Al Starkweather Passes

The American First Day Cover Society is saddened to announce the passing of its Editor, Albert W. Starkweather, Jr., on Saturday, November 14, 2020, after a long illness, complicated by COVID-19. He was 81.

Starkweather had a long history in philatelic editing, including Stamps magazine, Stamp Insider, The Philatelic Communicator, The Ceremonial, and Airpost Journal. He took over editorial supervision for the AFDCS in 2015.

His non-philatelic journalism career included the Hartford Courant, Thomson Newspapers (including redesigning the websites of the newspapers for Oswego, NY, Newburgh, NY and Kittanning, Pa.) and communications projects and consulting for major corporations such as Dow Corning and General Electric.

A native of northern New York State, Startkweather had lived for a number of years in the Tampa, Fla., area.

Albert Warren Starkweather, Jr., 1939-2020

Albert “Al” Starkweather, 81, died November 14, 2020 in Tampa, Florida due to complications following a fall. In 2015 he was named Editor of First Days, the bimonthly journal of the American First Day Cover Society and held that position at the time of death.

Al was the son of Elizabeth and Albert Starkweather, Sr. and was born in Brownville, N.Y., May 9, 1939. He obtained a BA in English and psychology from the State University of New York at Potsdam and undertook graduate work in communications and photography at Syracuse University, and in business at the University of Connecticut.

Starkweather began his writing career with the Watertown (N.Y.) Daily Times. He served as executive editor for Thomson Newspapers where he restructured and redesigned several of its papers. He was project editor of CRC Press where he edited some of their technical handbooks and also worked for the Hartford Courant.

In recent years, as owner of Design on Demand, he created websites for many organizations including trade shows and art galleries. His firm offered consulting services for print and online communications. He also taught courses in fields such as computer science and journalism.

He joined the American Air Mail Society in the 1970s and learned about philatelic writing and editing from Frank Blumenthal and Perham Nahl. Al edited the APS Writers Unit’s The Philatelic Communicator from 2006 to 2010 during which time he vastly improved the use of graphics and converted the journal from black-and-white to full color. He also edited The Ceremonial, journal of the American Ceremony Program Society.

Al created the website for the Federation of New York Philatelic Societies and edited its print and online magazine Stamp Insider from 2003 until it was discontinued in 2018. He also contributed to Stamps magazine and Stamp Auction News.

Al Starkweather is survived by his brother John E. Starkweather, and daughters Lisa Starkweather and Karin Santamaria.

--Alan Warren

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