I was just informed today of the passing of my old pal Gordon.
He was an irascible character with a generous heart and a head filled with wild tales, many of them actually true. I enjoyed many happy hours at the violin shop when Gordon would stop in to show us a new fiddle he just found or bring us a CD or LP of some fine music that he felt compelled to share with us. His presence was so appreciated that we kept a coffee cup and and stool emblazoned with his name always at the ready. We didn't see much of Gordon after we moved away from his neighborhood and evidently not long after he suffered a debilitating stroke. His son Bill, a fine fellow evidently raised well, and who works down at South Austin Music, and he told me the news just today.
His stool is still here, waiting on him. He'll be sorely missed, (even if he played that annoying Irish music I just can't stand....)
Here's the formal obit:
Gordon Craig Starrett, SSGT, USAF, Ret, age 75, of Austin, passed away peacefully at home following a long illness and a courageous effort to overcome it. He touched many lives with his generosity, wonderful sense of humor, and his fine musicianship. He was loved and respected by all who knew him, including many members of the Austin music community. Gordon served in the Air Force during the Korean War and retired from the service in 1971, making his home in Austin. He partnered with James Ray to form Ray's Electronics Company. Gordon was preceded in death by his parents, his brother, and his beloved first wife of 30 years, Agatha Starrett. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of almost 18 years, Sharon Westbrook Starrett; his children, William V, Patricia and Margaret Starrett, and Kathrin Schaefer; his granddaughter, Katy Margaret Starrett; and sisters, Shirley Townsend and Sharon DeBoer.
Gordon was an accomplished musician, starting classical violin at the age of 4. He played with the Peter Meremblum California Jr. Symphony Orchestra. He played during his Air Force career in many countries, including with the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra. In Texas, he was a long-time member of the Texas Fiddlers' Music Association, and played and judged in many contests. Gordon taught many aspiring musicians, including Tara Turner and Heather Starcher. In later years, he became interested in Celtic music and is the founder of the Austin Celtic group, Ptarmigan. Graveside services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 8, 2008 at Assumption Cemetery. Donations, in lieu of flowers, may be sent to the American Diabetic Association. There will be graveside services for immediate family and close friends. A celebration of Gordon's life is planned for March 30, 2008, for all his friends and associates. Location will be announced at a later time.
Obituary and guestbook online at http://wcfish.com