F. Robert Starr, 92, of Delhi died Thursday, June 21, 2012 at Parkview Home in Belview. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 26, 2012 from First Presbyterian Church in Redwood Falls with burial to follow in the Redwood Falls Cemetery. Visitation will be held today from 4-8 p.m. at the Nelson-Martin Funeral Home in Redwood Falls and will continue at the church on Tuesday for one hour prior to services
Arrangements are with Nelson-Martin Funeral Service of Redwood Falls. E-mail condolences may be sent via www.nelsonmartinfuneralservice.com.
F. Robert “Bob” Starr, son of Fred and Emma (Fisk) Starr was born November 20, 1919 in Delhi. He was baptized and confirmed in the Delhi Presbyterian Church. He attended Delhi School and graduated in 1938.
On June 4, 1939, Bob married Ethel Nohre in a candlelight ceremony at Nazareth Lutheran Church in Holt. Bob described Ethel as a good looking, good natured Norwegian. Their marriage lasted nearly 70 years.
Bob began helping his father on the family farm as a teenager and continued farming until retiring at age 75. Bob helped sign up farmers in Delhi Township for the National Farm program in 1936. In 1943 he began serving on the Delhi School board and the Delhi elevator board. In 1945 he was elected to the Delhi Township A.S.C. board and served as chairman of the board for 10 years. In 1957 he was elected as president of the Redwood County Farmers Union. In his role as president he tried to think of ways the Farmers Union could do something constructive for the people of Redwood County. He proposed two projects, one was to take bus loads of prospective science students to the University of Minnesota to dramatize the importance of science and its relationship to the development of Redwood County. He lobbied and secured the first $30,000 from the state of Minnesota to be used by the Chemical Engineering Department at the U of M. In 1958 he secured an additional $100,000 for research on industrial utilization of farm crops. The other project was to co-sponsor with other local groups, the idea of an inventors congress. Governor Orville Freeman encouraged the local groups to create the Minnesota Inventors Congress, which has existed for 55 consecutive years. Bob served on the board continuously until a few years ago. The F. Robert Starr award given annually for the best invention honors his lifelong commitment. He helped establish the Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame.
He attended a 10 week short course in ag economics in 1956 with 36 farmers and was selected along with one other farmer to attend the farm program development at Iowa State. In 1956 he was hired to be an area field man for the A.S.C.S. 10 counties in west central Minnesota. He had one of the highest feed grain sign-ups in the area and secured a $400,000 grant for a conservation practice used in the Minnesota River Valley. In 1970 he was appointed to the National Planning Association in Washington, D.C. He was co-chair of the National Farmers Elevator Association on a “white paper” dealing with grain transportation in the U.S. In 1974 he was appointed to the State Water Resources Board and helped implement conservation practices. In 1979 he was appointed to the National Food Industry Advisory Committee at the Department of Energy. He helped write the “Stand By Energy” Bill which Congress passed.
Page 2 of 2 - In 1982 he was elected to the Minnesota Wheat Council and served on the Board of U.S. Wheat Associates. He traveled for 40 days in Africa, the Mediterranean, Europe, and Central America to promote U.S. Wheat. In 1986 he began serving on the American Coalition for Ethanol board and served for 10 years. He also served on the U. S. Grant Board for Ethanol, the Redwood County DFL Board, Minnesota State DFL Board, Echo Farmers Union Coop Board, Western Transport Coop Board, Southwest College Board, and Senator Harkins Advisory Board. Bob served on the Delhi Presbyterian church board for many years and was Sunday School Superintendent.
Bob and Ethel traveled extensively in the U.S., Canada and Mexico over the past years, including many trips with friends and family in their RV. Bob has been educating children and adults for 45 years regarding the history of the area and specifically the Dakota Conflict. He took hundreds of local students on bus tours and spoke at numerous historical meetings. Bob’s love of the Minnesota River Valley was apparent in all his activities.
In 1960 Bob and Ethel purchased the Cedar Rock ranch, which was the focus of Bob’s energy for over 50 years. He hosted trail rides, snowmobile events, family reunions, political events, school children’s outings, Girl Scout and Boy Scout troops, and the Suntanka horse program. Although Bob did not have the opportunity to attend any further formal education beyond high school, he never stopped learning about his environment on a local, state, national or global level. Most of all, Bob loved being with people and was a master at organizing all kinds of gatherings, either at his home or his Cedar Rock Ranch.
Bob is survived by his children Sharon (Thomas) Hollatz, Dale (Sandy) Starr, and Faythe (Butch) Amberg, all of Redwood Falls. He is also survived by eight grandchildren Robin (Robb) Schneider, Bryon Starr, Beth (Steve) Bjorndahl, Todd (Patty) Amberg, Chad Amberg, Troy Amberg, Julie Gordon (Karen Johnson), James Gordon, step-grandchildren Steve (Rachael) Hollatz, and Beth Hollatz: 15 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife Ethel in 2009, his parents, his three brothers, one sister, and other family members. Blessed be his memory.