Norinne Joanne Starna

Date of Birth

June 19, 1947

Date of Death

April 14, 2023

On April 14, 2023, three years after a diagnosis of leukemia,  Norinne Joanne Starna passed away at Valle Verde Skilled Nursing Facility in Santa Barbara. Prior to that, she had an extended stay at Serenity Hospice house, where she enjoyed the company of her cousin Andrea, friends, and a caring staff she viewed as friends.  She was born on June 19, 1947, to William and Louise Starna in St. Johnsville, New York.

Blessed with life-long curiosity, Norinne loved learning. A graduate of St. Johnsville High School, she received her BA from SUNY Geneseo and spent several years teaching in New York public schools. She received a PhD in 1990 from the University of Pittsburgh where, as a graduate student in literature and rhetoric, she taught literature and composition. She also taught in adult literacy programs, an experience she found enriching and rewarding. In 1990, she was hired by UC Santa Barbara where she taught literature and composition for the next 15 years.  Norinne remained active in her field after retirement, participating in SCWriP, attending conferences, and serving as an in-class tutor at Santa Barbara City College.

Norinne loved reading, traveling, and the opera. She loved the food, the culture, and the language of Italy, which she studied for several years in preparation for a return trip, this time for an extended stay. Wherever she lived, she formed a community of friends who remained close and in touch. Across the nation, friends and cousins she treasured relied on regular doses of her New York wit, thoughtful observations, and compassion. She gave each the gift of her full attention and will be remembered for her sharp mind, amazing memory, and generosity. A strong and independent woman, Norinne met even the most challenging circumstances with a clear-eyed realism that allowed her to live a full and engaged life, even through her final illness.

A Celebration of Life will be held on June 10, 2023, at 11 am.  Contact Andrea Harrison at 619-392-3808 for more details if you would like to attend.


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