Huntsville Museum of Art
300 Church Street South
Huntsville, AL 35801 USA
"Promote Local Artists and Art Awareness" All local artists are welcome to share their work, stories, and advice.
D. Edward Starnes
Born to Dewey and Lucy Starnes in Raleigh, N.C. in 1933, Ed spent time growing
up in Raleigh, Miami, Fl and Arlington, Va. At Washington and Lee High School in
Arlington, he would ride the bus into Washington, D.C. to watch the Senators or
to catch one of his musical favorites, such as Louie Armstrong or Dizzy
Gillespie, at a local club. Ed graduated from high school in 1950 at age 16 and
from the University of North Carolina in 1954 with a degree in journalism, After
graduation, he entered the Air Force and trained to fly combat missions as a
While at his first station in Marianna, Florida, Ed and Rae were engaged, and at his second in Greenville, Miss., they married. They had their first child while stationed in Chama, New Mexico. Retiring from the Air Force in 1957, Ed first took a position with Allegheny Airlines and then as an agent for Home Life Insurance. The latter job brought Ed, Rae, Eddie and Kathryn to Huntsville in 1961.
The family lived first at Ford Place, in NW Huntsville, and then moved in 1966 to Monte Sano mountain. Beyond a distinguished career as a Home Life agent, Ed was an involved member of the community. He served as head of the vestry at both Saint Christopher's and Church of the Nativity, as well as head of the PTA at both Davis Hills and Monte Sano elementary schools. Elected to the Huntsville City School Board in 1976, he served as president of that organization from 1977 until 1990. He followed his school board career by serving on the planning commission until last fall. His 45 years of service include numerous other activities.
Encouraged to take back up the art of painting by Rae after leaving the school board, Ed became an accomplished water colorist, receiving many awards and recognitions. Two particularly stand out. In the first, he was selected for a gallery showing in Giverny, France, the home and inspiration of Claude Monet, a world-renowned artist and one of Ed's favorite influences. Second, when the White House was celebrating its 200th anniversary, one artist was selected from each state to provide an original painting of the White House. Being chosen as the representative for Alabama had particular relevance for Ed, given his years in the D.C. area. His work, "The First Ladies' Garden," was selected to represent the month of June in the 2001 White House calendar and remains part of the White House's permanent collection.
Ed and Rae's children and spouses include Ed III and Lynne Starnes, Kathryn and Bill Stem, Bill and Christine Starnes, and David and Lisa Starnes. Ed and Rae's grandchildren and spouses include Emily and Steve Connelly, Whitney and Caleb Meriwether, Tyler Stem, Loren Starnes, Chase Starnes, Allie Starnes, Justin Starnes, Anna Starnes, and Daniel Starnes. Ed and Rae's great grand-children include Vee Connelly, John Connelly, and Lochlan Connelly.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 14, at the Church of the Nativity. A celebration of Ed's life will follow in adjacent Ridley Hall from 3 to 5 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Ed Starnes Memorial Fund at the Arts Council, 700 Monroe St., Suite 2, Huntsville, Al 35801, or the Church of the Nativity, 208 Eustis Ave., Huntsville, AL 35801.