John Farr
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.
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Published by The Monitor on Jun. 22, 2008.
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122 Entries
I think of John so often with his bright smile and optimistic disposition. The people who never knew him really missed out. He met challenges with energy and a can-do attitude. Mostly, I miss his hugs and hearty chuckle. Love you. John
Carolyn Davey
June 14, 2021
I miss hearing your laugh and seeing your smile. Your personality was second to none. You meant so much to so many and you had so much more to share with others. I can't believe you have been gone for so long. It seems like only yesterday we were joking around together in the McHigh halls. I think of you often. Rest in peace.
Carolyn Davey
June 14, 2019
Carolyn Davey
June 14, 2019
Mr. Farr was a very kind man. My condolences to his friends and family.
Andrew Dibala
June 11, 2009
I miss you...and Sarah!
Love, Cheryleen
June 9, 2009
Hello Friends and Family of John —

I didn’t personally know John although we are both theatre craftsmen. However, currently it’s my duty and privilege to help others remember and honor him. I’m a graphic designer working on the 2009 Texas Educational Theatre Association program guide. In the program, we memorialize theatre comrades who have passed away. You can view the 2007 “In Memoriam” page here:

My access to photos of John are limited and quality is minimal. Can and will you help me find one or more good, high resolution photos of him to ensure John’s “In Memoriam” appearance is of the highest quality?

Thanks in advance.

Sincerely and Respectfully,

Jeff Sensat
TETA Brochure Designer
[email protected]
Jeff Sensat
December 26, 2008
It has taken me a very long time to write in this guestbook because John was a father to me and always told me how proud he was of me.

I miss John so much and I hate that my little girl (his granddaughter) will never know how wonderful a person he was. I miss his smile, his laugh, his phone calls just to say hi.

John you will always be in my heart.

