Barte Starker spent his professional career growing timber for his family business, but the people who knew him best said he quietly devoted much of his personal time to helping his industry and his community thrive.
Starker died Tuesday at 67 of complications from Parkinson’s disease.
Born March 12, 1950, Barte Starker grew up in Corvallis and graduated from Corvallis High School. In 1972 he graduated from Oregon State University with a bachelor’s degree in forest management and followed his older brother, Bond, by going to work for Starker Forests, the timber company founded by their grandfather T.J. Starker.
Both brothers were thrust into management roles earlier than expected in 1975 when their father, Bruce Starker, who by then was running the company, was killed in a plane crash.
Together, the brothers grew the family business into one of the most respected private timberland owners in the state. Headquartered in Philomath, Starker Forests today has 22 employees and about 86,000 acres of standing timber in Benton, Linn, Lincoln, Lane and Polk counties. Continue reading