GREENSBORO — Furniture industry icon Frederick Brown Starr, former president and CEO of Thomasville Furniture Industries and Natuzzi Americas, passed away on April 1, 2020, at Moses Cone Hospital from complications of the coronavirus.
Born Dec. 11, 1932, in Springfield, MA, Starr joined Thomasville Furniture in 1974 and helped grow the company’s annual sales to over $750 million. Starr also supported the state and local community; notably as president of the Piedmont Triad Partnership, vice chairman of UNCG, chairman of the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival, board member and honorary chairman of the PGA Wyndham Championship, treasurer of Reynolda House Museum of American History, board member of High Point University, and president of the Eastern Musical Festival.
He attended St. Andrews School in Middletown, DE. After graduating Trinity College, Fred was drafted into the Army, where he excelled as a sniper and proudly defended the state of Kansas. He was always quick to remind us that there were never any incursions while he was stationed in Kansas.
Fred enjoyed people and loved learning about their challenges and successes. He counseled and influenced many of us and loved nothing more than helping many live up to their potential.
Fred is survived by his wife of 62 years, Sue Zook Starr; three children: Jonathan Starr and Kate Schoff of Annapolis, MD, Curtis Starr and wife, Amy, of Fairfax, VA, and Anne Starr Denny and husband Glen, of Greensboro; seven grandchildren: Will, Hannah, Sam, Calla, Natalie, Alex, and Christopher; and several nieces and nephews.
Fred Starr will be remembered as a wonderful husband, father, friend, and leader who touched many people’s hearts with his warmth and engaging sense of humor.
A service of worship will be held Friday, June 4, at 11 a.m. Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, 607 N. Greene St., Greensboro, NC 27401. Later in the day, a reception will be held from 5-7 p.m. at Sedgefield Country Club. All NC COVID-19 related restrictions have been lifted. There is no mask requirement for those who have been vaccinated. Anyone who has not been vaccinated will be required to wear a mask.
All are welcome in celebrating the life of a very, very special man.
Memorial donations can be given to St. Andrew’s School, 350 Noxontown Road, Middletown, DE 19709 or the Eastern Music Festival, P.O. Box 22026, Greensboro, N.C. 27420.
Online remembrances may be made through hanes-lineberry