Born March 30, 1959
James Cary Stargel has been a Mount Airy resident for 25 years. He was born in Washington, D.C., and raised in Upper Montgomery County before moving to Mount Airy. He graduated from Wheaton High School in 1976. He attended Montgomery County Community College and Bowie State University, where he earned degrees in criminology and computer science.
Stargel presently works for the Federal Aviation Administration as a computer scientist building next-generation air traffic control systems for the U.S. Government.
After serving the U.S. Army for 21 years, he retired as a sergeant major in the Military Police. He received many decorations for his service, including the Meritorious Service Medal, twice; the Humanitarian Service Medal; the Army Commendation Medal, several times, and the Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.
As a practitioner of the martial arts, Stargel has been practicing karate for almost 50 years and has been awarded many accolades, including induction into the Karate Hall of Fame as Grandmaster of the Year, Grandmaster Instructor of the Year and Sensei of the Year. He has produced more than 60 black belts under his leadership, traveling the world to learn and teach his art -- most recently to Colombia in South America, where he has gone more than a dozen times to teach. In a recent trip there, the Colombian Minister of Culture awarded him the Gold Medal of Merit for his help in spreading the art in Colombia.
Stargel helps martial arts locally by acting as the chief referee for many local tournaments, both in Mount Airy and in nearby areas on a volunteer basis. He also volunteers to help local schools prepare their students for black-belt exams by offering his knowledge and experience.
Stargel has been a member of the town's Recycling and Sanitation Committee for 10 years, serving as chairman since 2012.
For 2014, has been elected as worshipful master of Prudence Lodge 190, the local Freemason Lodge which has been in Mount Airy since 1894. He has been a member there since 2006. He has volunteered many hours on the Children's Health Insurance Program, which provides parents a child identification program that is in the Amber Alert format.
Stargel has been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for 23 years, and he is a member of American Legion Gold Star Post 191.
In 1980, he married Lisa Macklin and they have raised four children -- three boys and one girl -- and have two grandchildren.