Warren Howard Starling, Sr.

Born October 2, 1931 in Jacksonville, Florida
Departed June 23, 2024 in Palm Bay, Florida

Our father, grandfather, and great-grandfather, Warren Howard Starling, Sr., quietly slipped away, and into the awaiting arms of his one and only love, our mother, during the early morning hours of June 23rd, 2024, with his children by his side. He leaves behind a great, and growing legacy…his family. He loved his well-lived life for nearly ninety-three years.

A devoted husband to his wife, and sweetheart, Kitty, for almost seventy-two years…and beyond. They met as teenagers, in 1948, and later married in July of 1950, prior to his enlistment into the Air Force during the Korean War. They have been temporarily parted for the last two years, but are now reunited in peace and serenity, forever more. They enjoyed traveling, boating, family, and were most definitely food connoisseurs. Mom was an excellent cook, from good ole Southern cooking to authentic Chinese cuisine, and Dad loved it all! Despite our absolute best efforts to duplicate Mom’s cooking for him, no one could prepare his favorites like his sweetheart could.

A loving father, grandfather, and great-grandfather to their wild and crazy family. He was a father of four to Howard, Sandra, Susan, and Stacy. He became “Poppy” for the first time in 1983, winding up with a total of twelve grandchildren when all was said and done. He loved them all wholeheartedly, and though each is unique in their own right, he treated them all with even, loving care and discipline, with an occasional tweak if one were to get out-of-hand in his presence. He loved his babies and enjoyed each new addition as his grandchildren blessed him with nineteen great-grandchildren! He was immensely proud of his family and the promise his growing legacy of artists, educators, scientists, and more have had and will have as contributing members of society.

A lover of babies! He loved them all before they were even born. He anxiously awaited their births and couldn’t wait to get his hands on them…from their teeny toes to their sleeping eyelashes…he was always ready to tickle and cuddle them. Recently, one of the things he said he thought he would miss the most was simply being able to watch his great-grandbabies grow up and knowing what they would become. We believe he and our mother will be right there with each and every one of them as they traverse life…no doubt with some gentle nudging along the way.

A toe-cracker! When we were kids, one of his favorite pastimes was to wrestle us to the ground and tug on our toes till they popped. The more we wiggled and squealed, the deeper his laugh would get, until it was almost silent, and tears were rolling down his cheeks from laughing so hard at the ridiculousness of it all. This transitioned ever so slightly with grandchildren, as he also added nail clipping, when needed, to the routine, much to their dismay. LOL!

A quietly reserved, regally unassuming, and incredibly brilliant man. He had a sense of humor that was mostly hidden; until provoked. Once he got going on a story, his laughter was extremely contagious and it was hard to decide if it was the story that was so funny or him trying to get through it, as he laughed so hard there was no longer sound, leaving us only with facial expressions and tears flowing down his cheeks as he gasped for air. While his sense of humor brought us all immense pleasure, it was his sharp mind that made us so proud. He was a man of prodigious intelligence, which served him well in his life and career as an electrical engineer and also made him the best handyman at home and a go-to resource for all of the family. There was almost nothing he couldn’t “fix himself” or a problem he couldn’t solve.

A lover of the outdoors, but most especially the water…fishing, boating, skiing, shrimping, crabbing, and simply just watching it. He knew the Banana and Indian Rivers like the back of his hand. We would shrimp and crab, late into the night, when they were running, and then fish by day. Also, he and JB, our grandfather, would occasionally go oystering along the shoreline. He and Mom built their forever home on the shores of Lake Tohopekaliga in Kissimmee and spent many hours passing their time sitting on the bear bench in the backyard, watching the wildlife and enjoying the sunsets. Dad spent many hours on Lake Toho fishing and just tooling around. He and Mom loved to take the grandkids on cruises up and down Shingle Creek to picnic, watch the wildlife, and free tangled fishing lures from the overhanging tree branches. A two-fold hobby that included saving the birds, and other critters, from getting tangled up in the lines and starting a vast collection of rescued lures, that he proudly mounted on slabs of old cypress trees and hung on their back porch for over twenty years…each lure with its own story to tell.

A veteran of the Korean War. After the war, he went to the University of Florida and graduated at the top of his class with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He had a long, distinguished career in his field and was the president of several electronics companies before his retirement. As the Space Race was in its infancy, he worked alongside NASA and designed the radar system utilized in the first Apollo capsules. He also held several contracts with the Department of Defense during the Cold War.

