Albert W. Starbird, 97, died at home January 2, 2021. He was born in Skowhegan, Maine November 4, 1923. He was the only child of Elwyn and Nellie Brophy Starbird of Solon, Maine. Al is survived by Lois, his wife of 71 years; his son, David A. of Solon, Maine and his wife, Cathie; his daughter, Barbara A. of Solon, Maine; his daughter, Karen L. of Dunstable, Massachusetts; and his son, Alan D. of Dunstable, Massachusetts and his wife, Patti. Al is, also, survived by seven grandchildren: Taia Rioux, Anthony Mecheau, James Starbird, Christopher Starbird, Jeffrey Starbird, Laura Starbird, and Douglas Starbird, as well as four great-grandchildren, Teddy, Maia, Sierra, and Bentley.
After graduating from Solon High School in 1941, Al attended the University of Maine for one semester before joining the United States Army Air Corps Weather Squandron, where he was a weather observer in New Guinea from 1943 to 1946. Despite contracting malaria, Al returned to the University of Maine in 1946, receiving a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 1949. He also took courses in Business Administration and Forestry. Al continued his engineering education in the 60's and 70's and received his MS in Engineering Management from Northeastern University in Massachusetts in 1971 .
While attending the University of Maine, Al met Lois Deering of Denmark, Maine. They were married on June 18, 1949 in Orono, Maine.
Following his graduation , Al worked at the family lumber mill in Solon, Maine. In 1952, he left Solon Lumber Company for Pratt and Whitney Aircraft in Connecticut. He worked at Pratt and Whitney for 7 years, mostly in the area of nuclear powered aircraft. From 1959 to 1982, Al worked for Technical Operations in Burlington, Massachusetts, the Datametrics Division of CGS Scientific Corp in Watertown, Massachusetts, and Littleton Research and Engineering Corp in Littleton, Massachusetts. During this time, he worked in numerous fields including nuclear shielding, vibrations analysis and ship superstructure analysis. In 1982, Al moved back to Solon, returned to the Maine woods, and established Starbird Timberlands.
Al's main interests were in the outdoors. He hunted and fished from an early age and played baseball in high school and college. A promising college baseball pitching career was limited due to the malaria he aquired during his military service. He had the unique experience of being hit by lightning twice. Albert returned to Solon from years in engineering and spent his last years as he began them – involved with the Maine woods. After returning to Solon, he loved snowmobiling and ATV riding, “to keep an eye on things in the woods and fields.” He was able to do this into his mid 90's.
Al was active in many organizations and town offices. He was a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Mechanical Engineering Society, and the Air and Weather Associations, to name a few. He was a Mason and a member of Keystone Lodge of Solon, Royal Arch Chapter, Commandry, a member of the Aleppo Shrine in Massachusetts, and the Kora Shrine in Maine. Al was on the Solon Planning Board and the Solon Budget Committee. He was a charter member and treasurer of the Solon Historical Society and an active member of the Solon Snowhawks Snowmobile Club. Al was member of the Old Canada Road Scenic Byway Committee, which was instrumental in developing the scenic rest area on Robbins Hill.
A memorial service and burial will take place in Solon sometime in the spring.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Shriners Hospitals for Children at the following website: https://donate.lovetotherescue.org
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Giberson Funeral Home and Cremation Services. To leave a condolence for the family and to view the online obituary, please visit www.gibersonfuneralhome.com
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