Your loving daughter from PSJA....
Ofelia Pena
October 17, 2008
Mr. Farr was a great and kind individual. On my first day at Harlingen South he was the one to reach out first and whenever I was disappointed or had a bad day, he always made me believe that things would get better. I hope I can be as sweet and open to others as he was.
Christy Medrano
September 29, 2008
Mr. Farr was a wonderful collegue and my daughter's teacher her freshman year at South. We thought the world of him. His kind words, dedcation to his students, and commitment to education and the arts has changed the lives of many. He continues to direct the greatest programs in a place more beautiful than here.
Angel Sanchez
September 29, 2008
The impact a person has on your life can never be forgotten, they leave a lasting impression on your heart. Not only was he my coach, he was a friend and mentor. I always knew I could count on Mr. Farr to make my day just a little bit brighter. He stood in the hallway and said "Welcome to the fine arts building" to every person that passed by. He made me laugh a lot too. I cannot and will not ever forget Mr. Farr and all the wonderful things he did.
Sarah Reynolds
September 29, 2008
I spent two years at the same lunchtime post with John. Each time he greeted me the same, "Hey there, Girlfriend!" I responded with, "Wassup Juan Lejos!" We laughed, chit-chatted about our favorite flicks, and interacted with students as they passed by our station. I often wondered if there was a student at South whose first name he didn't know. Not only that, but the preps, jocks, and "jewels" alike all took a minute to give Mr. Farr a high-five. You are one in a million John and I feel robbed of a very precious friend.
Delilah Rodriguez
September 28, 2008
Diana Sanchez
September 27, 2008
We never son met you during his first year at South (summer school) and thought you were "real cool" and "a great teacher, mom!" will be sadly missed!!!
Sara Parsons
September 26, 2008
When I think of John, the image that always comes to mind is that of him ambling down the hallway of a school at a TFA tournament on a Friday evening or Saturday morning/afternoon. He would be on his way to check on students, or get ballots, or just be on his way to see what was to eat in the Coaches' Lounge--walking with that inimitable 'John' walk. "Hey, Big John," I'd say. "Hey, Little Fred!" he'd reply with that 'John' smile.
No matter how bad of a day or week you were having, you couldn't help but feel better when he was around. Always ready to talk or tell a story or just listen to someone 'kvetch'. That's how I'll always remember Big John: A big man, with an even bigger heart.
You left us way too soon.
Fred White
September 26, 2008
I didn't know Mr. Farr, but with all these positive comments about him, I know that he was a wonderful man. May his family have some comfort from reading these entries and may he rest in peace.
mari alvarado
September 26, 2008
To truely express how much I miss John at the beginning of this school year can NOT be put into words. He could make me smile so easily with that ever-present "twinkle in his eyes." If I came to school feeling down, ready for a bad day, just a glimpse of John changed it, for without fail, he saw me, too, and said something to make me smile, even if it was only "Hey, Margaret." I do not believe I ever saw him not smiling. I miss his email greeting cards, which came for no rhyme or reason but to make you smile or appreciate what you had. It is said that we never know who nor how many lives we touch while we are on this earth nor do we appreciate those in our lives until they are gone. It very evident by the variety of responses seen here that John touched many, many people in such positive ways, and we all miss him greatly.
Margaret Leggett
September 26, 2008
Miss you daddy...
Sergio Sauceda
September 26, 2008
Carlos Leal
September 26, 2008
John Farr was a unique individual who could always find something to laugh about...his warm smile and funny sense of humor always brightened my day. He inspired so many people. We will never forget him.
Debbie Vaughn
September 26, 2008
Cuando te miraba no estabas tan Farr
Cuando te via tu sonrisa no estabas tan Farr
Cuando te conci tu pesonalidad no eatabas tan Farr
Cuando me recuerdo de tu ser nunca estaras tan Farr
Hasta Luego nos vemos Mr. Farr.
joedrock the Rock
September 25, 2008
Where do I begin? I have looked up to you since I was in high school. You will never know what a privilege it was to have worked with you over the past five years. May You Rest In Peace.
Felipe Garcia
Felipe Garcia
September 25, 2008
You can always find incredible personalities, but you wouldn't expect to find one from your teacher. However, Mr. Farr was always there to greet me and encourage a feeling of self-worth. He should be remembered as a caring mentor and friend. Many times I have gone to him feeling less than myself; always, I have left him feeling like I have been enhanced in some way. Not just a teacher, Mr. Farr was our Speech/Drama/Debate coach, and we compete with his name to carry us. The reverberations of Mr. Farr's tragedy still touch and affect us. However, it strengthens our motivation rather than bring us down. In the words of Mr. Farr we "decimate" and conquer with his name behind us. I couldn't ever forget him.
Tiffany Hinkle
September 25, 2008
To say Mr. Farr was a great teacher is quite the understatement. I was one of Mr. Farrs most recent students at Harlingen South and he was much more then a great teacher; he was a mentor, a role model, but most of all a friend. Every single day, in the three years that I was blessed to work with him, Mr. Farr's unrelenting friendship would shine throughout the school and the lives of others. Never have I met a human being so honestly caring about other people. When Mr. Farr asked you how you were doing, even if it was every ten minutes, you knew he meant it. Its one thing to have someone ask you how you are doing, but to know that they truly cared about your well being and your mentality, is one of the most comforting feelings in the world. Not a day goes by that I do not miss my friend and coach Mr. Farr. Its hard to get off the bus at speech tournaments and not see him at the front with his toothty, or not so toothy, smile only waiting to tell us how special we were and good luck. Know that Mr. Farr helped create the best highschool organization in south texas, the Harlingen South Speech Drama Debate team. As we win local, state, and national titles, know that Mr. Farrs name is stamped on every one of those succeses. Even though Mr. Farr is not physically here in the drama department at Harlingen South, his teachings, impressions, and friendships lights up the theater better then any of our spotlights. It is hard not to sit in this theater, and not be overwhelmed by the impression of greatness. We miss you dearly Daddy Farr, and remember you constantly.
Luke Fernandez
September 25, 2008
Mr. Farr was an amazing speech coach who was always there for us at the tournaments. I greatly appreciate all that he has done for us. He will missed. May he R.I.P.
Desiree Reyes
September 25, 2008
Michael Dominguez
September 25, 2008
Mr. Farr was so awesome. I loved him soooo much. He knew how to make my day. I just heard about this and I am so sorry for the family's loss. But it made me smile to read so many great things about this great man. He nicknamed me "Hary Melen" when he met me...that memory is alive to this day. I hated that name then, now it makes me laugh. He witnessed my first "onstage kiss"...I had never been kissed, when he was my 9th grade Drama coach at PSJA. It was the most uncomfortable thing, but he led me to a best actress award. He knew how to take us out of our comfort zone and make us the "BEST". He always laughed, hugged, and loved everyone he met!!! My life has forever been impacted by him. Even all these years later the memories make me smile. I learned the "raiders" song and went to camp in Canyon with him. I sunk my toes in the "clay" waters of Lake Texoma thanks to him. I can still feel the mud in my toes. Yep, I went snipe hunting... Snipe is something that , whenever mentioned makes me think of him!!! Such a premature death. See ya in Heaven one day... I'l be the angel with bells on my hips and a ruby in my bellybutton....Tintinabula!!! All my love and respect.
Mary Helen
Mary Helen Rigney
July 29, 2008
I knew John Farr in College at Texas Tech. John was such a nice man. I had not seen him in over 20 years but I can still hear his laugh and see his smile. He was a major part of the Christian Drama Group, His Reflections. He brought joy and laughter into our hearts and will be missed. One day we will see him again. Thank you Jesus for preparing a place for our final reunion.
Peggy Green (Forgason)
July 23, 2008
God bless you, John, and I hope you can somehow see the outpouring of affection from LA to NYC by people who knew and loved you.

