James C. Starke

AMHERST – James C. Starke, M.D., well-known dermatologist, age 85, died on July 6, 2014, from pulmonary fibrosis in the house he restored, lived in and loved for 52 years, known as the Melendy Farm.

Starke was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the son of Carl and Ada Starke. He attended the University of Wisconsin/Madison and received his medical degree from Marquette Medical School (now Medical College of Wisconsin). After graduation, Starke served his internship at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital (Dartmouth-Hitchcock) in Hanover, N.H. Following his internship, he served with the U.S. Coast Guard/U.S. Public Health Service and was assigned to Leavenworth Penitentiary, Leavenworth, Kansas.

Starke returned to New Hampshire for a residency in dermatology at Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital. Upon completion of his residency, he moved to Burlington, V.T., where he was a clinical instructor at the University of Vermont Medical School and also held a private practice. He relocated to New Hampshire and opened a private practice with offices in Manchester and Nashua before moving full time to Nashua.

Starke was the first dermatologist in northern New England to perform Mohs’ Micrographic Surgery for the removal of skin cancer. He was fortunate to have trained with Dr. Frederic Mohs, at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI. who invented this precise method of removing skin cancer. He was a founding member and first physician president of Nashua Family Planning. Starke also served the town of Amherst as Health Officer for 40 years. During his tenure as President of the Amherst Historical Society, the Concord Coach and the “Wigwam” museum were purchased.

Starke was a member of the American Society for Mohs’ Micrographic Surgery, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, the International Society for Dermatologic Surgery, American Academy of Dermatology, the American Medical Society, the New Hampshire Medical Society, North Country Dermatology Society, New Hampshire Historical Society, Amherst Ways and Means Committee, the Weary Club of Amherst, Nashua Rotary, and the Exchange Club of Manchester.

Among his many passions were skiing, tending to two acres of flower and vegetable gardens, wine, traveling, classical music – particularly Tchaikovsky – and reading books on religious studies. He and his wife skied the US, Canada and Europe until he was 80 years of age. They also traveled throughout Europe and the Middle East. Forty years were spent at his camp on Lake Sunapee where he enjoyed swimming, boating and golfing with his family.

He is survived by his wife, Mary, to whom he was married for 59 years, son Lawrence, daughter-in-law Christina, grandson Benjamin; son James and granddaughter Jane; daughter Martha, son-in-law William “Beau” Breslin, and granddaughter Molly; brother George and sister June Lawry, as well as nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at Church of our Saviour (Episopal), 10 Amherst St., Milford, on Friday, July 18th, at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: Planned Parenthood of Northern New England 89 S. Main St., West Lebanon, NH, 03784 or Home Health & Hospice Care, 7 Executive Park Drive, Merrimack, NH, 03054.

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