Ralph Starr Boggs was born November 9, 1951, to Ralph and Betty Boggs and grew up on a family farm in Onancock, Virginia. His grandmother, Reaston Boggs, taught him to cook and to appreciate the quality of fresh, local ingredients. Starr is survived by his brother, Joe Boggs and his wife Kathy, of Onancock; a sister, Dell, of Newport News, Virginia; three nephews and a niece, Ryan Boggs, Russell Bundick, Tucker Boggs, and Brooke Martin; and seven great-nieces.
A superb athlete - he was 6-foot-4 and more than 250 pounds - and an honors student, Boggs attended the prestigious College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he played football on a team coached by Lou Holtz, who would go on to national fame at Notre Dame.
It was in Williamsburg that a girlfriend got him interested in restaurants, and he took a job in the kitchen of the historic Williamsburg Inn. After college, he stayed with the restaurant industry and worked for several years at upscale restaurants in West Palm Beach before spending a season on Nantucket.
Friends said that in addition to his mastery of food and the restaurant industry, Boggs was also a superb golfer who traveled to play courses around the country with a clutch of local friends. He also loved fishing, boating and music.
His longtime friend Tony Catanzaro said that people gravitated to Boggs’ orbit, lining up to help him with whatever he had put his mind to and that he quickly would return the generosity of spirit. He continued that Boggs’ death would leave a gaping hole in the lives of many Westhamptonites on Long Island, where Starr Boggs restaurant operated for 40 years.
“He was so real, no pretense, no bull. He was just genuine, and he was a flawless judge of character and his group of friends. We took care of Starr, and he took care of us,” Catanzaro said. “People loved helping him. It was uncanny. Everybody loved him. I’ve lost my best friend.”
Services on the Eastern Shore are pending and will be announced by Williams-Onancock Funeral Home, www.williamsfuneralhomes.com.
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