Tarae C. (Starling)
From the moment she was born on June 9, 1975, Tarae Charease Starling was her mommy’s baby doll and her daddy’s little girl. Her mom, Donna Holmes Starling, loved dressing her up and taking her everywhere. She called her Abbies, a sweet, sing-song nickname that made her smile. Her dad, Keith Starling, loved playing with her and taking her to the park. Tarae was thrilled when her little brother, Tarren, completed their family.
As a child growing up in Sheraden, Tarae was smart, curious, kind and spunky. She loved animals and wanted to bring home every one she saw. Over the years, Tarae and Tarren had many pets including guinea pigs, cats and dogs. She enjoyed the camping and fishing trips her dad took them on and the outings they had with their mom.
Family meant everything to Tarae. A loving daughter and big sister, she had a special relationship with both sets of grandparents, Carl and Naomi Holmes and Thurman and Ruth Starling. Her childhood was filled with visits to their homes and to those of her aunts and uncles where cousins would always be waiting.
Tarae enjoyed backyard adventures, trips to amusement parks and museums and making up interpretive dances to songs like Prince’s Computer Blue for family gatherings. The living room was her stage. Tarae’s creativity and flair for the spotlight shone.
From Sheraden Elementary School to Langley High School, Tarae was known for her bright and fun spirit, sweet nature and strong sense of justice. She believed in speaking up for herself and for those she cared about. Always involved, she acted in Oliver Twist, was a member of the debate club and was a cheerleader.
Tarae believed in the value of hard work. She earned good grades and held part-time jobs. She had big dreams for the future. Tarae knew how to make the most of down time too. She had a special knack for winning WAMO radio contests. A couple of the most memorable prizes were having her name on a score board at Three Rivers Stadium and meeting Biggie Smalls when he performed in Pittsburgh. Another pastime was modeling and acting in church plays.
After graduating from Langley, Tarae studied Healthcare Management at DeVry University. With her former husband, Michael King, she had two children, Mirayah and Meleke, whom she called her left and her right. Her greatest gift was being a mom. They were her blessings and the reason she worked so hard.
For nearly two decades, Tarae was employed by a healthcare technology and services company now called Centauri. She dedicated herself to her job and rose to Patient Representative, providing service in Pennsylvania, Ohio and beyond. True to her industrious spirit, she often had a second job. Her most recent one was Aldi at the Waterfront where she worked for two years. A people person, Tarae was a favorite of customers. Some would get into her line just to feel her positivity.
Tarae kept a smile on her face. She loved to dance, sing, shop, play bingo, craft and spend time with those she loved. She was a Steelers fan and loved rocking the black and gold. Stylish and chic, she enjoyed expressing herself through her fashionable clothes. But what spoke loudest to those who knew her was her enormous heart. She tried to help whenever she could and wanted to lift up anyone who was feeling down. She always had a saying, story or hug at the ready.
Tarae didn’t play about her children, her daughter Mirayah said. She showered them with love and attention and did the same for her grandchildren, whom she called her heartthrob and heartbeat, Messiah and Mulan. She was doting, a great provider and champion of their goals and always kept it real.
Tarae blessed family members, long-time friends and anyone she met with her love and ingenuity. As co-chair of Hairston family reunions in Pittsburgh, she added special touches like picture centerpieces, homemade flower pens and cool T-shirt designs. She was vibrant, empathetic and warm. People would often say Tarae was someone you never forget.
Throughout her life, Tarae stayed connected to her center, her family. She called her brother Tarren her one and only. She loved hanging out with him, her parents, kids and grandchildren, aunts, uncles, cousins, niece and friends. Tarae dreamed of traveling the world and finding new ways to make a difference. Little did she know the incredible impact she had already made. Her goodness brightened countless lives.
Tarae was tragically taken away from us on January 5, 2023. But no one can dim her light. An angel now, her luminous spirit shines on in each person she touched.
Tarae C. Washington leaves to cherish her memory her two beloved children, Mirayah and Meleke King, her mother Donna Starling and father Keith Starling, her brothers Tarren Starling and Andrew Stewart, grandmother, Naomi Holmes, her grandchildren Messiah and Mulan Nicholas, her niece Tairyn Starling, her uncle Thurman Starling, her aunts Leslee Holmes Bowie, Deborah Starling Campbell, Delores Starling Walker and Adrian Starling, her former husbands Michael King (Carleen) and Mark Washington and a host of treasured relatives and friends.
A Homegoing will be held SATURDAY, January 21, 2023, at the Central Baptist Church, 2200 Wylie Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219 beginning promptly at 10:30 a.m. Signing of the guest registry beginning at 10 am.
Condolences at www.timothykslater.com
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