Bartow, Florida


Davis, Starr Duane

Last Updated: 2003

Starr D.Davis, 49, of Atlanta, Ga., a Bartow native, died Sept. 27, 1994, at James A. Haley Veterans Hospital in Tampa. Born on Sept. 24, 1945, in Bartow, He had lived in Atlanta four years, moving from Minneapolis, Minn. He was a realtor, and a former clothing buyer for Davidson Dept. Store in Atlanta, and the Dayton-Hudson Dept. Stores of Detroit and Minneapolis for more than 20 years. A graduate of Florida State University, he was an Army veteran of the Vietnam War and a member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church of Atlanta. Survivors include his parents, E. C. (Starr) and Irene Davis of Bartow; two sisters, Beverly Mullis of Fairfax Station, Va., and Janice Steele of Lakeland; and several nieces and nephews.


From Pearle Raynor Wood.....Several of us in Mrs. Lott's seventh(?) grade science class held Starr by his feet out of the second story window so that he could catch snow flakes that were falling on that January day when it actually snowed in Bartow!

La Bocca del’ Leone
Excerpts from a personal letter sent by Doug Spence to Starr Davis in his final days

August 1994

My dear friend, Starr…

…My emotions ran the gamut quickly, almost instantaneously: Sadness, concern, anger all of which seem so shallow relatively speaking at this time… Personally, I don’t deserve those feelings on your behalf due to the distance in time between us. But, I say to you, dear friend, that I do deserve this feeling of numbness and disbelief that you are ‘en la bocca del’ leone’ (in the mouth of the lion)…

I have been aware of your situation only as a result of my phoning the “Witches of Eastwick” at their annual slumber party ten days ago. As I have thought of you, I have remembered the vibrant, talented Starr Davis of a time when we were not separated by the distance of years. Then, there were no tears, “conditions”, or other encumbrances – just the happy, but complex, person whom few, if any, understood. I cannot picture you in my mind’s eye any other way than the wild and crazy guy who played the clarinet better than anyone else. …during this past week and a half, something inside of me has made me remember you in that way right up until the last time that we met in 1988 at our class reunion: I can still feel my arm around you as we stood on the podium; and I felt so happy to be there with you at that moment…

Starr, these are the things that I associate with you; and I want you to know that I have always felt a kinship with you. In the spirit of that kinship, I want you to know that you have been impactive and important to my life. … my impression of your confidence, courage, and general sophistication is that you are awesome, especially considering the attitudes of today. I have always been impressed by your sophistication and ability to cope with the people around you…

…I wish you God’s Grace and pray for that Grace to be with you every day…

love from me to you…doug

A Tribute to Starr By Ginger Boulware Tate

There are many who desire to be exalted, but I knew a man who humbled himself.

There are many who look to their own interest, but I knew a man who looked to the interest of others and considered others before himself.

There are many who strive to be great and seek to be first, but I knew a man who was willing to be least and believed that others should be first.

There are many who are caught up in self-love, but I knew a man who openly and unselfishly loved his family, and considered their feelings, and their pain, before his own.

There are many who cover their mistakes, but I knew a man who admitted his mistakes and learned from them.

There are many who want to receive much. I knew a man who gave much, though he would have never described himself as generous.

There are many who seek glory in making their good deeds known. I knew a man who modestly kept his good deeds a secret, but found glory in just doing good for others.

There are many who hate their enemies and seek revenge, but I knew a man who loved his enemies and forgave them.

There are many who seek peace by trying to negotiate written agreements. I knew a man who sought peace by uniting diverse opinions around a common cause.

There are many who try to change others to their way of thinking and their way of acting, but I knew a man who tried to change himself and who accepted others just as they are.

There are many who seek recognition, but I knew a man who sought to recognize others, though his talents and abilities were exceptional.

There are many who emphasize human power and human wisdom, but I knew a man who recognized His power and His wisdom.

And there are many who say some things are impossible, but I knew a man who said all things are possible and convinced others to believe the same.

This man was my lifelong friend, Starr Davis. For the joy and laughter he brought to me and those of us in the Class of ’63 who loved him, I will be forever grateful.

We will miss him so much.