|Founding NCIL Member Max Starkloff leads the 2007 March to the Capitol, followed by 700 Advocates demanding equal rights for people with disabilities (NOW!). Photo by Sharon Farmer.|
The Independent Living Movement celebrates the life and achievement of one of its greatest leaders. Our dear friend Max Starkloff passed away early Monday due to complications with the flu, however his legacy of caring and fight for civil rights has changed the face of a nation, and helped America define what independence means in the 21st century.
Max was a giant in the Movement and embodied the spirit of independence and determination. He co-founded Paraquad with his wife Colleen in 1970, and established it as one of the original 10 federally funded Independent Living Centers in the nation. Max would later go on to establish the Starkloff Disability Institute in 2003 with his wife Colleen.
He served as the first president of the National Council on Independent Living from 1983 through 1985. In 2007 on the 25th anniversary of NCIL, then NCIL President Kelly Buckland honored Max's cumulative work and contribution to the Movement by dedicating an award in his name: The Max Starkloff Lifetime Achievement Award. The award is given to recognize people for a lifetime of achievement in the Independent Living Movement. Max has served in numerous critical positions and has received several awards for his work, including:
- President's Distinguished Service Award - President George H. W. Bush
- Community Leadership Award - Leadership St. Louis;
- Commissioner's Distinguished Service Award - Rehabilitation Services
- Administration, Washington, DC;
- Mayor's Arch Award for leadership in disability rights - St. Louis, Mo.
- Annual Civic Service Award - Maryville University
- Human Rights Award - United Nations Association, St. Louis, MO;
- Humanitarian Award - Human Development Corporation, St. Louis, MO;
- St. Louis Award;
- Sold on St. Louis Award;
- Sword of Ignatius Loyola Award, St. Louis University's highest honor, St.
- Louis, MO.
- Missourian Award - Missouri Hall of Fame;
- Doctor of Humane Letters - Webster University, St. Louis, MO
- Doctor of Humane Letters, University of Missouri, St. Louis, MO.
- Recognized by National Council on the Handicapped and St. Louis Unit of
- "Max Starkloff Lifetime Achievement Award" - National Council on Independent
- Living, Washington, D.C.
- St. Louis Walk of Fame, Induction, June 20, 2008
Max lives on through his important work, in our hearts, and especially through his wife Colleen and their children. He will forever be considered as part of the soul of the Movement, and will be remembered in the pages of American history as a civil rights icon.
Today NCIL celebrates our brother Max as a pioneer and soldier in America's fight for equality. Max Starkloff will be dearly missed, and will never be forgotten. Please send memories you have about Max to firstname.lastname@example.org to be shared at his funeral services. As we get more details about the services we will forward those on to you.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers people make donations to the Max Starkloff Disability Institute at:
The Starkloff Disability Institute
133 S. 11th Street, Suite 500
St. Louis, MO 63102
Cards and correspondence should be addressed to:
4446 Laclede Avenue
Saint Louis, Missouri 63108
For more information about Max's life and contributions please visit the following websites: