He was invited to a company picnic in his hometown of in his native Kansas City, Missouri, and quickly got hooked on the game.
While visiting Jim Bast, a high school friend, who was also the 1984 USCA National Singles Champion, at his home in Phoenix, Arizona, Stark discovered “real croquet.” He quit GM and moved to the desert.
Stark was pretty good and quickly became one of the best international rules players in America. He placed 3rd in the 1989 World Croquet Championships and second in the Sonoma-Cutrer Worlds in 1997.
Eventually he got a job as the Croquet Professional at the Meadowood Resort in California’s Napa Valley, introducing Meadowood’s corporate clientele to the sport of croquet. It’s estimated that Stark has taught over 50,000 people to play croquet over the years.
He was been a member of the U.S. National Team 8 times and is the only person to be a member of all 3 U.S. MacRobertson Shield Teams. He was inducted into the U.S. Croquet Hall of Fame in 2000.
But his real goal was to improve the world croquet scene.
He died way too young, a victim of stomach cancer. To remember him, go out this summer and enjoy a game of croquet. And teach some little one’s. Pass it on.