Ted Farmer, devoted husband, loving father, engineer, and poet passed away on January 22, 2023, at the age of 95. He was living at Bartlesville Assisted Living Center in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Ted was born at Memorial Hospital in Peoria, Illinois, on January 29, 1927. He was the first born child of Willis Lee Farmer and Helen Adelia (Colton) Farmer who were living nearby in the small town of Farmington, Illinois. Ted was baptized at the Farmington Methodist Church. He received his childhood education in local public schools and graduated from Farmington High School in 1945. When Ted was just 8 years old, his father died suddenly leaving his mother to raise Ted and Ted’s younger brother, Bob, in the midst of the Great Depression . Upon graduation during World War II, Ted enlisted in the United States Navy, was assigned to a landing craft, and sailed for Japan where he had expected to be part of the impending US invasion. However, the war ended, and Ted’s crew became part of the occupying force. The ship soon returned to California for decommissioning and Ted was honorably discharged. Back home, Ted attended James Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois, but transferred to Kansas State College in Manhattan, Kansas, where he was a founder of the local chapter of Sigma Chi Fraternity and received a degree in Civil Engineering. While there, Ted fell in love with Alice Kathleen Ekstrom. The couple were married May 28, 1950. Ted worked in Kansas, including in El Dorado and Topeka, gaining practical experience in engineering. Two boys, Robert Lee and Ronald Willis Farmer were born in this time. The couple ultimately returned to El Dorado where they made their home for over 60 years. Ted became County Engineer of Butler County, Kansas, and held that position for 35 years. He was also a licensed surveyor and near the end of his career with the county, he opened a private land surveying company. In El Dorado, the couple joined the First United Methodist Church and were active in the church throughout their lives. Ted had learned about Jesus from his parents and grew in his Christian faith from his childhood and with Alice. He showed that faith to others and taught it to his children and through them to generations which follow. Ted held numerous other interests. He was a poet, writing and publishing a book of poetry about a soldier in the US Civil War, and several individual poems including one dedicated to El Dorado called “A Song of Home.” He was active in the life of his two boys and served on the Boy Scout committee of Troop 222 sponsored by the El Dorado First Methodist Church. He played the flute, hunted quail, and, in retirement, acquired and trained a young Morgan horse. Ted was preceded in death by Alice, his wife of 69 years; by his younger son Ron; his parents; and by his younger brother Robert Farmer. He is survived by his son Bob and wife Nancy of Bartlesville, OK; daughter-in-law, Sharon Farmer, of Austin, TX; grandchildren Jamie and husband Travis White with sons Owen and Judah; and Tom Farmer with wife Christy and children Whitt, Emery, and Everett, all of Bixby, OK; and by niece Annalene Benson and nephews Jeri Reichle, George Schrems, Richard Farmer and Tom Farmer. Arrangements are by the Davis Family Funeral Home, Walker-Brown Chapel in Bartlesville. A graveside service will be held and Ted will be buried at the cemetery at Walsburg Lutheran Church, Leonardville, KS, Friday, January 27, 2023, at 11:00AM with Rev. Kaylie Ines officiating. Memorials are at the First United Methodist Church, 421 W. Central Ave, El Dorado, KS 67042; and at Bartlesville First Church, 4715 Price Rd, Bartlesville, OK 74006.
Theodore Lee Farmer – Butler County Times-Gazette
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