John Farr, loving uncle, devoted son, outstanding educator, and beloved friend of many went home to join his parents, James and Sarah Farr, in the Lord's house on Monday, June 16, 2008. He is survived by his brother, Chris Farr; his nephews, Michael and Brian Farr; his niece, Amy Smith, wife of Rusty Smith; and his great-niece, Abigail Smith. Additionally there are many cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends who also considered him a part of their family, and who will mourn his loss.
Born November 6, 1958, in Dallas, Texas, John grew up surrounded by the family and friends he loved. After graduating from Collinsville High School, John attended Texas Tech University, in Lubbock, Texas, where he received a B.S. in Education in 1982. He received his Theatre Arts Certification from the University of North Texas in 1986.
John loved teaching speech, drama, and debate. He began his teaching career in 1982 and taught at schools throughout the Valley and in the Houston area including: PSJA Memorial Ninth Grade Campus (1982-88), McAllen High School (1988-94), Donna High School (1994-98), Academy High School (1998-99), Lamar Consolidated High School (1999-2003), and Harlingen High School-South (2003-8). John was known for the joy and sense of humor he brought to his classroom. He is remembered by his students for the positive impact he had on their lives. Many of his students have gone on to pursue careers in the fields of theater and communication arts, including radio deejays, theater technicians, news announcers, theater teachers, and even Hollywood actors.
During his career as an educator, John became known as one of the most successful speech, drama and debate coaches in the state. He was active in the University Interscholastic League, the Texas Forensic Association, and the National Forensic League, as well as the Texas Education Theatre Association, and the Texas Speech Communication Association. His UIL speech teams were regularly district champions at each of his schools, and his students regularly advanced to state and even national competitions in individual speech events. He also directed students in the one-act play competition, advancing to state level competition four times, including placing second at state. John served as mentor for many other speech and drama teachers, especially as many of his own students entered the field of education themselves.
While John was active in Community Theater throughout the valley, The Tower Theatre in Weslaco held a special place in John's heart. At the Tower, he directed, acted in, or otherwise participated in over twenty-five productions. He is especially remembered for his roles as "Daddy Warbucks" in Annie, and as "Charlie Brown" in You're a Good Man Charlie Brown. Additionally, he served the Tower for many years as a board member.
John enjoyed old movies, live theater, and visiting with his family and his many friends. A true master of the art of communication, John could talk to anyone, and bring a smile to anyone's face. He will be greatly missed.
A funeral service was held at the Meador Funeral Home Chapel, 401 Highway 377 N in Whitesboro, Texas at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 21, 2008, Ricky Patterson and Warren Boorman officiated. John was laid to rest at the Collinsville Cemetery, in Collinsville, Texas. Visitation was from 7 to 8 p.m. Friday, June 20, 2008, at the funeral home. Additionally, there will be a memorial gathering where friends can share their memories of John at the Tower Theatere Of Weslaco located at 120 South Kansas St. at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 23, 2008.
In lieu of flowers, please contact the First Community Bank of Harlingen at (956) 428-4100 to make a donation to a scholarship fund being set up in John's name.
To sign the online registry, go to www.meadorfuneralhome.com
Sign the guest book at www.themonitor.com/obituaries
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store
Published by The Monitor on Jun. 22, 2008.