Jay B. Starker
Starker, Jay B.
Oct. 7, 1932 - Jul. 26, 2012
Jay Starker was born in Brooklyn, NY in Oct. of 1932. He was part of the Bohemian group in New York's Greenwich Village in the 1950's. He continued his work in the arts as a ceramist, leather grinder, silver and goldsmith, musician and painter. He opened a shop in Sarasota in 1960. "In every work the seeds of new thought are brought to bloom. To the extent that whatever comes forth is appealing to one's senses, it becomes a welcome addition to our life inventory of pleasantries. The human race is continuing its ancient bent, and once again the art of this time represents what has successfully transpired plus the added magic of the "great manipulator." I hope to be a part of this process in some small way that jubilance may be brought to one's life."

Published by Herald Tribune from Jul. 31 to Aug. 1, 2012.
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36 Entries
In Loving memory of my beloved friend Jay, In every way I miss you. What an amazing person you were in my life. Always willing to encourage me to find that music within me, even though I marched on a different drum. Jay was extraordinary and my life will never be the same. I remember the music you´d play about the world dancing together, what a beautiful song and thought it would be. I thank the Lord of majesty for putting you in my path. There´s so much to say and I´m saddened that you are no longer here with us. Ringling will not be the same without you. You left behind your Mark your legacy. So now you live on through all you´ve done. All those you helped and led the way. You are greatly missed and loved. Till we meet again in the heavenly realm of God Wills. My condolences to your family. Love you endlessly, Niyra Fatima Pulinario
Niyra Pulinario
September 2, 2021
Mike Levine,
Michael Levine
July 12, 2013
i first met jay when we were both about 16 years old, in brooklyn. my first experience with him was going down to the basement of his parents' home and seeing a simply enormous mural he had painted on the wall.it swirled with colors and shapes; from that time and for about two or three years we hung around together. from all the comments i have read in the guest book, jay was just like those when he was sixteen. i have never forgotten the night he and i and his cello took a subway ride to rockefeller center and, about midnight he sat down to play his cello for every one who might pass by.i guess that takes us back to about 1948. may he rest in peace.he was always an original human being, then and now.
February 9, 2013

in memory of our amazing friend, Jay B. Starker
Sunday, December 2, 2012 4-6pm
Southgate Community Center
3145 South Gate Circle, Sarasota, Florida 34239

Please wear something that reminds you of Jay or something Jay may have made for you, such as jewelry, leather sandals, belt, etc.

If you would like to perform at the tribute, (as was the tradition in the Gathering of the Exiles) please contact Tahja. [email protected]
Non performers can contribute by bringing a dish to share (we'll have tables for memorabilia and food).

Jessika Arman, fka Jessika Stein, Jay's cousin, will be setting up an arts/music scholarship for needy children in Jay B. Starker's name as part of his legacy.
If you wish to contribute to this, please contact Jessika directly at [email protected]

Please help us to spread the word. Thank you!

International Productions by Tahja

The link to Jay's legacy book that gives a feel for what Jay meant to the community:

Article by Marty Fugate:

November 19, 2012
Please add all further messages to the blog here: http://jbstarker.info/blog/2012/remembering-jay-starker-sarasota-provincetown-new-york/
India Starker
August 29, 2012
My heart goes out to the Starker family. Although I did not know J.B. Starker well, he was certainly a part of my life in the 1970s & '80s. Who didn't own a pair of custom sandals back then? And the Palm Avenue Theater when he owned it was so much fun to go to. My 21-year-old daughter has a necklace he made . . . the list goes on and on. His talent will live with us forever. Bless you all.
Nelle Jurgeleit-Greene
August 26, 2012
So sorry to learn of Jay Starker's passing. His shops and work were part of a Sarasota Era.
George Bishopric
August 25, 2012
Grew up in Sarasota, so knew Jay as a boy when he was a young man. He helped liberate my mind. One night in particular we were at a party and we were improvising on our instruments and Jay went into this beat rap/poetry that just blew us all away. I think he was wearing a robe. I'll remember him always.
August 25, 2012
met Jay multitalented artistick kind humorous soul in 1964 became lifelong friends. Attended the ballet he wrote many years ago, more recently the opera he wrote and performed locally.
a visit to his shop was always a joyous thought provoting mental stimulating ocassion song and music included.
My one of a kind jewlry is even more special to me now. I will miss Jay but remember him forever. Namaste. Sorina.
Sorina Jansen
August 19, 2012
Ein Staendchen fuer Dich J. Berri Starkermann- Mein Lebensfreund, Musikant und Deutschverderber. In Dankbarkeit fuer alle schoenen Studen, die unser Leben Froehlicher und sinnvoller gemacht haben.