A world traveler. The majority of his travels revolved around work, overseeing installations of radar stations in places like Hawaii and Peru. He crisscrossed the US spending time in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and many others. He and Mom traveled to Europe many times, having amazing adventures and seeing awe-inspiring sights…Italy, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, and more. Germany tended to be their most frequent location, as they had a family friend who lived in Bavaria, and they were able to experience the area as the locals do.

Honestly, so very much more…

We will miss your hugs, your laughter, your grumbling over silly things, and the rolling of your eyes when you found out we spent our money on frivolous things, but most of all, we will miss YOU! Your smile, the sound of your laughter, most especially when it’s so intense, all we can do is see it; the gentle patting of your immense hand on our backs or knees, and hearing you say, “I love you!”!

You were an INCREDIBLE human being!

You were BELOVED by all those you met!

You were the BEST patriarch to the Starling Clan!

You will always be DEEPLY loved!

You will NEVER be forgotten!

Sweetheart, Dad, Pop, Poppy, GPop, Big Poppy…so many monikers, yet all representing the same loving heart. THANK YOU for your love, patience, resilience, laughter, and passion for life and your family. You, now and forever, will be profoundly missed.

A private Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, August 10th at his youngest daughter’s home in Merritt Island, FL with immediate and extended family in attendance. In lieu of flowers, and honoring his forever sweetheart, our mother, the family requests that donations be made to:

Kathleen “Kitty” Starling Cure Alzheimers Fund

Guestbook Entry

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9 entries.
Tracey Armstrong from Satellite Beach wrote on July 14, 2024:
Your dad sounds like he was an amazing man and the best father, grandfather, husband, brother, friend!!! Prayers for the whole family!
Shirley Taylor from Caldwell wrote on July 13, 2024:
I met Warren in the eighth in junior high. He was always a great friend. It is so nice to have been Reunited with him the last few months. It was so nice to meet his beautiful kitty. Nice to share his sweet memories of his wonderful life with his family and share my memories of my sweet heart and my family. Our lives have been truly Blessed since that graduation day.. I married my high. School sweetheart and so did Warren. Thanks for sharing memories with me. God bless and comfort your family. A very dear friend, Shirley Taylor
Stacy Starling Thompson from Merritt Island wrote on July 12, 2024:
I am sending all of my love to Heaven. To the best man who ever lived and the first man I ever loved. When I was growing up, I thought you hung the moon and to me, you really did. I always looked up to you, was so very proud of you and so grateful for all of the life lessons that you and Mom taught me. There’s nothing I wouldn’t give to have you back for one more conversation, one more giant hug, and one more beautiful smile. The void that I feel without you here is immeasurable, but I know that you will always be with me and that you are with your sweetheart, and that is where you want to be. The promise is that we will be together again and until that day, I will love you from afar and think of you often and miss you terribly. I truly love you more than words can say. Thank you so much for being the best father a girl could ever ask for and the best Poppy and Big Poppy…we were and are so blessed to call you ours. I love you, Dad…forever and always. ❤️
Kathy Starling from Cedar Hill wrote on July 12, 2024:
…until we meet again Poppy…🤩😘💖☦️
Jami S. from Melbourne wrote on July 12, 2024:
I will miss you poppy so very much. Thank you for the beautiful memories. I always think of you waking up early in the morning being so excited to hear your bedroom slippers clinking down the hallway. I knew you were headed into the kitchen to whip up the best fluffy oatmeal I have ever had. Thank you for all of the love. Until we meet again I know you will be here with us always. 💜 love you 💜
Kirsten Mackie from Royse City Texas wrote on July 11, 2024:
My sweet Poppy! The only man stubborn enough to love someone as stubborn as he is. (The ENTIRE Starling clan that is!) Never enough time or memories and he will be greatly missed! Forever my favorite Poppy, in the Universe!
The Foreros from Miami wrote on July 10, 2024:
We were so lucky to have met Warren and Kitty, we will miss sitting next to him and listening to stories about his trips or any subject that we picked. You will be missed
Barbara Dell Simpson from Palm Bay wrote on July 10, 2024:
Love to the family!🙏🏼🩷🙏🏼
Susan Besser from Saint Cloud FL wrote on July 10, 2024:
Dad, There truly are no words to describe all the emotions and the immense feelings of loss that your absence has brought. Though we miss you terribly, we know you are so happy to be reunited with your sweetheart!! Give her a big hug for me and remember that I will always love you more than you could ever know! Thanks for paying me a visit on Saturday. I told you that you could do it!! Feel free to visit me anytime & bring Mom along for the ride! I’ll be watching & listening for you both! XOXOXOX, Susan
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