John T. Starr

Nov 29, 2018
John Starr

Brunswick — John T. Starr passed away, surrounded by his loving family, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018, from complications of congestive heart failure. He was born in Baltimore Aug. 4, 1939, to John T. Starr Sr. and Ruth Elizabeth Starr (née Feustle).

John and his wife, Susan, moved to Maine in 1996 following John’s 30-year career at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, in Catonsville, Md. John completed his undergraduate work, earning a bachelor's degree in social science at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore in 1961, where he also earned a master’s in teaching the following year. He completed his dissertation and was awarded a Ph.D. in geography by the University of Chicago in 1972.

In 1967, John was among the first faculty hired by UMBC to build what was then Maryland’s newest campus. Beginning as an Instructor of geography in the Social Sciences Department, John’s career grew with UMBC. He established the Department of Geography and became its first chairman.

John remained with the university until “retiring” in order to follow a dream and move to Maine, where he had so often vacationed. He and Susan bought Bayview Gallery (with locations at that time in Camden and Portland), and John began a new chapter in his life. Still in his 50s and always eager for new challenges, John became the driving force behind transitioning Bayview Gallery from its focuson  custom framing and prints to the fine art gallery it is today. Over the ensuing years, the gallery moved from Portland to Brunswick, where it consolidated operations to one location on Maine Street in 2013.

John didn’t have hobbies, per se, but he was passionate about the Maine woods. He enjoyed hiking -- he summited Katahdin four times. Even while living in Maryland, John headed to Maine nearly every summer, camping at Moosehead Lake, Cobscook Bay and Mount Desert Island. John was always on the prowl for moose and other wildlife. Sighting a moose, bear or even a heron filled him with childlike joy.

John was predeceased by his parents and his sister, Diana Starr Ranieri. He is survived by his wife, Susan Robertson-Starr; his sons, John, and his husband, Craig Fowler, of Seattle, Stephen, his wife, Candice Chen, and their son, Alvin, of Shanghai and Sarasota, Fla.; his daughter, Christina and her partner, Michael Sirois, of Portland; his two grandchildren, Bryce and Lyndsey Starr, of Florida; his younger sister, Pamela Starr May, and her husband, Thomas May, of Annapolis, Md.; his brother-in-law, Rudolph Ranieri, of Catonsville, Md.; his nephews, Ian, Timothy and Patrick May, Charles Heist; and his nieces, Maria Watters and Samantha Heist.

Friends are invited to visit with John’s family from 2 to 5 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 2, at Brackett’s Funeral Home, 29 Federal St., Brunswick. A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated in Maryland at a later date. Those who wish may leave a note of condolence or share a memory at

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