Was immer wir zusammen musiziert und gesungen haben haengt irgendwo im Universum, fuer ewig vertont.

Vom Alten Kameraden zum Lusitgen Zigeunerleben-Die Lorelei und Lili Marlen-von Alle Vogel sind schon da bis zu Schwarzbraun ist die Haselnuss und Sah ein Knab'ein Roeslein stehn (Erika's Lieblingslied). Dein alter Steinway wurde lebendig unter Deinen feinfuehligen Haenden.

Niemand verstand und fuehlte den Inhalt dieser alten deutschen Volkslieder besser als Du. Ich weiss, dass Dir von allen Weisen das "Annchen von Tharau" am tiefsten im Herzen lag und somit singe ich Dir zum Abschied die dritte Strophe:

"So wie ein Palmenbaum ueber sich steigt, hat ihn erst Regen und Sturmwind gebeugt, So wird die Liebe in uns maechtig und gross nach manchem Leiden und traurigem Los. Annchen von Tharau, mein Reichtum, mein Gut, du meine Seele, mein Fleisch und mein Blut."

Auf Wiedersehen mein Berri. Dein Utchen von Stein.
Ute Stein
August 18, 2012
I have such clear memories of Jay - as a small child wandering around his shop on Main Street to him making my engagement ring in 2008. Always with funny stories, passion about his work and, of course, plenty of sandals! God bless Jay Starker, he touched so many with his art and talents.
Randall Auvil Goblirsch
August 9, 2012
Jay was a lovely man, a talented jeweler, a gifted photographer, a cultured, kind, open-hearted, patient, wise man and, in his fashion, a learned philosopher. All who met him immediately warmed to him. He was a good guy. Rest In Peace, Jay.
Condolences to India, Chaya and Franz.
August 8, 2012
Jay, we were very, very privileged to have had a friend like you. We will always remember the afternoon we spent at your shop playing old Cuban songs. We will miss you, but we will have you in our hearts.

--Phil and Libet Stanhope
Phil Stanhope
August 6, 2012
Jay has taught me how to laugh, learn, love, and play more than anyone I have ever met. I will carry him in my heart forever, for he IS my forever friend.

Karen Zurich, Santa Rosa, California
August 5, 2012
A great pacifist my father. Dream number one was that the peoples of the world join hands and walk across the borders. It was way before the euro zone but when travelling from France to Italy or Belgium and passing by the abandoned buildings where there was once border control I think of his dream.

