgewood, but I knew I wasn't very good. He was so positive and creative, he made me feel like I could draw anything. He would take us outside, which I loved. He had us draw the new homes going up on Graustark Path. He always was so gracious. I will never forget him!

My sympathy to the entire family and the friends who will miss him. I was privileged to have taught at Edgewood when I met first Ken and enjoyed his painting of our home where his craftmanship, attention to detail, good humor and kindness were on display. His life touched so many in such positive ways. May he rest in peace.

Ken worked with my Dad at Edgewood for many years. He was also my art teacher. Art was probably my favorite class and Mr. Starling was without question one of my favorite teachers. I always thought the name “Ken Starling” was such a cool name. Like the stage name for a 1950’s era Las Vegas lounge act crooner. Rest easy, Mr. Starling.

I'm so sorry, Ellen, to learn of your beloved father's passing. Thank you for being his unwavering, devoted caregiver. You and your family are in my thoughts during this difficult time.

My sympathy to Ellen and Beth. Ken had all three of my children in school and was a wonderful neighbor. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

My sympathy to Ellen, Beth, Connie and the rest of the family. Ken was a great guy. I taught and coached with Ken in football and basketball at Edgewood...I always considered Ken a close friend. His sense of humor was quite contagious! I fondly remember working on home improvement projects together at our homes. Whether it was coaching, teaching, playing cards, bowling etc, we always had fun. I know that he loved his girls very much... and his dogs! Ken had one of the best laughs ever! I remember his laugh as clearly today as if it were yesterday!

I remember Ken as one of the more interesting characters I worked with at Edgewood and we had a bunch of them. They included, but not limited to, Chuck Pyle, Jim Nunley, Bob Sample, Mike Fouts, Chuck Williams, Tom Allen, John Mess and our fearless leader, Jack Sleek. I second Mikes comment about Kens laugh, when he did it in the teachers lounge at least three classrooms around joined in. Rest in peace my friend

So sorry for the family’s loss. I worked with Ken at Edgewood. I have so many memories coaching with Ken and many more away from school. I can still see him twisting his mustache!

I will toast you my friend.

My thoughts to Ken’s family. I worked and coached with Ken at Edgewood. I remember a lot of good times at the school but more good times away from school. One thing I remember about Ken was his twirling of his mustache!

Here’s to you Ken! Go Bowling Green!

My thoughts to Ken’s family. I worked and coached with Ken at Edgewood. I remember a lot of good times at the school but more good times away from school. One thing I remember about Ken was his twirling of his mustache!

Here’s to you Ken! Go Bowling Green!

My wife, Kelley Tilmon, and I moved in next door to Ken in 2015. He came over with a bottle of wine and a head full of knowledge about gardening, the neighborhood and the community. He was the best neighbor we ever had, and we've had plenty.

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