You are missed.
Nathan Frailing
July 22, 2008
John was truly an amazing person person who left a smile wherever he went. He never failed to make me smile, whether at a tournament or in the classroom. He changed many people's lives - students, teachers, friends - we are all his family. I can't imagine not seeing him at our tournament this year, but I know he will be there in spirit, through his students and all of us. We love you, John!
Pam Pailes
July 18, 2008
I miss John so much. He could always light up a room with his smile--and very corny sense of humor. He was always kind and loving to all of his friends. I still can't believe I won't ever see him again.
LeNita Smith
July 18, 2008
I had not shed a tear for John until today. I just did not want the reality to sink in. He was a truly a great human being. He was what we all aspire to be...someone who put themselves out there for the world - not matter the consequence. He never did anything half-way. He loved completely. He laughed out loud. He held you in thrall until the end.

I will miss John Farr. He made me proud to be an educator. He reminded me why we spend every weekend doing what we do - to remind students that they are loved and appreciated for the amazing individuals they are and will become (with the help of people like John).

I would also like to remind everyone to tell those around you that you love them. That you will miss them when they are gone - be it for only a convenience store run. You might not get the chance to say those words again - I didn't. But I will try to make up for it.

John, "i love you and will miss you."
Raul Ruiz
July 18, 2008
mr.farr thanks for all years and memories that you brought to the school you will be missed but your memories will always be in our hearts.
July 17, 2008
To John’s family,

John was my mentor, co-worker, and most importantly friend. I miss him so much! He was a true selfless friend. I will never be able to repay him for the precious time he gave me with my son, but I can and will make sure his memory is kept alive. I will cherish our seven-teen years of memories for the rest of my life.
Lee Ann Ince
July 16, 2008
I was Mr. Farr's Theatre Arts student as a Sr. at McHi in 1990-91. I was not his best student and I was a very moody and dark seventeen year old. I remember Mr. Farr because when my mood was darkest and I was at my lowest, he would actually make me laugh. He tried - and succeeded - very hard EVERY DAY to get a smile out of me and he forced me to participate in the classroom activities that ultimately helped in some way to lighten and dissipate my angst and sadness. It is unfortunate and I am saddened that I cannot repay his family in kind.

It is a shame that persons like Mr. Farr, who actually make a difference in this indifferent world, are taken from us so early in their lives making ours emptier and more devoid of joy. However, remembering as we knew them, as we knew him, keeps that empty void filled and replenishes our joy.

“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.” - Gen. George S. Patton (1885-1945)

Good-Bye, Mr. Farr.
Argel Villagran
July 8, 2008
So long as we live, he too shall live, for he is now a part of us.
John left too soon. I love him and miss him. I long to hear his voice. I long to laugh with him. I long for his shoulder to lean on. I am heartbroken.
Rise Morris
July 6, 2008
I was a student of John Farr at McAllen High School from 91-94. I wasn't the most talented of his students but he encouraged me just as much to bring out my skills. Competing in UIL and NFL competitions, along with participating in plays I've been able to incorporate these talents/skills in my everyday life.
Mr. Farr fought with every bone in his body to get the most for his students. He had a great fire within him and shared every bit of it. Everyone who knew John, was inspired, touched, encouraged, etc. and carries it with them for always.
He will be greatly missed. I will always remember him. Though I am not in the talent business, what he has taught me in terms of poise, speech, and projection I replicate in every educational speech I give and in every business meeting held or presentation given.
Blessings to his family and prayers. Mr. Farr will be missed tremendously.
-Lidia A.Garza, RDH
Lily Garza
July 3, 2008
My condolences go out to the Farr family... He was a force of nature in so many lives. He fought for what he believed to be valuable in life... The Arts... The Theater... the triumph of the spirit through the prism of self-expression...

John Farr was a teacher and mentor to me and many others at McAllen High School from 91-94. He inspired, challenged, raged, laughed and loved his students. Many of us have better and more full lives because John Farr was a part of shaping them. With theater he taught so many of us to transcend our lives through the understanding of language, story, poetry, song and staging. In UIL and NFL competitions, we learned how to hone our gifts and channel them. So many gifts... too numerous to name... so many powerful memories that shaped my life... John was such a powerful leader and a loving man.

