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Albert Warren Starkweather Sr.

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Albert Warren Starkweather, Sr.
Albert W. Starkweather, Sr., of Leonardsville, New York, died on August 9, 2013, three weeks before his 101st birthday. He was born August 30, 1912, in the "Paddy Hill" section of the Town of Hounsfield, Jefferson County, New York, to Frederic H. and Ina White Starkweather. He attended Hounsfield District 15 Paddy Hill School for the first seven grades and then went to Brownville-Glen Park School, graduating in 1931. Mr. Starkweather attended St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, graduating in 1935 with a BS in mathematics and physics. He financed his education by working in the summers at Brownville Paper Company, where his father was also employed. He earned a Master of Education degree from St. Lawrence in 1946. He received a summer fellowship from General Electric Company at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and between 1959 and 1961 attended summer sessions at the University of Wisconsin in Madison on a National Science Foundation fellowship to study advanced mathematics. He married Elizabeth Ida Parker, daughter of Earl and Bertha Parker of Brownville, New York, in the summer of 1937. She predeceased him in 1974. Mr. Starkweather taught mathematics and science at Brookfield Central School from 1937 through 1942 and mathematics at Brownville-Glen Park High School from 1942 through 1948. Following World War II, he also taught freshman mathematics and calculus at the St. Lawrence University Watertown Collegiate Center, which was established for veterans continuing their education. In 1948, he transitioned from a part-time job at Severance Photo in Watertown, New York, to chief photographer and sales representative. Mr. Starkweather returned to teaching at Alexandria Central School, Alexandria Bay, New York, in 1955 and continued there as mathematics teacher, publicity photographer and baseball pitching coach until his retirement in 1977. During this time, he also served on several New York State Department of Education committees on mathematics and taught evening courses for other teachers. In 1957-1958, he was an observer-photographer for the International Geophysical Year aurora study being conducted at Cornell University. In the summer of 1977, Mr. Starkweather married Ruth Ellsworth Plumley, widow of Robert J. Plumley of Leonardsville. He assisted in her business, Leonardsville Hardware Company, after their marriage. He also renewed his childhood interest in hunting and shooting. He accompanied several of Ruth's relatives on water-fowling trips to the Maryland Eastern Shore, Virginia, and North Carolina. He also began several years of registered skeet shooting at the Leonardsville Rod and Gun Club, Ilion Fish and Game Club, and the Burlington Flats and Richfield Springs sportsmen's clubs, shooting well into his 90s and attaining national rankings as a super-senior. Mr. Starkweather was also a longtime member of Leonardsville Volunteer Fire Company and served as its treasurer. He directed traffic at fire scenes into his late 80s. The Starkweathers traveled extensively, particularly after the sale of Leonardsville Hardware. They started married life with a cross-country road trip lasting several weeks. In retirement, they expanded their travel to cover the world, with multiple trips to all the continents. They traveled by air in everything from single-engine airplanes and larger jets to hot air balloons and helicopters, and on water in everything from native canoes and tour boats to the largest of passenger liners. One of their most interesting trips included a journey by elephant in Nepal to hunt tigers with a camera. They made other trips as a photographic team to capture polar bears, herds of animals in East Africa, and giant tortoises in the Galapagos. Photography was a major interest and influence on Mr. Starkweather's life. He began taking pictures as a young man and continued until shortly before his death, both professionally (shooting photos of accident scenes for insurance companies, celestial events during the International Geophysical Year, and weddings) and as a lifelong hobby. He participated in several photographic organizations, contributing photographs and articles to various periodicals. Never one to stand still, his photographic life began with a Kodak box camera and he ran the gamut of photographic equipment, from 8 x 10 view cameras to the most modern digital equipment - going all digital in 1999. In 2006, his coffee-table book, "The Chenango Valley Camera Club: A Pictorial History of the Club and Its Members", was published by the CVCC. Mr. Starkweather is survived by his wife, Ruth, two sons, Albert W. Starkweather, Jr., of Tampa, Florida, and John E. Starkweather, of Syracuse, New York, and two granddaughters, Lisa Starkweather, of Stetson, Maine, and Karin Starkweather Garcia, of Spring Hill, Florida. He is also survived by his wife's niece and nephews and their families. In addition to being predeceased by his parents, he was predeceased by his younger brother, Frederic H. Starkweather, Jr. Pursuant to Mr. Starkweather's wishes, there will be no calling hours. There will be a memorial service at the family's convenience at a time and date to be determined. Arrangements have been entrusted to Burgess & Tedesco Funeral Home, 210 E. Main St., Waterville, NY. www burgessandtedescofuneralhomes.com
Published in The Observer-Dispatch on Aug. 18, 2013
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