George Matthew Starken died on Tuesday, November 6, 2018. George was a son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great grandfather, engineer, friend and a volunteer. He was born January 5, 1934 in Tracy, Minnesota to Matthew and Cora Starken and grew up with four sisters and one brother.
George received his Eagle Scout badge at age 16 and participated in the Scouting program for the next 25 years. In 1952, he graduated from Tracy High School, and joined the Navy in 1953 as Petty Officer First Class. While on tour in the Navy, he was deployed into “Operation Deep Freeze”, which was designed to accompany Admiral Byrd’s final visit to the Antarctic and to build the first base at Mc Murdo Sound in the South Pole.
In 1956, using the GI Bill, George attended SDSU in Brookings, SD. He graduated in 1960 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He was employed by General Electric and moved to Cape Canaveral, FL. He participated in the Saturn Missile Program. In 1966, he joined the John Hopkins Applied Physic Laboratory in Laurel, MD. His duties over the next 30 years included Polaris/Poseidon Missile System, the Deep Submergence System, and Manager for Ocean Engineering Program, Supervisor for the Special Application Development Program, Executive Secretary for the Advanced Technology Committee, Supervisor for the Biomedical Program, and Manager for NATO Intensive Munitions Program. During his tenure of 30 years with APL, he invested and holds five patents for technical instruments. George received his Master’s degree in Engineering Administration from George Washington University in 1977. In 1986, George was appointed to the Principal Staff.
In 1992, at the age of 58, George retired from John Hopkins Applied Physic Laboratory and became a gentleman farmer as well as an Innkeeper of a Bed and Breakfast Huntingfield Manor, Rock Hall, MD.
In 1953, George married Bernadine Schnormeier and with his bride, they spent sixty four years of adventures. Bernadine owned and operated “The Flair” Beauty Salon in Tracy while George continued back and forth to SDSU.
George volunteered in the community, building libraries, joining organizations, and holding positions of president and chairman. His hobbies were reading, and maintaining his library of 500 books, designing and building furniture.
George was inducted to the Tracy Area High School Wall of Fame.
George is survived by his two sons, Tim and Ruth Starken of Centreville, MD, Thomas and Robin Starken of Preston, MD; five grandchildren, Major Austin and Melissa Starken, Declan Starken, Major Cody Starken, Kaylin and Eric Wagenblatt, Keira and Andrew Buckingham and Kyle Starken. George is also survived by his two sisters, Nancy Sanderson and Sandi Rettmer as well as many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his Father, 1900-1983, Mother 1903 – 2002, Daughter Gail Robbin 1954 – 1978, Sisters; Gloria 1930 – 2000, Mary Lou 1928 – 2007; Brother, Jerome 1922 – 2007.
Services will be held on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at Wesley Hall – Heron Point in Chestertown.
Arrangements by: Fellows, Helfenbein & Newnam Funeral Home, Chestertown, MD. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.fhnfuneralhome.com.