I mourn John and will honor him for all my days by being a positive, creative force that he so encouraged me to be. (McHi, 94')
Ryan Blum-Kryzstal
July 1, 2008
Our sincere condolences to John's family. We were very saddened by the news of his death. It's a terrible loss. We have the most delightful memories of his generous, welcoming hospitality and quirky humour from our time in McAllen and at McHi in '88 while on teacher exchange. He was an inspiring teacher and supportive, honorable colleague and friend.
David & Margaret Smith
July 1, 2008
I was saddened by the tragic death of John and extend my sympathy to his family. I met John at WTAMU Speech/Theatre Camp several years ago. What a delightful person John was and a truly great educator. His "candle" will continue to burn brightly within those he left behind. I suspect he is dancing with the angels right now!
Joy Morton
June 28, 2008
i will always love you Mr.Farr, you mean so much to me you were the only person who could turn my day the other way are in a better place right now and i shouldn't cry anymore because of that. i will always love you and the team will never be the same without you. decimate!
Hillary Cortez
June 27, 2008
To John Farr's Family,
I just wanted you to know how much we will miss John. He had become part of our family. Lee Ann and John were so close so naturally we became close to him. When he couldn't get home for the holidays, he would come to either Lee Ann's or our house. He would always bring one of his famous cassoroles. We would always laugh about how an extra stick of butter would make it better! I will also miss all his crazy emails and phone calls just to say he loved us. We will truly miss him.
Patti and Levi Jones
June 27, 2008
I first met John when I was a freshman in high school in the Valley. John was at McHi and would host fabulous theatre workshops open to all children to attend, not just his own students. My mother, grandmother and I would travel over an hour just to see the shows his students would perform.

I later got to know John as a colleague and a friend as I became a speech and debate coach in South Texas. He was so positive and kind and always so welcoming. I loved to sit in coaches lounges and listen to him tell stories.

I will miss John's smile and infectious laughter. The world is a better place because John Farr was a part of it.
Christy Trussell
June 27, 2008
John Farr was by far one of the nicest, most interesting men I had ever met; Farr's teaching and company inspired both Harlingen School students. He will be missed.
Daniel Z.
June 27, 2008
I really don't know what to say, other than he was an awsome teacher. I have never met a teacher that was so supportive and encouraged everyone of his students. He will be greatly missed. (McHi-91)
Scott Bazan
June 26, 2008
Words can't describe how great of a teacher he was. I remember, when he used to play the Red Raider fight song...with him in the front leading the song. Rest in Peace Mr. Farr
David Cantu
June 26, 2008
What a tragic loss. John, you will be missed by us all. It's nice to see the names of so many students from 20+ years that still held you so dear & close to their hearts! You were such a wonderful teacher, mentor, friend. You will never be forgotten.
& I'll never forget your laugh!
Class of '89.
Beni (Ramos) Diaz
June 26, 2008
I wanted to send my prayers to the family of John. He is truly missed. I worked with John in Lamar Consolidated, and we were very close friends. It has been a long time, but the love has always been there. I know he is on my side now as an angel watching over me and eveyone he has come in contact with. I love you John and you are truly missed.
Tanya Jones Carrejo
June 26, 2008
Mr. Farr believed in his students. He believed in me and fueled my desire to further my education in theatre. I still remember the time that Mr. Farr came to my home to talk to my father to discuss the opportunities that theatre could offer. My parents did not approve of my participation in theatre yet somehow Mr. Farr was able to convince them that theatre would have a positive impact on my life. He was right! I hold a bachelor degree in theatre and a doctorate in medicine. He made me believe that a college education was attainable. He was my teacher, mentor, colleague, and friend. He will be missed by everyone.
Dr. Adan Fuentes
June 25, 2008
Words cannont express the sadness that my heart has felt. John was an inspiration to us all. I was very fortunate to be one of his students at PSJA Memorial 9th right after his graduation from Texas Tech. The memories of his gregarious nature and humor and wit will always occupy a very special place in my heart. John, you will always be special to each and everyone of us and will never be forgotten.
Mark Gonzalez
June 25, 2008
John, being at your memorial the other day was heartbreaking yet inspirational. I was your student 25years ago and still can laugh out loud remembering some of your stunts. Thanks for that. Thank you for teaching me how important it is to have fun and laughter in life. I will be 40 in 6 months and often feel the 20year old laughing out loud--that's you reminding me to never stop having fun you oversized kid! Thanks for being there when you were and instilling that value for me. Love ya!
Emma Ramos-Menchaca
June 25, 2008
Aww, Mr Farr what a tragic loss for the Arts. I always remember his
laugh and friendly smile. Even though we were his competition(PSJA '95-'98) Mr. Farr always provided us with great complements.My heart goes to his family, friends and students.
Cecilia Rodriguez
June 24, 2008
I met Mr. Farr when I was 14 years old. He introduced me to the world of theater and made me fall in love with it, as did many others. As I have told many friends, in this time of great saddness, I can't help but laugh. The many stories I recall still bring a smile to my face. He was a generous, loving, and inspirational man. An abundance of thanks for his never ending love. He will be missed and remembered always.
Kasie Sauceda
June 24, 2008
My heart goes out to the Family of Mr. Farr. He was great teacher and inspiration to others. A man who gave you a hug that you could feel in your heart. Thank you Mr. Farr for beleiving in me. You live in my heart forever.
Aidee G.Castro
June 24, 2008
Aidee G.Castro
June 24, 2008
John Farr....I miss you so much! Thank you for everything you ever did for me...knowing you since I was only 18 was a blessing. Where every you are Thank you! and I LOVE YOU! I will never forget you!
Eddie Cabrera
June 24, 2008
I've know John for 14 years. I was his student at Donna in 1994. I was fortunate to have him for those four years of my high school career. It is because of him, that attended college. It is because of him that I am here today.

