Anna Starratt, 88, active church member

February 26, 1999|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Anna Louise Starratt, who had been active in Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Baltimore, died Saturday of a heart attack at Sinai Hospital. She was 88 and had been a resident of Fairhaven, the Sykesville retirement community, since 1985.

The former Guilford resident was associated with Emmanuel Episcopal from 1955 to 1985 when her former husband, the Rev. Alfred Byron Starratt, was rector of the church.

She was president of the Women of Emmanuel and held various offices with the Daughters of the King, a church group that does charitable work.

"For those 30 years, she organized church activities and helped in every way to improve the life of the church and its parishioners," said daughter Penelope Starratt Duffy of Rochester, Minn.

After retiring to Fairhaven, Mrs. Starratt was president of the Residents' Association and a member of the search committee for a chaplain. She also was a chalicist at Fairhaven Chapel and chaired the Fairhaven Annual Treasure Sale and Christmas Decorations Committee.

"She was incredibly involved in the life of Fairhaven," said Diane Pomarzynski, the retirement community's executive director. "She was a magnificent gardener and was known for the bouquets of roses which she brought to the administrative offices."

The former Anna Louise Mazur was born in Lvov, Ukraine, and arrived at Ellis Island in 1915 with her family. They settled on a farm in Norwell, Mass. She earned a bachelor's degree in nursing from Massachusetts Memorial Hospital in 1932.

She met Mr. Starratt, who was suffering from polio, while working as a nurse and helped him learn to walk again.

They married in 1937 and settled in Lincoln, Mass., where he was rector of St. Anne's Episcopal Church. In 1945, the couple became members of the Mission Board of the Protestant Episcopal Church and were assigned to Wuchang, China.

As the Communist revolution spread in China in the late 1940s, American women and children, including Mrs. Starratt and their three daughters, were forced to flee to Hong Kong in 1949. After more than a year's separation, during which there was no communication between the couple, Mr. Starratt was released by the Communists.

The couple divorced in the 1980s.

Mrs. Starratt was a founder of the American Family Immigration Center at Ellis Island. Her other interests included calligraphy and ceramics, especially her statues of St. Francis.

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. tomorrow at Fairhaven Chapel, 7200 Third Ave., Sykesville.

She is survived by two other daughters, Polly Starratt Lemire of St. Louis and Patricia Elizabeth Starratt of Anchorage, Alaska; five grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter.

Pub Date: 2/26/99

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