[Episcopal News Service] The Revd Terry Star will be buried out of his home church of St. James Episcopal Church in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, on March 10.
Meanwhile, the City of Delafield, Wisconsin, police department and the Waukesha County Medical Examiner have concluded that Star, a 40 year-old deacon in the Diocese of North Dakota and a member of the Episcopal Church’s Executive Council, died March 4 of a heart attack.
Star was found in his lodgings at Nashotah House Theological Seminary, where he was studying for ordination to the priesthood.
After he did not attend chapel that morning of March 4 and failed to show up for classes or meals, a member of the Nashotah House community went to check on Star, said the Rev. Canon John Floberg, a fellow member of the Diocese of North Dakota and also an Executive Council member.
Delafield Police Chief Erik Kehl told Episcopal News Service that police officers and members of the local fire department responded to a call from the seminary at 7:40 p.m. March 4. They found Star in his apartment and attempted to revive him.
Those present “determined he was past aid, so we began a death investigation and called the medical examiner’s office,” Kehl said.
Such an investigation is routine for most unattended deaths in Wisconsin. “It’s more going through the investigative process, trying to recreate the previous day or so of Mr. Star’s life,” Kehl explained.
The investigation included an autopsy that was conducted on Ash Wednesday. Kehl was present for the autopsy.
The investigation revealed nothing suspicious about Star’s death, Kehl said.
A wake for Star with a prayer service will be held at St. James during the evening of March 9.
Star will be buried at Red Hail’s Camp at St. Gabriel’s Camp in Solen, North Dakota, where he served as a youth minister and camp director for many years. A meal will follow Star’s burial at the Red Gym in the middle of Cannon Ball, which is on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
Red Hail, a Sioux warrior who donated land so that a church could be built among his people, was Star’s maternal great-great-grandfather, according to information posted on St. James’ Facebook page. Red Hail fought at the Battle of Greasy Grass, which also is known as the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
The St. Gabriel’s church that was built on Red Hail’s donated land burned in 1970, and the congregation joined St. James in Cannon Ball. The land at Solen grew into a church camp in the mid-1990s. The camp has been the site of the Diocese of North Dakota’s training of local members for ordained ministry. Seven, including Star, were trained there and later were ordained.
Star, whose council term would have ended after General Convention in 2015, was also a convention deputy. He belonged to the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Star served as a deacon for the Standing Rock Episcopal Community.
In November, Star preached at the consecration of the new St. James building, which replaced the church that was destroyed by an arsonist in July 2012. A video recording of his sermon is here.