I will miss you, Juan Lejos.
Joe Velez
June 24, 2008
What a tragic loss! John was a kind-hearted man who worked wonders with the children at the Tower Theatre in Weslaco. When most teachers teach correct English and pronunciation, I remember how he taught my son to lisp for his Winthrop role in "Music Man. He would kiss my 4 year old daughter on the cheek to calm her before a performance and always told my eldest, who was concerned that she was too chubby, that she was so pretty. He made a difference in self-esteem and for that I will be eternally greatful.
Kathy Adams
June 24, 2008
I am John's cousin. It was always fun to be with John. I will miss his random phone calls that he made just to check on me and tell me he loved me. Evidently he made those phone calls to everyone he knew. But John's heart and love for other's was much bigger than his phone bill. I would be willing to bet you, that for now on, every time I hear the phone ring, I will think of John. I LOVE YOU CUZ!!!
Warren Boorman
June 24, 2008
I was deeply saddened to hear of John's passing. Though I never knew him well, I remember him as the coach of the well prepared students of PSJA. Everyone in drama knew that the PSJA students were fierce competition. It is no doubt that they were inspired by John's enthusiasm for the arts.

His team was tough but his love for his craft extended to all who shared his interest, and he always had kind words of encouragement for even his competitors.

John was one of those rare individuals whose life enriches the lives of others no matter how brief the encounter. He lived life with true passion. His example is a gift to us all.
Dika Campos Sanders
June 24, 2008
When I remember John, I remember a happy, smiling man. Entering a room, he brought sunshine and laughter and filled everyone he met with the joy of life. The good do indeed die young. I am so sorry to have heard of his death. Though I did not see him often, I will miss his presence in our lives.
Bertha Campos
June 24, 2008
My most touching memory of Mr. Farr was an english class I had with him in probably 1997 at DHS.. I cannot remember now what on earth we had discussed that day in class, but just about every single person in that class left absolutely touched and with tears in their eyes. We handed around kleenex before class was over so it wouldn't be akward in the halls.
Mr. Farr was a Phenomenal (for lack of a better word) teacher. I was exposed the a literary world I would have never known had it not been for his dedication to education. The students he had yet to teach will have missed out greatly because of this tragedy. I know, however, that Mr. Farr is smiling down on us all now..passing on his highly contagious grin :D

Thank you Mr Farr for blessing us all as you did.
Destiny Calzadias (then Hilton)
June 24, 2008
There can be no greater testament to John Farr's impact on those around him than the words of his many friends, colleagues, and students who shared their experiences at his memorial service. It was indeed an evening full of "...laughter through tears..."
Elena Gomez
June 24, 2008
I met John in the early 90's when I took my students to speech tournaments. You could always find him by listening for his laugh. At the end of a long day of competing, John used to give me this look and call me "kid" (even though he was younger than me) and usually we would both crack up laughing... Like so many others I will remember his laugh.

