Newport Beach "Grompa" Passes Away in Sleep

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Verne Starr. Ol' Verne! Our great friend Verne-O. Anybody who's surfed 54th Street in Newport Beach or has grabbed a morning cup of coffee at world famous Al Cap the past 20 years has met Verne Starr — that is if the OG Ghetto local didn't meet you first!

Sadly enough this week Verne passed away peacefully of natural causes in his sleep, shocking the tight knit surf community known as "The Ghetto".

At one point or another Verne met every surfer who ever rolled through Newps, and more often than not, took them in like his own sons. From Andrew Doheny to Tyler Gunter, as well as scores of other local groms in the neighborhood (including my own), Verne was always down to chat, to help, to watchover, to pray with. He'd pop open his garage and it was on! Sometimes there might be twenty kids in there all listening to him talk story, or just a few. Sometimes he was alone, waiting for the next friend to walk or drive by.

He lived in the Ghetto well over 20 years, and leaves behind three wonderful sons Sean, Patrick and Michael, and two beautiful grandchildren, not to mention so many of his friends …. of course we know he was a believer and is at home with the lord catching waves alongside one of his favorite visiting groms from back in the day, Andy Irons … Verne is stoked. In fact, I bet he's up there right now, grabbing some coffee, talking story with all the great surfers who passed before him …. it's hard to be sad when talking about Verne! And that's what he would want.

A memorial was set up outside his house the morning of Sept. 12 in the 4700 block of River Ave in west Newport Beach, and it will be there as long as needed. If anyone's in town and wants to come pay their respects, that would be cool. The street's wide open and the memorial is right in front of his garage where you might've seen him hanging out so many times before.

Rest in peace Verne, we love you, we will miss you and we will always watch your children as you have watched over ours. If we could all be like you the world would be a better place.

Stay tuned to Ghetto Juice magazine on facebook for updates on the upcoming Paddle Out. It's going to be epic, and a really good time. It's what Verne would've wanted.—Skip Snead, Sept. 12, 2013

Photo credit: Ah the good old days…. Verne, circa 2008, hanging out in his garage waiting for the next friend or local grom to stop by for a chat … on this day it was photographer Hank Foto stopping by, snapping this photo and talking some story.


Posted by: Ghetto JuiceGhetto Juice at: 13 Sep 2013 01:26




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Verne Starr. Ol' Verne! Our great friend Verne-O. Anybody who's surfed 54th Street in Newport Beach or has grabbed a morning cup of coffee at world famous Al Cap the past 20 years has met Verne Starr — that is if the OG Ghetto local didn't meet you first!

Sadly enough this week Verne passed away peacefully of natural causes in his sleep, shocking the tight knit surf community known as "The Ghetto".

At one point or another Verne met every surfer who ever rolled through Newps, and more often than not, took them in like his own sons. From Andrew Doheny to Tyler Gunter, as well as scores of other local groms in the neighborhood (including my own), Verne was always down to chat, to help, to watchover, to pray with. He'd pop open his garage and it was on! Sometimes there might be twenty kids in there all listening to him talk story, or just a few. Sometimes he was alone, waiting for the next friend to walk or drive by.

He lived in the Ghetto well over 20 years, and leaves behind three wonderful sons Sean, Patrick and Michael, and two beautiful grandchildren, not to mention so many of his friends …. of course we know he was a believer and is at home with the lord catching waves alongside one of his favorite visiting groms from back in the day, Andy Irons … Verne is stoked. In fact, I bet he's up there right now, grabbing some coffee, talking story with all the great surfers who passed before him …. it's hard to be sad when talking about Verne! And that's what he would want.

A memorial was set up outside his house the morning of Sept. 12 in the 4700 block of River Ave in west Newport Beach, and it will be there as long as needed. If anyone's in town and wants to come pay their respects, that would be cool. The street's wide open and the memorial is right in front of his garage where you might've seen him hanging out so many times before.

Rest in peace Verne, we love you, we will miss you and we will always watch your children as you have watched over ours. If we could all be like you the world would be a better place.

Stay tuned to Ghetto Juice magazine on facebook for updates on the upcoming Paddle Out. It's going to be epic, and a really good time. It's what Verne would've wanted.—Skip Snead, Sept. 12, 2013

Photo credit: Ah the good old days…. Verne, circa 2008, hanging out in his garage waiting for the next friend or local grom to stop by for a chat … on this day it was photographer Hank Foto stopping by, snapping this photo and talking some story.

Image Vernes-Garage-square.jpg