Starr Ellen Shulman died peacefully on December 20, 2019 in Concord, California, in the care of hospice. Starr’s dear friend of many years, Suzanne Stroh, looked after her since her stroke in 2018 and arranged the myriad details in transitioning Starr through the medical system and ultimately to her final home. Suzanne was by her side throughout this final year, including on her final day.
Starr was born in Cambridge Massachusetts on April 19, 1939. She was raised in Watertown and Newton Mass., graduated from Newton High School, received a B.A. from Lesley College in Cambridge Mass, and an MPA from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Public Administration. Starr had a varied career: she taught English in Bogota, Colombia, hosted a TV program engaging high school students with the UN, investigated housing discrimination for HUD for 10 years, and was the Executive Director of the California Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons for 20 years. The association founded a fellowship in Starr’s honor when she retired in 2004.
Starr had a life-long interest in film, receiving an associate’s degree in film studies after she retired, and being selected as a judge for the Mill Valley Film Festival. Starr made her home in San Francisco and the Berkeley area for most of her adult life.
Starr is survived by her brother Richard (and partner Carol) in New York City, by many dear long-term friends in California and across the country, and by her cousins. A memorial gathering will be organized at a later date. Donations in Starr’s memory may be made to The Hospice of the East Bay, or to NPR or PBS.