Earl Eugene Farmer, 73
Be good to your work, your word, and your friend.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” ― Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Earl Eugene Farmer, a great man, departed this world on May 31, 2014. He was attended to in his final moments by his wife Evelyn and grandson, Ethan—both of whom took the sudden medical emergency with the same strength and calm he had always shown in his own life.
Earl was born in Buhl, Idaho on Aug. 25, 1940, the son of Earl F. Farmer (who passed away the previous April) and Nova G. Farmer. He was raised by his mother and step-father Cecil West and lived with his two brothers on their farm. He attended school in Clover and Castleford where he graduated from high school in 1959. He had many adventures on the farm and surrounding desert area and passed those stories down to his children and grandson—telling them how he was the King of his Kingdom, which was basically the barn with tarpaper walls.
He enlisted in the United States Army serving in the Military Police and was stationed in Georgia, Kansas, and Washington. When he was discharged he returned to Buhl to become a police officer. He was working for the Buhl Police Department when he noticed a pretty girl walking down the street. He was introduced to Evelyn Rodriguez and eight months later they were married on May 18, 1963. They just celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary. He would say it was the best thing he ever did. Everyone who knew them saw how much Love they shared all these years--you just don’t see marriages like theirs anymore.
Earl joined the Idaho State Police in 1964 and served with dignity, honor, and professionalism for 27 years. Anyone who encountered ISP 479 met respect and fairness and many whom his family met over the years repeated this over and over, even if he had given them a ticket. We’ll never know how many lives he touched in his service to law enforcement and the community, but we know it mattered and he was proud of the work he did. Did you know he was once featured on the front page of the New York Times? We still joke about the way they had him pose for the picture and the photo even ended up in former Gov. Cecil D. Andrus’ autobiography--pretty good for a farm boy from Buhl.
Earl and Evelyn had two children, Earl Lee and Elena, and spent the bulk of their lives working to make their children’s lives amazing and happy. Earl shared his enjoyment of camping, fishing and hunting with them and made many wonderful memories in the mountains and streams of Idaho driving with his family along the back roads he seemed to know by heart.
He was also a founding member of the Cedar Hills Gun Club and taught his family to appreciate the sporting side of a firearm. The family went on many hunting and fishing trips together and Earl also traveled to many places all over the country, enjoying American history where it was made. You would never see Earl without a book in his hand. He collected a vast amount of paperbacks—science fiction and westerns were his favorites.
There were challenges in life too, but he met each one with integrity and a level head. When his mother-in-law had a mild stroke his first instinct was to have her come live with the family in Idaho. Years later he took care of his loving wife when she was diagnosed with Lupus, while balancing the deteriorating health of her mother. All this was done while he continued to support the family. Earl celebrated (mostly) when his daughter packed up and moved to New York City (right before 9/11). Some things a lot of parents would not be able to handle, but Earl, with grit and love, did what fathers are made to do—he guided, stood firm, held accountable, kept guiding, and kept loving. Do they even make Dads like that anymore?
One of Earl’s greatest moments came in 2000 when he became a grandfather--what an event! But he wasn’t your average grandpa, no, not Earl—he had to go above and beyond! As a retired man, he became the full-time pawpaw to Ethan Earl. Who does THAT? Earl babysat Ethan from infancy and they spent almost every day after that in each other’s lives—it’s a relationship that he cherished every minute from the day it began.
Earl lived a wonderful, full, and happy life; no moment was wasted. He was a five-year cancer survivor and the doctors were pleased with his progress. He kept active around the new house, in his shop and with his sweetheart. He never wanted to live with a lingering or debilitating illness as he saw both his mothers suffer in their last years, so true to his own wishes and promise to Evelyn he passed away very quickly.
Earl was preceded in death by his fathers, Earl F. Farmer and Cecil “Dutch” West; his mother, Nova G. Payne West; and his brother, Jackie C. West.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Evelyn Rodriguez Farmer; daughter, Elena Marie Farmer of Brooklyn, NY; his son, Earl Lee Farmer; grandson, Ethan Earl Farmer of Blackfoot; brother, Garry West of Buhl; and many beloved nieces, nephews, family members and friends.
Earl did genealogy and it would take the whole paper to list everyone he considered family.
A memorial services for this great man will be held at Hawker Funeral Home, 132 South Shilling Avenue in Blackfoot on Saturday, June 7, 2014 at 10 a.m. Family will meet with friends and relatives for one hour prior to services at the funeral home.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.hawkerfuneralhome.com.
Interment will be determined at a later time.