The 863-word family-prepared obituary for Farrar Wilson
goes into great detail about the 81-year-old Sacramento resident’s career as an “abstract painter of radiant geometries whose large fields expressed his love of nature and color, movement and space.”
The obit provides glimpses of his life, loves, education, military service and jobs in Oklahoma, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa and other states – all of which was fascinating to read.
Yet a reference to his favorite chair near the obit’s end was the most poignant.
He had an ancient and hideous chair - a La-Z-Boy recliner that he hauled from one studio to another. The color was no longer identifiable, the back sagged and was rent by countless feline visitors. He loved that chair. In his apartment, the chair was positioned near the bed and next to the balcony where Farrar would watch the constant parade of passers-by and breathe in the beauty of the trees and the skies. He would do his crosswords, read his books, listen to his music and receive his friends. Reflecting on his life, he said that he had no regrets and that he felt he'd done "a good job." He did. He did a very good job.
On the evening of May 23, Farrar died in his chair.
This post was contributed by Alana Baranick, a freelance obituary writer who lives in Northeast Ohio. She is director of the Society of Professional Obituary Writers and chief author of Life on the Death Beat: A Handbook for Obituary Writers.