01/13/11 Former Plymouth resident and 1984 Plymouth High School graduate, Matt Starr, will be holding book signing at the Plymouth Library on January 29. Starr, now from Mount Vernon, Ohio, said, “I made a promise to a very good friend to finish the work he had started on preventing abuse.” 

He will be offering his first book entitled, “Thoughtful Caregiving: Abuse Prevention through Emotional Responsibility.”

He said he first met Roger MacNamara at a seminar in 1999. Starr said MacNamara was dying of cancer and indicated that he just wanted to “empty his brain”. To keep the promise, Starr came up with the idea of video series on abuse prevention. In order to accomplish the task, however, he had to start his own video taping production company I-CONN Video Production.

Starr’s career was diverted from working in sports psychology when funding during Desert Storm was cut. He had been heading to the US Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. Needing a job, he found one working in a facility as a recreation director for clients who were developmentally disabled. He then found his passion for that type of work and eventually become the director of a 32-bed facility where he also managed a staff of 30.He said, “I noticed changes in my staff when I got them to think.”

Starr obtained a BA degree in Psychology with Associates in Fitness at Manchester College and then obtained a MA in Sports Psychology from Kent State.

Starr, son of Glenn and Linda Starr, credits his upbringing in the Church of the Brethren and his father for being his greatest influences. He said, “My dad is the most genuine and kindest person I know.” He said the church was a caring church community.” “I was very fortunate to be raised in Plymouth.”

He met his wife Joanne in Ohio and became an instant dad of two stepchildren and now has two step grandchildren.

Staff said he is now working on two books including one of being a courageous caregiver. The second chronicles an actual case where a facility abuse resulted in the death of a patient.

The book signing on January 29 will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Plymouth Public Library’s Fireplace room.

Carol Anders Correspondent