Remembering John Starling

Oct. 27, 2014

John Starling, professor emeritus in the Department of Agricultural Communication, Education, and Leadership, passed away on Friday, October 24. Dr. Starling was a legend in Ohio agricultural education and our department owes much to his pioneering presence, commitment, and leadership in the agricultual education discipline during a period of expansive growth.

We extended our deepest sympathies to his family and friends.

John T. Starling, age 96, a longtime resident of Dublin, OH, died on Friday, October 24, 2014 at Friendship Village of Dublin. He was professor emeritus in the Department of Agriculture Education at The Ohio State University where he held a joint appointment with the Ohio Department of Education as an Assistant State Supervisor of Agricultural Education. He retired in 1984 after thirty-six years of service in the field of education.

He was born May 31, 1918 in Pennsville, OH in Morgan County to Adelbert and Lolla (Newton) Starling. On January 27, 1951 he married Armeda Van Meter who predeceased him on April 6, 2001. John and Armeda were married for fifty years. He is survived by his son, John David Starling of Columbus, OH; his daughter and son-in-law, Susie and Jeff Gafford of Worthington, OH; grandson, Andrew Jacob Gafford (Jennifer) of Toledo, OH; grandson, Jordan Douglas Gafford (Maggie) of Redondo Beach, CA; and three great-grandsons, Eli, Caleb and Luke Gafford. He is also survived by a sister-in-law, Janet Starling of McConnelsville, OH; and a brother-in-law, Byron Russell of Canal Winchester, OH. A number of nieces, nephews and good friends also survive. In addition to his parents and his wife Armeda, he was preceded in death by his son Steven Starling, sister Betty Russell and brother Rodney Starling.

John graduated from Pennsville High School and received his bachelors, masters and PhD. Degrees from The Ohio State University. He spent forty-two months in the United States Air Force during World War II. He taught vocational agriculture at Lima Shawnee High School for fourteen years prior to his professorship at The Ohio State University in 1962. During his time at Shawnee, he served as a cooperating teacher for the Department of Agriculture Education at The Ohio State University providing training for fifty-four student teachers. He served as president of the Ohio Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association in 1959 and the Ohio Vocational Association in 1960. He was a visiting professor at the University of Arizona during the summer terms of 1976 and 1981. He was an avid fan of Ohio State football and basketball. John was a member of Northwest United Methodist Church, The Ohio State University Alumni Association and the Franklin County and Ohio Retired Teachers Associations.

John’s family would like to thank the hard-working caregivers at the Meadows and Health Center of Friendship Village of Dublin for their skilled and compassionate care of John for the past three years. Family will receive friends from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday at the RUTHERFORD FUNERAL HOME AT POWELL, 450 West Olentangy Street, Powell, OH 43065 (614)792-1471. (The funeral home is located on W. Olentangy St./Powell Rd./SR 750 ¼ mile east of Sawmill Parkway.) Funeral Service will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at North West United Methodist Church, 5200 Riverside Drive, Columbus, OH 43220 with Reverend Tom Slack, officiating. Burial will follow at Dublin Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made Northwest United Methodist Church in John’s memory. Please visit to send condolences to John’s family.


Funeral Home

Rutherford Funeral Home Powell

450 West Olentangy Street Powell, OH 43065

614-792-1471 Funeral Home Details

Published in The Columbus Dispatch from Oct. 26 to Oct. 27, 2014