James F. Farr, 83, of Manchester, loving husband of 61 years to Joyce (Rounds) Farr, passed away peacefully on August 26, 2011 at Manchester Memorial Hospital.
James "Jim" Farr was born on Flag Day, June 14, 1928 in Manchester, son of the late Dr. James Farr, a dentist in town, and Mellie Farr, a local school teacher of 47 years. He attended Manchester schools, graduating from Manchester High School, Class of 1946. While in high school, James was employed by Weldons Drug Store, where he met the love of his life Joyce, who was also employed at Weldons. They were married June 25, 1950 shortly after he graduated from the University of Connecticut School of Business. Even though immediately after college he worked for Metropolitan Life, he realized his true love was for retailing and his goal in life was to open a store of his own.
In 1952, James joined the U.S. Air Force becoming the Intelligence Officer for the 801 Rec Tech Squadron at Lockbourne Air Force Base in Groveport, Ohio until 1954.
After the military Jim and a friend, Lou Veiguard, opened Manchester Surplus Sales on N. Main St. which he soon took over as a sole proprietor ownership. Shortly after the Redevelopment of the North End of Manchester, he moved his business, which originally carried toys, hobbies, housewares, hardware, lawn mowers, etc. to its present location at 2 Main St., changing the name to Farr's. Later he became very involved in the bicycle business and today it is still the main crux of his business. Today his four daughters, having stayed local and worked at Farr's, are now part owners. He employed many young people through the years and took great pleasure in grooming them for future work in retailing and they would often return to thank him and share their successes in business because of his influence in their lives. Jim became involved in politics and was a long standing member of the Republican Town Committee and served 4 years on the Manchester Board of Directors, also becoming Mayor of Manchester in 1970. He served on the Manchester Pension Board and for about 30 years on the School to Career Board, formerly Co-Op.
Jim was a member of different clubs including the Elks Club, the Army Navy Club, and the Knights of Columbus.
After joining St. Bridget Parish, Jim served on the finance committee for 20 years or more, the parish council and actively organized and directed the St. Bridget Bazaar for 30 years. For his many years of volunteering at St. Bridget, Archbishop Henry J. Mansell awarded him the St. Joseph Medal of Appreciation. This was Jim's way of giving back to the community since their patronage was responsible for his success in achieving his goal of becoming a successful business man for the past 56 years.
Jim spent most of his life working, but would love to get out and go fishing or bowling. Both he and his wife Joyce belonged to leagues. Jim and his wife shared many fond memories with their family and friends. This was exemplified by the good times he shared during the holiday seasons & the enjoyment from gatherings at the beach house at Old Kelsey Point, Westbrook, including swimming, games, & the great times around the barbeque. Jim and his wife frequently visited Florida and loved cruising so much, taking at least 60 of them over the years. Most of them Jim organized always including close friends, one of which he was very close to, Kazmier Gryzb, who predeceased him, but also served on the Class Reunion Committee with him for 5 years.
Beside his loving and devoted wife, he leaves behind four daughters, Patricia Farr, her companion Jack Spector and her daughter Katherine, Debra Farr and her sons Brett Lassen and wife Stephanie, Corey Lassen and wife Asha, Aaron Mumford (and fiancée Jacquelyn) and her daughter Tara Mumford (and fiancé Jason), Lisa Banning and her husband Bill and their three children Shannon, Tyler, and Brian, and Jamie L. Farr-Carroll and her husband Patrick and their sons Brandon and Zachary; three great-grandchildren Evan and Joshua Lassen and Caleb Lassen. He also leaves behind a truly devoted brother Richard Farr and his wife Susan and their children, Jim's nieces, Mary Elmore, Felicia Schaller, and Susan Hahn. James was predeceased by a son who died shortly after birth.
Calling hours will be held on Thursday September 1st from 4-8 pm at the John F. Tierney Funeral Home 219 West Center St. Manchester. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Friday at 11 am at St. Bridget Church 80 Main St. Manchester followed by burial with military honors at St. James Cemetery, Manchester.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to: MARC, Inc. of Manchester 352R W. Middle Turnpike Manchester, CT 06040 or St. Bridget School Fund 74 Main St. Manchester, CT 06042.
For online condolences please visit www.tierneyfuneralhome.com.