The Life and Memories
of Clyde Rudolph Farr
by his daughter
Lorraine Farr Richardson
‘Born of Goodly Parents’
Clyde Rudolph Farr was born in Pleasant Grove, Utah on a cold winter day, February 1, 1932, the second child and only son of Rudolph and Elna Farr. His mother had had many miscarriages, before and after the birth of their one daughter, Bess, 8 years earlier, so both parents were discouraged about ever being able to have the large family they had always envisioned.
Rudolph and Elna (Grandpa and Grandma Farr) were excited to finally be expecting another child, but Clyde was born very prematurely, and his tiny size and birth weight of 2 ½ pounds caused great concern. In those days, such premature babies rarely survived. Grandma loved to tell the story of the attending doctor looking at newborn Clyde, shaking his head, and remarking with little hope, “Them’s pretty poor potatoes.”
Hard Work & Miracles
But, Grandpa and Grandma were determined to save their new little son, and went to work. Grandpa tells how they kept the wood stove roaring hot, put Dad (Clyde) in a little shoebox behind the stove where it was very warm, fed him with an eye dropper every little while, and hovered over him throughout the night. When the doctor came back the next morning, he was completely amazed to find Dad still alive—Grandma said he hadn’t expected that in the least. Grandpa
and Grandma were thrilled!
Mom x 2
So, Dad grew up with two wonderful parents and a devoted older sister. Dad says he was 11 or 12 before he realized he didn’t have two mothers; Bess was the one who would get him up in the mornings, feed him breakfast, pack his lunch, and get him off to school while Grandma and Grandpa were out milking their dairy cows. Dad and Bess were very close; he sent her Mother’s Day cards for years as a humorous expression of his love and gratitude.
Dad says Bess was kind-hearted and very good to him. He sometimes did dishes when he was little—Bess never told him how to do them better, or got after him for how he did them; she just told him he did a great job, then did them again after he’d gone out to play. She did expect him to mind, and chased him around with a fly-swatter until he did what she asked!
Grandpa said that when Dad was little, he used to go out and rope the cows while Grandpa milked. Grandpa chuckled about how Dad would rope them over and over, but the cows didn’t seem to mind!
Bareback on Buttons
Dad’s family moved back to the Mesa, Arizona area when he was still very young, and that’s where he spent his growing up years. They first moved to a farm in Lehi, where Dad remembers having a horse named Buttons that they pastured. Dad rode bare-back, and Buttons was small enough that Dad could grab his mane, put his toes on Buttons’ knee, and climb up on his back.
Minus a Toe
One day when Dad was about 5 years old, he was playing with some friends, climbing in a fig tree and eating the figs; just as Dad climbed up on Buttons, a boy threw figs at the horse and scared him. As Buttons shied away, Dad fell backwards off of him, and the horse stepped on his bare toes.
Dad knew his foot was hurting, but didn’t think much about it, and climbed back on. One of the boys yelled, “Look! You’re missing a toe!” Dad looked down, saw blood spurting all over and a toe gone, and then started crying.
Grandma took him to the doctor—a tough “horse doctor” (Dad’s description) named Hartman who said, “Wish you’d brought that toe in—we might could have put it back on…let’s see how tough you are.” Dad’s bone was sticking out with the “meat” stripped off, and the doctor proceeded to cut off the exposed bone with what Dad described as a wire-cutter type of instrument, stitched him up, and sent him off.
Dad used to like to jump big rocks while riding his bike down Lehi Hill. One time he pulled up on his handlebars to jump a big rock, and his front tire rolled off down the hill in front of him! A big crash resulted, and he got all scraped up, but he still loved his bike.
Prince, the Gentle Giant
Dad’s first horse of his very own was a 2,000-lb. work horse named Prince. Prince was extremely gentle, and would let Dad climb up onto him by way of his halter, or by standing on a large rock or fence. Dad was only 5 years old, not yet in school, at this time. He could lie down on Prince’s large back, it was so wide. Once he went to sleep while lying up there, then fell off when he turned over in his sleep—crashing onto the ground is what woke him up!
The Master’s Voice
Prince pulled a sled around for Dad while Dad shoveled off silage (chopped corn with sugar cane) to feed the cows. Prince moved forward whenever Dad said and stopped when he said. One rare time, it froze in Arizona and the sled’s runners were frozen to the ground when Dad went out to feed in the morning. Prince couldn’t budge the sled, even though he kept straining at it. Grandpa Farr saw them and thought Prince was balking (for the first time) and wouldn’t stand for that in a horse. He called out from the barn in a stern voice: “Prince!” Prince broke the harness, the tracers, everything, but he moved! He always obeyed Grandpa, and was going to do so that time, no matter what.
The ‘Rocky’ Champion
Dad never liked to fight, but many kids at his school did. When the recess bell rang, the first one outside would hit someone and start a fight. Dad figured out a plan to not have to fight. He picked out the biggest, toughest kid and hit him in the nose and knocked him flat. Dad then told him, “Get up if you want any more of that.” He had no more problems.
