Cover photo for Bob Starer's Obituary
Bob Starer Profile Photo
1941 Bob 2024

Bob Starer

March 5, 1941 — February 20, 2024

Cape Charles

During Bob Starer’s adventurous life, it was perfectly normal that he should meet his future wife as the two of them jumped out of an airplane together. Parachute jumping was just one of the extraordinary challenges that Bob relished from the day he was born on March 5, 1941 continuously for the next 82 years until he died, February 20, 2024.

His final adventure on this earth was to pass in peace, surrounded by family and friends at his home, farm and Starbase airfield on the Eastern Shore near Cape Charles, Virginia.

When Bob was young, his parents, Althea and Tom Starer, encouraged his curiosity and studies in mathematics and science. Bob had an almost unquenchable thirst for knowledge and was an avid reader, telling his children that by the time he completed high school he had read each and every book in his local library. As an adult, he began to train as a physicist, but his entrepreneurial spirit soon guided him into the corporate world. He pursued a wide variety of successful business interests, but his enduring passions were flying, military history, antique weaponry, and his family. Bob most enjoyed sharing his knowledge and experience while mentoring his friends, family, and countless casual acquaintances. He is remembered by all who knew him as a generous man, especially with his time. He was always quick to unselfishly devote hours with anyone who would listen and learn.

In 1968, he married Merle (Chalow) Starer, a fellow pilot who navigated the entire world alongside him. Together, they flew his twin engine plane across the Amazon jungle to celebrate their honeymoon in Rio de Janeiro, with his family to the Paris airshow, and they even flew his privately-owned LearJet to Moscow. Bob and Merle have three daughters, Kimberly (Starer) Graves, Christine Starer-Smith, and Alexis (Starer) Doughty who all grew up seeing the world from the windows of their parents’ LearJet. Bob loved to spend time at his family farm with his four grandchildren, Elizabeth Graves, Alex Graves, Carson Smith, and Peyton Smith, as they lovingly called him “Big Daddy.” As a testament to the ‘dynamic duos’ life together, the entire family gathered to celebrate Bob and Merle’s 55th wedding anniversary on December 22, 2023.

Always looking for the next adventure and a keen eye for financial and business operations brought Bob into several interesting business ventures and led to his owning a mobile phone company before cell phones were de rigueur, providing personnel at nuclear power plants, operating training centers and retail operations in several states and leading a nationwide chain of FBOs to service and fuel corporate jets. His diverse hobbies ranged from collecting antique steam engines to collecting historic military equipment and memorabilia. He most recently operated a tactical training center for government and military personnel.

On Sunday February 25, 2024, @ 11:00 a.m. there will be a simple graveside service and interment in the historic graveyard on the family farm, followed by a joyous celebration of his life.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

Arrangements were made by Doughty Funeral Home in Exmore, Virginia.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bob Starer, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Sunday, February 25, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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