ALFRED B. STARRATT

Posted Sept. 25, 2008, at 11:19 p.m.

PENOBSCOT – The Rev. Dr. Alfred B. Starratt passed away Aug. 2, 2006, at a Penobscot health facility. He was born in 1914, in Quincy, Mass. He was a graduate of Boston University, Episcopal Theological School, now Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass.; and received his doctorate in philosophy and history of religion from Harvard University. Dr. Starratt served as rector at St. Anne’s Church, Lincoln, Mass., before being asked to serve as professor of philosophy and religion at Huachung University, Wuchang, China. He and his family traveled to China on the first ship to cross the Pacific after World War II. There he taught for four years until the Communist Revolution forced him to flee. Once back in the United States, he served parishes in Stockbridge, Mass., Gambier, Ohio, and finally Baltimore, Md., where he was rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Church for 30 years. There, through his dynamic presentation of modern ideas of religion, and challenging his listeners to not “check their brains at the door” when they entered the church, he gathered a growing congregation of people who found traditional theology no longer persuasive. He conducted numerous study groups on world religions and had a weekly radio broadcast listened to by more than 560,000 people. He also became active in the social issues of the time. A staunch supporter of equal rights, he was made chairman of the first Equal Rights Commission in Maryland, where he fought vigorously for equal treatment of African-Americans in employment, housing and access to public facilities. He also served on the national boards of Planned Parenthood and the Central Committee for Conscientious Objectors. He was among the first clergy to demonstrate against the Vietnam War at the national capital. An avid racing sailor in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, he also raced in the Chesapeake Bay where he was a charter member of the Severn Sailing Association. Numerous cups attest to his skill in boats ranging from Soling Class to J24s and Tartan 10s. He won the world champion title in the Bluenose Class of Nova Scotia. After retirement from the active ministry in 1984, he began publication of a twice-monthly newsletter, “The Walrus,” that was sent to subscribers in all 50 states. He continued to inspire people with his message of God’s presence in all things; a loving force at the heart of the universe. In 1996 he and his wife, Katrin moved to Penobscot, to live year-round in the part of Maine to which they had sailed for the previous 10 summers. He was the author of “The Real God,” published in 1965 and “Your Self, My Self & The Self of the Universe,” published in 1979. He was predeceased by his first wife, Anna L. Mazur Starratt; and his daughter, Patricia Elizabeth Starratt. He is survived by two daughters, Polly Lemire of Santa Rosa, Calif. and Penelope Duffy of Rochester, Minn.; five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; and by his loving wife of 20 years, Katrin Rittler Starratt. A service celebrating his life will be announced at a later date.

http://bangordailynews.com/2008/09/25/obituaries/alfred-b-starratt/ printed on September 21, 2014