Another time, he couldn’t stand the other kids always teasing a boy who walked awkwardly because he had cerebral palsy, so one recess he beat up the first kid who made fun of the boy, then the second kid, and so on until they all stopped teasing.
Everyone wore white T-shirts and jeans to school in Dad’s day, and the cool thing was Levi jeans. Dad’s family couldn’t afford to buy them, and Grandma made all his pants. So, she’d ask people to save the red Levi tags on the back pocket of their old Levis, and would then sew one onto his homemade jeans so
that he wouldn’t feel left out—they looked just like the store-bought ones.
Grandpa and Grandma lost that farm in Lehi; they then built a rock house with cement, and a rock barn, on a couple of acres in Lehi on rocky, cheap land. They still had cattle and hay, and sold milk from there. In the summers, they’d live in a camp trailer on an Indian reservation at Sacatone and raise hay, then move back to the little rock house in Lehi in the winters. They’d turn the cows out in pastures so they didn’t have to feed them, but just watch them for bloating. They’d milk them, then put the milk in 10-gallon buckets to be picked up morning and night.
Dad remembers Grandpa—and Grandma—singing a lot when he was little. Dad had a beautiful singing voice, and liked to sing as he worked; Grandpa said that he’d go out to milk the cows when Dad was young, and hear Dad singing at the top of his voice. Grandpa also laughed to tell us how, when he was out in the fields changing the irrigation water during the day, he could hear Dad singing clear across the fields, 40 acres away!
Dad was very impressed that his father never got flustered by life; he didn’t let the tough times discourage him—or at least never let Dad know it, if he did. Life’s challenges never seemed to get him down: he just kept going. He was also impressed that, although his mother got bothered by the little things, she always rose to the challenge of big crises, and took them right in stride. For instance, when they had a big fire on their farm in Nevada years later that destroyed almost all their possessions, she just said, “Well, that’s that”, and went on with life without saying any more about it.
His parents eventually were able to buy a dairy farm, and the whole family joined in the milking effort. Dad says that before he even started school, he had 3 cows to milk morning and night. The way he was able to do that was that Grandpa and Grandma gave him three easy cows that “just poured out the milk”, to quote Dad. Bess milked 5 cows, Grandma 15, and Grandpa 30 by hand. Dad says Grandpa and Grandma would come by when they weren’t looking and strip out the cows for them, then brag about how well they could milk their cows while so young. Their intent was to keep Dad from getting discouraged at a young age—and it worked!
Haul Up That Water!
The Farrs didn’t have running water until Dad was in about the 8th grade. His father dug an 18-foot well by hand, lined it with rocks, and built a platform over it. They would lower a bucket down on a rope to pull water up. For Saturday night baths, they’d build a fire in the wood-burning stove, haul in water to heat in pots and tea kettles, then add that hot water to cold water in a large oblong wash tub until it was a comfortable temperature. Dad, Bess, Grandma, and then Grandpa—in that order—would take a bath in it. After everyone was done, they’d haul the dirty water out to dump on the lawn. (No one took a bath every day back then.) By the time Dad was around high school age, they had a domestic well, and piped water into the house, finally having the luxury of showers, sinks, a toilet, etc.
It’s My Birthday?
Birthday celebrations weren’t a tradition in Dad’s family; he doesn’t remember having a birthday party growing up—not until he was married. Sometimes he’d get something special, like a new bike, but it wasn’t wrapped up, and he was just as likely to get it at another time as on a birthday. At Christmas, they didn’t have a tree, but Dad and Bess got presents, and each got one for their parents when they got older. They would milk and feed, then come in and open presents and have a little party that Bess had planned.
Grandpa’s Keep-out-of-Trouble Formula
A man once asked Grandpa Farr why Dad never got in trouble. Grandpa replied, “Why, I keep Clyde so busy, he doesn’t have time to get in trouble!” Dad would tell us, with a smile, “And that was the gospel truth!” Grandpa and Grand-ma grew up in a tradition of hard work and not a lot of play, but Dad has great memories of always having a wonderful time together as they worked. His father was very pleasant and had a quick wit, and Dad loved to work with him.
Worst Punishment Ever
Dad rarely disobeyed his parents. He was only spanked 3 times in his life, and all 3 times were by his mother. His father would never spank him, just look at him and say, “Son, I thought you knew better than that.” Dad thought this was the worst punishment possible, and always tried his hardest to do the right thing so he would not have to hear those words. When friends would want to go do something wrong, Dad would tell them he wouldn’t do it. They would coax, “Your parents won’t find out, and if they did, what would they do to you?” Dad would reply, “My dad will look at me and say, ‘Thought you knew better than that.’” The others would laugh and think that wasn’t so bad, but it was to Dad.
