SOUTH PARIS — Pearl Starbird died peacefully on April 25 at Market Square Health Care Center surrounded by her loving friends. She was 101 years old.

Miss Starbird was born in Boston, Mass., on Sept. 3, 1909. She was the daughter of Dr. Edward P. Starbird and Elizabeth Hurst Starbird.

Her early upbringing included a great deal of music and she became an accomplished cellist. Her college training was in art, especially painting and costume design. She earned a master’s degree from Boston University and was an art teacher in the Boston school system until her retirement. She liked to travel and often took her paintbrushes and materials with her. She loved nature, especially animals.

Almost every summer of her life she spent at her beloved camp, Bird’s Nest, on Keoka Lake in Waterford.

Later in life, after she moved from her apartment in Andrew’s House to the health care center in 2005, she reluctantly sold the camp. With the proceeds from the sale she created the Pearl Starbird Scholarship Fund for students in music and art. Graduates from high schools in Oxford County and Lake Region High School in Naples are eligible to apply, and many do. In the early years of the scholarships Miss Starbird took a keen interest in the progress the students were making in their studies, and enjoyed looking at their portfolios and listening to the instruments they played.

In 2006 the SAD 17 School District appointed her to be The Grand Marshall of the Aspire Higher Parade. She rode at the head of the parade in an antique red Cadillac convertible along with one of her scholarship students.

Also in 2006, at the Photography and Recognition Ceremony at the State House in Augusta, she was honored by Governor Baldacci for her desire to give back to the community and her deep interest in education and supporting and encouraging young people.

Market Square Health Care Center was her home for her last years. There she received frequent visits from her friends and extraordinary and loving care from the staff. Miss Starbird was a truly wonderful lady, an inspiration to countless young people, and loved by many more.

She is survived by a niece, Marilyn Godley, of Australia.

She was predeceased by her sister, Virginia.

Online condolences may be shared with her family and friends at

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