There are thousands of us out here tonight that have been touched by John and will never be quite the same for having met him. He was a brilliant director, and he truly loved his kids and his job. He has made a positive impact on so many people - we will miss him.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family - and a special prayer for John -
Darleen Totten
June 23, 2008
John was someone who I shall never forget. He was a good friend to me during our first year's in college. I will miss him greatly.
Judy Low
June 23, 2008
It's hard to know even where to begin when talking about John Farr. He was larger than life in so many ways. He was amazingly welcoming when I first started coaching speech and directing plays in Texas. John always looked at new people as new members of the speech family, not to mention a new audience for his stories. He had thousands of them and he told and retold them every chance he got. And nobody laughed harder at John's stories than John. That's what I will always remember about him -- his face growing redder and redder as he laughed while trying to tell a story that we had all heard a hundred times before. We will all dearly miss the stories, the laughter, the friendship, and the love that John had for us.
Gina Koehn Reif
June 23, 2008
My sympathy to the family of John Farr. I went to high school with John in Collinsville. He had such a great sense of humor and always made us laugh. I have nothing but fond memories of John and know he will be truly missed by all who knew him. I truly am very saddened by this great loss.
Pam Woody-Phillips
June 23, 2008
On behalf of the all the Edinburg theartre students, we are very sorry for the passing of Mr.Farr. His creativity and outstanding love for the arts was just amazing. We will miss seeing him at the One act play contest years to come. We would like his family and students to know that the Edinburg Theatre department is behind you and here to support you all. We all share the same passion which allows us a strong connection.
Mr.Farr, we will miss you dearly!!
The Wiz Summer production Cast and Directors
June 23, 2008
It was noted that people preach a better sermon with their life than their words. This is so true with John Farr. To Mr. Farr's credit he always was willing to engage new educators,students and coaches. His larger than life personality,laugh and ability to deliver a story and joke can not be paralled. Mr. Farr truly was kind when I was a new coach introducing me to other coaches and going out of his way to make me feel welcomed. That is something you can not just do. It is a unique gift that he had. This is how I know his life preached a wonderful sermon.

I know that the loss of Mr. Farr can not even be explained but just as love can not make you strong until it has made you weak, our faith can not lift us up until it has knocked us down. Let us move forawrd in faith and remember all the incredible accomplishments that Mr. Farr had over his span of 25 years as an educator who truly cared.
Steven Montemayor
June 23, 2008
I was stunned to find out about John's death. He was so wonderful and gifted and kind. He was always the one to sit near if you needed to hear a great story or to laugh or to simply feel better. He will be greatly missed and was greatly loved. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends.
Amy Moeller
June 23, 2008
What can you say about a person whos presence and personality were larger than life? I will always remember John being so kind and welcoming when I first started coaching high school speech and debate.
There is a saying you preach a better sermon with your life than you do your words. John's acts of compassion and kindness for students,friends and co-workers was a sermon for us all to learn and live by. As Sojourner Truth noted, "I am not going to die, I am going home like a shooting star'. I know we can all find peace that John is home among the stars. God Speed.
Steven Montemayor
June 23, 2008
My deepest sympathy to the family of John Farr. John could always be counted on for a warm smile, a friendly word, or a pat on the back. He brightened the days of all who were around him. He will be greatly missed by all of us at Harlingen South.
Debra Wilson
June 23, 2008
John found his passion in teaching students about theatre, competition and about life. He was a fierce competitor and a talented director. John's joys in life were playing "Wheel of Fortune" with his mom, being around his friends, watcing his students be successful and watching his former students enter the teaching field (and, of course, having Leann buy him new clothes!!) His gift of humor was readily shared with anyone in a 50' radius. John made the staff at every hotel and school he was at for competitions his very own new "buddies". They catered to him...they would even cook him special breakfasts! He was able to cross boundaries when making new friends as well as encouraging and reaching all students. Students at other schools knew and loved John. We are all fortunate to have laughed with John. He was proud of his brother, nephew and cousins....but in John's eyes.....we were all family. Tournaments and play contests will be quieter without his infectious laugh and stories. John, we will keep a chair for you at the tournaments.
Charlene Dietrich
June 23, 2008
My condolences to the Farr family and to all John's friends and students throughout Texas and beyond. I saw him the last day he taught summer school, and as usual I received a huge hug and a funny joke. He was arranging a pot luck lunch for the last day of school - so typical of him. HCISD and our UIL District has lost a great coach and a good friend. He will be greatly missed!
Lucy Ann Black
June 23, 2008
My condolences to the Farr family. John Farr was a wonderful person!
Martha Elkins
June 23, 2008
Mr. Farr will always be rememberd in our minds as a teacher who loved what he did and who devoted so much time to his students while he taught at McHi. He was such a sweet and caring man who always gave us encouragement. He had a wonderful laugh and always smiled when he met you.
Cassandra and Raymond Moreno
June 22, 2008
Before I met John Farr, I attended the UIL State One-Act Play contest, and saw a wonderful production of I REMEMBER MAMA. I later met John and when I learned that it was he who had directed the play, I went on and on about how much I had enjoyed it, and that the play had really stayed with me - years later, he directed the play again for Harlingen-South HS - it was a play he loved. John will be greatly missed in the Theatre and Speech communities, as he was the kind of person we are drawn towards - to share our stories, and to hear his. As the lead in his favorite play says "but first and foremost, I remember Mama" we can now say "but first and foremost, we remember John Farr." God Bless you John.
Michael Harlan
June 22, 2008
I am very honored to have known John. He was not only my son's teacher and mentor, but a very good friend. I know that John was a big influence on what my son Bobby has accomplished in his life. I am very thankful for this. He loved us all as we did him. I wish that I could have spent more time with John. I will always remember eating lunch with John in the Mustang Cafe at Lamar Consolidated High School. When I drink tea, I will always remember his expression when he said, "This is good tea." I know he is in a better place.