Read the rest:: http://jbstarker.info/blog/2012/remembering-jay-starker-sarasota-provincetown-new-york/
India Starker
August 4, 2012
A great pacifist my father. Dream number one was that the peoples of the world join hands and walk across the borders. It was way before the euro zone but when travelling from France to Italy or Belgium and passing by the abandoned buildings where there was once border control I think of his dream. (Read the rest: http://jbstarker.info/blog/2012/remembering-jay-starker-sarasota-provincetown-new-york/ )
India Starker
August 4, 2012
Jay Starker had so many friends from so many walks of life, I am sure others, like myself, think a memorial service to be a fitting, and needed, tribute to an unusual man and life. Please notify community at large when one is arranged — at Selby Gardens? Arlington Park? Other? I shall miss our wide-ranging chats while sitting on park benches.
D.A. Tyler
August 2, 2012
Visitng JB Starker's leather shop in the 60's was a magical place and time for me as a young girl. He made my first pair of sandals which I designed and he told me I had a "head like his apprentice, complicated." I loved the smells of fresh cut hides, oils, stains and pathchouli, and too the long hair and beards that looked like woodland moss.Their store validated my artistic bent and I will never forget all through my "Hippie" days how my sandals and that purse with the deer bone on it carried me through the famous times of "God is alive and magic is afoot." Thank you JB and the Starker family for giving some Sarasotans a path of difference added to the then feeling of counter culture.
Ann Wood Fuller
August 2, 2012
Jay was such a special person. We have known him for years and will miss him. The world was a better place because of Jay and his talent. We shared many deep conversations as well as good laughs. He created special jewelry pieces for our family which we will treasure as well as his memory. Barb and Paul Gerhardt
Paul and Barb Gerhardt
August 2, 2012
Jay I will miss you and our trips to the store on Thursdays............Love you buddy............I met you in 1961 when you made my first pair of sandals......love to talk with you ,I always learned something
Sharia Jackson
August 1, 2012
I knew Jay for a very long time and had always enjoyed his views of life and his love for classical music and the arts. He was one of a kind and that is what we need, more people like my friend Jay.
Chuck Rawls
August 1, 2012
Jay proudly wore his name and I am pleased to have had him as a relative.
Janos Starker
August 1, 2012
What an incredibly artistic soul Jay was. Just a few years ago I attended the opera he wrote and had performed locally. I remember his shop on Main Street, the lovely jewelry he created and of course the sandals. And I remeber him playing his keyboard at many parties, including at my house. More than that, I will remeber Jay as the most accepting and open person, never having a bad word to say and always keeping a good attitude, even with his failing health. My condolences go out to his immediate family and extended family of friends. He was definitely a special person, influencing the history of our area.
Katie Gerhardt
August 1, 2012
Jay was my special friend. I first met him when he made me leather sandals. My Mother did not approve and Jay said that if they were good enough for Jesus, they are good enough for your daugher. Jay made our wedding rings 35 years ago and has been a dear friend ever since. A visit to his shop was always an occasion! I will certainly miss him...Selina Auvil
August 1, 2012
Papa J was a man who imprinted your heart and soul with his love of the arts, his vast amount of knowledge, his willingness to share and enlighten, and his spirit for life. I will miss him dearly as will many but his memory will live on through the stories we share, the laughs we have, and the love we give each other. I feel truly blessed to have had you in my life and to call your daughter my best friend!
Lee Penna
August 1, 2012
Jay made our wedding rings just over 41 years ago. His shop was on St.Armands Key at that time. We (and our friends) have purchased many of his items over the years including his leather sandles. His talents and tales will be missed.
July 31, 2012
As he did for many, Jay made our wedding rings 15 years ago. He was a good friend to my mother and always had a story to tell when I'd come in the shop and visit. His message of love and peace, enjoyment of artistic expression, and his vibrant wit will be a loss to all who had the pleasure of spending time with him.

Peace to his family, so glad to have known you Jay.

Sabine Steinberg Bertolett
July 31, 2012
Daddy Jay will always be a part of who we are.... He was a pure soul with beauty, and acceptance for each one of us and always saw the good in each person and their special worth on this earth... I will love him forever and ever.
Chaya Starker
July 31, 2012
Jay B. was a wonderfully funny and kind man who was a "welcomed addition to my life's inventory of pleasantries." He soared away from this planet on the wings of a thousand smiles and the spirit of his three extraordinary children. Happy trails, Daddy Jay!
David Butler
July 31, 2012
Jay and Teddy and the rest of his family played a big role in my teens! Loved my dye-colored hands from the sandal making and loved hanging around the store. He was one of a kind and will be missed1
Carol LaRose
July 31, 2012
Jay and his store played an intrigal role in my famly's life and in Sarasoa's history. May he party on with the many great talents that have proceeded him in death.
Lisa Kates
July 31, 2012
My Uncle Jay was a true Rennaisance Man, a Master of many disciplines, jewler, leather worker, photographer, artist, poet, composer, and musician. He played over 30 instruments. They doen't make people like him anymore. He was one in a few million. Jay was joy. He loved people and accepted all no matter where they came from or their social status. He was interested in everyone's story no matter how grand or small. His life has impacted me, all he met and the city of Sarasota which he loved and that loved him back. God Bless you Uncle Jay, I promise I will live the rest of my life trying to be a better person in the memory of the many examples you set. Love you with all my heart and soul, Pizi.
Jessika Arman
July 31, 2012
I have known Jay and the Starker family off & on since the late 60s. Jay was one of a kind. An artist and thinker. My prayers for the family.
George 'Chrome' Buchanan
July 31, 2012
Dear Jay , Zebo and Family,
Memories of the aroma of the shop on St. Armands elicits a beautiful scene . Young kids longing for a connection and touch of cool in Jay's presence.
We understudied well and were thankful to be able to walk many a mile in your sandals.
Thank you , Jay

Love, Nise
Denise Martin
July 31, 2012
Jay was an unique character, a wise and intellectual Sage of his time... May he rest in Peace. God Bless, Jay B.
Arnold Powers
July 31, 2012
Jay was a very unique and creative person that I feel honored to call friend and Father in Law. As an artist that delved into a vast array of mediums, he touched many with his extensive body of work and production. He will be missed.
Michael Kniseley
July 31, 2012
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