Keith Starkey leaves a faithful legacy

The Agape Flights family celebrated the life of Keith Starkey at a memorial service May 3, 2014, in Bradenton. Keith,who with his wife, Clara, founded this ministry in 1980, passed away April 23 at the age of 87.

Keith Starkey

Keith Starkey

A service was held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, May 3, 2014 in the main sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Bradenton, 1306 Manatee Ave. W., Bradenton.

The family requests memorials be made to the Agape Flights Endowment Fund, 100 Airport Ave., Venice, Florida 34285 or donate online, or to Tidewell Hospice, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, Florida 34238 in his memory.

Read his obituary here. 

There is an old saying that if you want to know what people will say about you when you are gone, write your own epitaph now and then live that way! Epitaphs are usually one-liners that capture the essence of a person’s life. Since there is no rule that says you can’t have more than one epitaph and if you knew Keith Starkey you understand that it certainly would take more than one to describe this remarkable man.


When I was first introduced to Agape Flights and had the privilege to sit down with Keith and Clara Starkey my initial response following that first meeting was I was impressed by the faithfulness of this man and woman. Neither of them were pilots, but God said, “purchase a plane and I will supply the pilots and other volunteers to get Agape started…”

Stepping out in faith, they chose one of the Greek words for love, AGAPE, (the unconditional love that God has for each of us through the giving of His only Son Jesus Christ) to describe this Aviation Missions endeavor.

These past few years I have had numerous opportunities to visit and share with Keith. I have traveled to Haiti with him and here is an abbreviated list of what I have discovered about this wonderful brother and co-worker.

  1. He loved God first;
  2. He loved his precious wife, family, and his extended Agape family;
  3. He loved his friends;
  4. He was a giver;
  5. He was an encourager;
  6. He kept his word;
  7. He honored God with his life;
  8. He always had a positive attitude;
  9. He was not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ;
  10. He was a role model;
  11. He always helped you laugh;
  12. He consistently helped others;
  13. He dared to dream.

Keith and Clara Starkey, from farming to flying missions, and one of the greatest blessings of my ministry career has been to witness God’s power, love and wisdom manifested through these servants of the Almighty. I am thankful and honored for the privilege to lead this ministry.

Certainly it should be said that those of us who have come behind Keith Starkey have found him faithful!

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Allen Speer, CEO
Agape Flights