I will miss you John.
Veronica Heugel
June 22, 2008
John will be deeply missed by all of those who knew and loved him. I will miss his laugh and his big bear hug every time we saw each other. By reading what everyone has said about him makes me realize how many people he has touched. My deepest sympathy to his family and friends. He will be missed throughout the Valley and State.
Melanie Brandt
June 22, 2008
John used to whisper in my ear - "I love you so much, girl". What he never knew was how much my students at Gregory-Portland and myself loved him. Tournaments will not be the same without this great guy!
Charlotte Brown
June 22, 2008
Mr. Farr was an amazing person who touched the lives of so many. I clearly remember when he showed up at my house with a large bowl of beef stew that his mother had made for me. I had been ill and was out from school for several weeks. I was so moved by his kindness and thoughtfulness. While attending his class, he not only taught me confidence but also how to laugh at myself. Summers at the Tower Theatre were a blast! While having lunch after practice, he would have us enter the restaurant after him pretending that he was some superstar. "John Farr...John Farr...can we have your autograph?" Mr. Farr was one in a million and will be greatly missed by those who knew him.
Marlene Muzquiz - Fazio
June 22, 2008
I knew John as a fellow coach, and he was my friend. His passing is a sad thing for us all, but we are all much richer for having known him. He was larger than life, and those sort of people are getting harder to find. My thoughts are with his family.
Mark VanBerg
June 22, 2008
My sympathies to his family, friends and ex-students who I know loved him very much.
Jeanne Gilson
June 22, 2008
John will be remembered as a talented man and for contributing to the cultural enrichment of the valley.
Joan Glaza
June 22, 2008
John was my mentor and friend. He was largely responsible for me pursuing a life in the acting profession. I am forever grateful to him for instilling in me a strong sense of pride and discipline in the craft and I sincerely believe the basic training he gave me in high school was the reason for any success I had in Austin, or Los Angeles.

I still find it amazing that John could inspire so many of his students to follow their dreams into a life of theater. There must be 10+ students from McHi alone! -Most of which are still active in the arts today.

John’s contributions to the artistic climate of the RGV were immeasurable. He inspired students, grew theaters and cultivated audiences. John Farr clearly left the Valley a much better place than when he had found it. He will be missed. (McHi '92)
Gabriel Martinez
June 22, 2008
To the Family and Friends of John:
My deepest condolences for your/our loss. I meet John through my daughters involvement with the Harlingen South Speech/Drama/Debate Team and I enjoyed his friendship. He was always a friendly, nice man who cared for all of his students. He will be greatly missed. I remember seeing him in his "Peach" colored S/D/D/ team shirt once and he said don't I look like the "Giant Peach" from "James and the Giant Peach" and just belly laughed, as we all did. I will always remember him laughing.

