Erin Fay Starkey, age 16, passed away Thursday, September 5, 2019 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. She was born on March 21, 2003 in San Antonio, Texas to Michael John Starkey and Christina Ann Starkey. She spent her childhood in Colorado Springs, attending Cheyenne Mountain and Roy J. Wasson.
Erin lost her battle with depression, and took her own life. She was a quiet, gentle soul, who struggled with the difficulties in this world from a very young age. Yet those difficulties never took away her empathy and compassion for others, specifically for animals. It began at age two years old, where she taught everyone around her to love and respect ALL life, starting with insects. Then it moved to small creatures, such as rabbits, cats, and dogs. However, the rabbits were always her favorite. Erin volunteered at the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, where she worked with the rabbits and other small animals. She also fostered animals at her home, including a pregnant cat and eventually four little kittens that she helped raise.
Erin loved bugs from the time she could walk. Her very first capture was when she was two years old and she proudly brought her mom a black widow spider in a jar. Needless to say, mom called pest control after that! During her elementary school years, she proceeded to collect and identify numerous insects. But unlike most Entomologists, her “collecting” was taking them home as pets and creating “habitats” for them, where they lived happily, being hand fed by an 8 year old until their natural deaths made them official specimens. The highlight of her Entomology experience was in 2012, when she made a trip with her mom and brother to Tucson, Arizona for a gathering of like-minded scientists to collect and study insects. There, Erin assisted in collecting many new species and even assisted many adults in obtaining new specimens although; she was upset that they killed their specimens. Erin loved all insects, creatures and animals.
Erin could often be seen on a rainy day saving earthworms from the gutter on our street. Erin also had a talent for art and creativity from a very young age. Her first “work of accomplishment” was during what was supposed to be “quiet time” for her and Brad. At age three, Erin completely colored herself blue, from head to toe, and her brother completely green! She was so excited about her accomplishment that all anyone could do is laugh, and of course take a picture. Erin would often entertain her family in the morning with stories of the overnight antics of her favorite rabbit, Rex. The way the stories were told gave Rex a naughty personification that made everyone roll with laughter.
Erin was VERY gifted in art and music. She composed and performed her very first piano song at the age of seven at her first piano lesson. From there, she composed many more songs on the piano from out of her head. She never was able to read music due to her dyslexia but her talent had no limits. Most recently, Erin learned how to play the guitar from her Grandparents, Guy and Lynda Camomilli. In the 7th and 8th grade, Erin won many district art competitions with her fun and whimsical sculptures. She was even given a “student job” of being an assistant art teacher in 8th grade, helping her peers create their various art projects. Her latest art interest was in animation, where she took up the challenge with enthusiasm and a work ethic that rivaled a doctor’s. She was enrolled in a college art class for digital art. Her plan was to become an animator for Disney World, and to move to Florida. Erin had a special place in her heart for Florida and visited the state several times a year. Erin had an unusual relationship with her brother Brad. It was unusual in that they loved being together. The two developed a bond early in life playing together, and has since progressed to hanging out, sharing funny memes, and laughing together. Erin’s sense of humor was in full bloom, despite the dark valleys of depression that would often plague her.
Her taste in music was as unique as her sense of humor. You wouldn’t find the typical teenage top 40 on her ipod. No, not Erin, she loved alternative, chill-hop, soft and independent. She also loved her comfort foods, such as sushi and steak, which she would often eat for breakfast! Her next venture was to learn to make sushi herself. Erin could have done anything she wanted.
The world has lost a bright and beautiful light. Erin has left an impression on the hearts of all who knew her that will last an eternity. No one quite knows how to go on without her sweet smile and that infectious laugh.
Go rest and be with God and your family who has gone before you. You are free now. We will love you forever…
Erin is survived by her mother Christina Starkey and father Michael Starkey; one brother Bradley Starkey; step-father John Wessel; maternal grandparents Guy and Lynda Camomilli; paternal grandparents Walter and Sylvia Starkey; aunts and uncles Connie and Frank Catalfamo, Kim and Kevin LaFrance, Susie and Don Freeman, Bruce Starkey & a many, many more family members and friends who will miss that sweet smile, witty sense of humor and her beautiful music.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 10:00am Thursday, September 12, 2019 at Hillside Gardens, 1006 South Institute Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80903. Please dress casual if attending the serves. Erin loved to be comfortable and casual. Those attending are encouraged to wear one of her favorite colors; gray, teal, lavender or blue.
The family also requests that any donations please be placed in her name, Erin Fay Starkey, to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, https://namicoloradosprings.org
Service arrangements are under the direction of Return to Nature Funeral Home, Colorado Springs, Colorado www.returntonaturecolorado.com