Agape Flights founder Keith Starkey passes away


Keith StarkeyKeith Conrad Starkey, 87, of Bradenton, Florida, passed away April 23, 2014.

Keith was born March 29, 1927 in Tiffin, Ohio, to the late Melvin R. and Herma M. (Conrad) Starkey. He moved to Bradenton in 1970, coming from Tiffin where he worked as a farmer for many years.

His memberships include the First Baptist Church of Bradenton where he was active in Sunday School and Mission Ministry. He was also a former member of Men for Missions and OMS, and was honored to be named a Kentucky Colonel.

Keith and his wife, Clara, founded Agape Flights in October of 1980. Agape Flights operated from Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport for many years before moving to Venice Municipal Airport in 2006. The Starkeys carried all types of supplies, mail and cargo for many missionaries working in the Caribbean with weekly flights there, as well as providing humanitarian aid following hurricanes and earthquakes that have hit the islands over the years.

Keith was predeceased by his sister, Helen Widmer, and is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Clara of Bradenton, daughter, Nancy Snow of Bradenton, three sons; Bruce (Deb) Geary of Bloomville, Ohio, Lee Geary of New Riegel, Ohio, Don (Lynne) Geary of Tiffin, Ohio, seven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and many extended brothers and sisters in Christ.

A celebration of Keith’s life will be 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 that in lieu of flowers that memorials be made to Agape Flights Endowment Fund, 100 Airport Ave., Venice, Florida 34285 or online at, or to Tidewell Hospice, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, Florida 34238 in his memory.

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