Jeanne Baker
Jeanne Baker
June 22, 2008
I will miss John coming in to the nurses office at harlingen south to make me laugh.
Joan (JD) Regnier
June 22, 2008
John Farr was a big part of my beginning and love for theatre. I can't help but think of his passion for the arts influencing mine. I will always think fondly of him and his contagious laughter. You will be missed.
Christie Wright Gilmore
June 21, 2008
To family, colleagues, and friends of John Farr, our deepest sympathy to those who knew and loved him. He was a great person who made his talents known through his laughter and kindness. He was my son's teacher last year and he came up to me to introduce himself and congratulate me on my son. I was very touched by his taking the time to come up to me during open house at the theatre department. He will not be forgotten. May God Bless his family and all who loved him. I know the Lord and angels opened the gates of heaven for him.
Sylvia Vela
June 21, 2008
Our deepest sympathy to all of John's family. Although we never met him, my sister, Kristy, always had something funny to tell about John Edward. (Kristy is married to his cousin.) From all we have heard of him, and read, John had to be one more very wonderful person. What a sad loss for the world....and it's host of young minds that need direction. George and Jo Gordon and Beth McIntosh
Beth McIntosh
June 21, 2008
John was my good friend. He made me laugh so hard so many times throughout the years. A few months ago, I was at his place watching "The Queen" (which he thought was an excellent performance by Helen Mirren) and eating his King Ranch chicken casserole, and we were talking, as usual(!). He wondered why people just couldn't be nice to each other. He said it was just as easy to be nice as it was to be negative. His joy of life and love of people is an inspiration to me. He was so proud of all his friends and family. He loved us all, just as we were.
Jamie Cline
June 21, 2008
John was my good friend. He has made me laugh so many times over the years. A few months ago, I was at his apartment watching "The Queen" (which he said was one of the best movies he had seen in a long time) and eating his King Ranch chicken casserole, and later we were talking, as usual(!), and he wondered why people found it so hard to be nice, he said it was easier to be positive and kind than it was to be mean. He felt the world would be a much better place if we could all just be nice and supportive of each other. He did more than wonder about this, he put these thoughts into action every day, his joy of life and love of others is an inspiration to me. He truly valued all of his friends and family and would always talk so happily about all of them and with such love. He loved everyone of us, just as we were.
Jamie Cline
June 21, 2008
The last PSJA Memorial Ninth grade class he had loved him so much, that a whole bunch of us went to see his GREASE production at rivals we were, but never, ever a rival to the biggest SMILE in the world. I will miss his laughter, his dancing, singing, and mostly his stern direction....
Debra Lyn Izaguirre
June 21, 2008
I was saddened and heartbroken to hear of John's passing. I will always have many fond memories of him when we were students together at Tech, our tips to Reynosa for those cheap pina coladas, his love of theatre, his zest for life and his contagious laughter. John encouraged me to move to the Valley after I graduated and he selflessly offered a place to live while I was beginning my new life in McAllen. John motivated(forced is a better word) me to become involved in the theatre community throughout the Valley and even gave me my first leading role at the Tower Theatre in Weslaco. When I began to help grow the theatre in Harlingen he was there to continue encouraging me and offering advice. His love for his students was and will be unsurpassed. We lost contact over the past few years and I will always regret that but I know the loss will be greater to the many who knew him. Rest assured, there will never be another John Farr! My thoughts and prayers are with his family in this difficult time. Had I been able to, I would have been there today to celebrate the life of a dedicated educator, a consummate director, a loving person and a friend.
Bryan Hutson
June 21, 2008
Mr. Farr is an inspiration to all of us. Especially his students. We were very fortunate to have him as a teacher/mentor. He taught us to have courage and discipline to reach our goals. Most importantly he taught us to have an appreciation for the arts, which opened many doors for us.
My deepest sympathy to John's family and friends, you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Laura Garcia
June 21, 2008
Mr. Farr taught me a lot about myself in high school that I still utilize today. He was very dedicated to his craft and students and every production was top notch. He will be missed, but he will live on through his inspiration and passion. (McHi Class of '91)
Jessica Henson
June 21, 2008
Thank you Mr. Farr for your commitment and love of teaching. You were one of my inspirations for becoming a teacher and I am glad that I was blessed with your guidance and support. You will be very missed.
Leo Rodriguez De Los Santos
June 20, 2008
John was a wonderful colleague and friend. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family. The speech community mourns with you.
Terri Robinson
June 20, 2008
I knew John at McAllen High School as a colleague. When the rest of the staff was down and out about something, John's laughter could be heard and a sweet smile and hug was always forthcoming from him. What wonderful gifts from God he had, and, boy, did he use them well! John was a giver, not a taker. His bright eyes and warm smile will be greatly missed by those who knew him. Those who would have known him in and out of the classroom in the future will never know his smile, his love, and the sound of his laugh. May God comfort all of John's family, friends and acquaintances as we go through this sad time.
Carolyn Davey
June 20, 2008
I was one of John's students in his first year teaching at PSJA Ninth. The impact he made on me is immeasurable. Teaching me to love theatre, constantly encouraging me to be a good person and supporting me when things weren't so great. His mark is indelible. I sit back & remember him & all these great things and there, playing faintly in the background, is the image of John singing --and acting out -- the Texas Tech fight song. Ha ha! What a guy. I'm gonna miss him.
Jaime Mancha
June 20, 2008
Mr. Farr was a true inspiration. He always found a way to make you laugh and keep you going. He strove for excellence from his students, and I am so thankful that he was a part of my life. He will be missed!
Deana Romero Flores
June 20, 2008
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