Shirley Condit Starkey

Areas of Achievement: 

Honored By

Honored by: Starkey, Jim
Date submitted: October 24, 2006
Gift: Leaf Tile, Medium

Shirley Starkey was born on Christmas Day, 1933, the daughter of Mabel Votaw Condit and Edwin Carmichael Condit. She married Jim Starkey on 29 September 1956 and has four children: James Edward, Jr., Patrick Joseph, Peggy Ann (Musselmann) and Richard Carmichael.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education degree in 1955 from the University of Arizona.

While attending the University of Arizona she was president of Orchisis, the national dance honorary and a member of Pi Delta Epsilon, the journalism honorary. She taught second grade in Tucson Pubic Schools for years until her marriage to Jim Starkey, a career Army officer. Frequent moves within the military allowed her to teach in North Carolina, Alabama, Kansas and Virginia, as well as Germany and Iran. As an officer's wife she participated in the many philanthropic endeavors which the Army sponsors, including organizing food drives for the needy, assisting in orphans' nurseries, working in thrift shops, leading exercise classes and counseling homesick junior wives. Upon her husband's Army retirement, the family returned to Tucson, where they became pioneers in establishing licensed care homes for the elderly. In 1978, she was a member of the Tucson Unified School District's curriculum advisory board.

Shirley is an accomplished watercolor artist and is a signature member of the Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild, where she has held many board offices. She is a member of Arizona Watercolor Association, Tubac Center of the Arts and Santa Cruz Art Association. Her paintings hang in homes and offices worldwide. Other associations include the Assistance League of Tucson, where she held many board offices; Chapter AZ-AU of PEO, of which she is President; and the Society of Southwestern Authors; and she has been elected to Who's Who of American Women. She recently published a book entitled "The Scorpion Stings, the Adventures of an Army Wife in Iran," and she is currently working on the sequel, "Did I Really Promise to Follow You Anywhere?" Both books chronicle the ups and downs of military life.

Her main interests are her children and grandchildren, followed by writing, painting, travel, women's education, UA sports, and the performing arts.

--Jim Starkey