Tim Starkey loved Christmas, cooking a hearty meal for his family and toasting life with a glass of wine, according to his closest friends and family.
Starkey, 66, was killed by a vehicle near Blossom Hill Elementary School in Los Gatos last Monday. It was later revealed that the driver was San Jose City Council candidate Jenny Higgins Bradanini, who has remained mum on the accident other than to offer an apology to the family. The accident is still under investigation, according to authorities.
Meanwhile, a longtime friend of the Starkey family has set up a GoFundMe page in an effort to offset some of the funeral and burial costs.
“Tim Starkey brought so much joy to the lives around him and had a heart of gold,” wrote Carrie Coffee Ziemer, who organized the campaign. “Tim shared his sense of humor with everyone he encountered and was happiest cooking a meal during the holidays or a Sunday night dinner with a curated soundtrack.”
The campaign aimed to raise $10,000, but has already netted $13,085 from 88 donors, many of whom shared heartfelt memories of Starkey, who lived in Santa Cruz with his wife Kathleen. He leaves behind two kids, Joe and Bridget, who live in San Francisco.
Ziemer said the Starkey family lost a husband, father, uncle and friend.
“The Starkey family is grieving with family and friends while also working through the repercussions of the accident and loss of Tim,” she wrote. “The family has had a tremendous amount of love and support offered to them and has a long and difficult journey ahead. In order to help ease the stress of the financial burden that lies ahead, we have created this fund for Kathleen, Bridget and Joe. They are so grateful for the love, support and contributions from their village.”
Details about the collision remain scare as authorities last week investigated the accident, including reviewing Higgins Bradanini’s phone, a standard process in such cases. Sources say Higgins Bradanini has not yet decided whether she’ll continue her campaign for City Council in District 10.
According to Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department Sgt. Jamie Field, Starkey was struck and killed at 11:40 a.m. Dec. 16 on the 900 block of Blossom Hill Road. Higgins Bradanini had just left a meeting at San Jose City Hall, her campaign consultant Eric Stroker told San José Spotlight last week. She was not arrested.
Some of Starkey’s family members have publicly stated that Higgins Bradanini drove into his parked car, though police officials have not confirmed how the accident occurred.
As authorities continue the probe, Starkey’s family and friends are taking a moment to remember him this holiday season.
“We will always remember fondly the wonderful man Tim was, and we were lucky to be friends for over 17 years,” wrote Chris and Anne Kelly on the GoFundMe page, “Tim was generous, kind, FUN, a loving and devoted father, and an amazing cook! We have wonderful memories of “Sunday night dinners” (SNDs) with the Starkey family.”
“I’ll always remember his love for cooking (and wishing he had been born Italian), and his overall zest for life,” wrote Eliza Grismanauskas. “What an incredible man who is greatly missed.”
The campaign’s organizer said more details on Starkey’s Celebration of Life will come in early 2020 because “Tim will want you there to toast with a Marg or Chardonnay.”
To donate to the Starkey family’s GoFundMe page, click here.