By Lauren Palmer, Editor, Queen Anne Living Magazine
Edward and Margaret Starbird were both raised in army families, meaning lots of different homes around the country and the world. Although neither had ever lived in Queen Anne until this past year, they had felt a connection to the neighborhood for years.
The couple officially met in 1961 at West Point where they were set up on a blind date by Ed’s sister on Easter weekend, later discovering that their parents and grandparents had known each other for three generations and had photos of them playing on a beach in Hawaii in 1947. After seven years of courtship, which included Edward’s being stationed in Germany and then in Vietnam during the war, the couple got engaged and married in 1968.
While they moved and traveled for Edward’s military career, Margaret built a career writing books about early Christianity and teaching German. Their last station before Edward retired in 1992 was at Fort Lewis. They retired in Steilacoom, Washington, which Margaret says is their favorite place they’ve lived.
“We have been to a lot of beautiful places in America, but Steilacoom stood out for its beauty and our roots,” Margaret said. “We would still be there if it hadn’t been for Edward’s stroke.”
The stroke he suffered in mid-2016 made their move to Bayview in lower Queen Anne a necessity. They wanted a retirement community that had all levels of nursing care – to accommodate for the level of attention he needed after leaving Harborview, to the less intensive care he needs now that he has moved into the apartment with Margaret.
When looking for a place to move, their first choice was Bayview Manor on Queen Anne, based on the connection they felt to the neighborhood and the family members living close by in Belltown and Ballard.
Their connection to the city comes from multiple experiences, the earliest from 1966 when Margaret was in graduate school and her Dad was stationed at Fort Lawton in Magnolia. During that time, Margaret visited her parents during the Christmas holidays and summer vacations. When Edward was in Vietnam in 1970 – 1971, she returned to the Seattle area and rented an apartment in Bellevue, so her parents, recently retired to Vuecrest, could become acquainted with their first grandchild. In 1997-98 the Starbird spent time in Queen Anne when their daughter, Kate Starbird, played for the Seattle Reign (American Basketball League) and later, for part of a season with the Seattle Storm (2002).
“I had the connection to Queen Anne starting from 50 years ago when my dad lived in Magnolia,” Margaret said. “It was nice to find a community to which we had a previous connection.”
The tour of Bayview helped their decision-making process. Last August when Margaret toured the apartment for the first time, she loved the west-facing view of the Olympic Mountains. She said she couldn’t turn it down and they moved in shortly thereafter. Now, they have been working on Edward’s recovery and enjoying a neighborhood that they have loved for many years.
“Bayview was the answer to our prayers,” Margaret said. “Now we’re just following the way of the heart.”