Can You Keep a Straight Face?
Grandpa Farr would make Dad and Bess laugh so much at dinner that Dad says they couldn’t even finish a meal because of laughing so hard. Grandpa didn’t tell jokes, just said funny little things with a straight face in such a funny way that his children (and grandchildren, when they came along) couldn’t help but burst out laughing! He made up funny names for all the cows, all the young men who came to call on Bess, and all Dad’s friends, and Dad and Bess would laugh ‘til they cried, and just hope their friends either wouldn’t hear, or would have a good sense of humor! Grandpa’s gifts of humor and quick wit were passed on to his son, and greatly enjoyed by their posterity.
One night Dad thought Grandpa called him to get the cows out of a field.
He jumped up, ran outside, and ran across the cement head gate across the ditch, looking for those cows—sleepwalking the whole time. Headlights coming down the road shone in his eyes and woke him up. He looked down, saw he had on only his underwear, and promptly jumped in the ditch until the car went by—and nearly froze! He then headed back home to find that Grandpa and Grandma hadn’t called him at all—they weren’t even awake yet to milk.
Every Saturday Dad and a group of friends would go to see a movie in the theater, which only cost 10 cents. Every Sunday he went to his grandparents’ house for dinner, and all of his cousins came. Dad always looked forward to these dinners—it was a great chance to see all his family and talk with them.
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
As a boy, Dad would often stay at Grandpa Charles Sidney Brown’s house (his mother’s dad) on the weekends when he had school activities going on, because his grandpa lived close to Dad’s school.
Two LDS Church leaders, Hugh B. Brown (his grandpa’s brother) and N. Eldon Tanner (another relative) would also come to stay with Grandpa Brown when they were in the Mesa area on Church business. Dad remembers listening to their discussions of gospel topics at the dinner table, being impressed how they’d quote scriptures from memory literally for hours, speaking as if the scriptures were open in front of them, even when they weren’t. Dad says he didn’t appreciate at the time what a treasure trove he witnessed! This made him want to know the scriptures well, as they did, and he became a gospel scholar for life.
Dad and his friends often went swimming in the nearby canal. They would dive into the culvert by the pump that came out into the canal, and play hide and seek along the canal banks. One day, they had a very scary experience there: Dad dove in first, swam down into the culvert, and discovered that a metal grate had been placed at the end of the culvert to keep fish from getting in. Luckily for all of them, for some reason the other boys didn’t immediately dive in after him like they usually did—if they had, they would’ve all piled up at the end of the culvert against that grate, with the rushing water pushing them against it, and would probably have all drowned together.
As it was, Dad had a very difficult time getting back out. The water pressure pushing him against the grate was hard enough that he couldn’t make much headway trying to swim back upstream against it. He was trying not to panic, but couldn’t get out, couldn’t breathe, and was scared to death that his friends would be piling up on top of him any minute. In this dilemma, he had the thought come to mind that there was an air pocket at the top of the culvert, so he put his mouth right up to the top of the culvert, gasped in air, then worked his way back up, gasped in more air, and fought upstream a little further.
Safe at Last
By repeating this process over and over, a shaky young man was finally able to drag himself safely out of the culvert—too weak to do much the rest of the afternoon. It turned out that his friends were running up and down the canal banks, thinking he had hidden really well as he came out of the culvert, still trying to discover his hiding place. Dad felt that the Lord was protecting them all that day, and some very sober boys returned home.
Dad was elected president of Future Farmers of America during high school, first of the Mesa chapter, then of the entire state of Arizona. This organ-ization was very important in those days of agricultural living, and Dad had many leadership opportunities in these
capacities, traveling around the state, welcoming visiting dignitaries, organizing events, etc. Mom was elected secretary of Future Farmers, as well as FFA Sweetheart, and was happy to get to work with Dad in that organization.
Only Ask Once!
Grandpa & Grandma never told Dad more than one time to mind. For example, they’d tell him only one time in the mornings that it was time to wake up to milk. If he didn’t get up right away, when he woke up again later, he’d go out to the barn and find them milking for him. Dad says it didn’t take very many times of that to get him to obey the first time—he didn’t like feeling “like a lazy bum, with my parents doing my work for me”, to quote Dad. He believed in following that principle with his own children: only ask them one time to do something.
Milking Machine Magic and Canal Water Skiing
By the time Dad was high school age, the Farrs hooked the cows up to milking machines, and the family milked 150 cows morning and night, before and after school, 4 am and 4 pm. That didn’t leave a lot of time for play or after-school activities, but Dad still managed to fit in his share of fun. One thing he and his friends liked to do was water ski down the canal: they’d stand on a board upstream and hang onto a rope behind a pick-up truck—the pick-up starting out slowly would pull them upright, then they could ski on that board far down the canal!
Arm Broken? No problem!
Dad did play football for a while in high school, and broke his arm doing it. The same doctor that had fixed his toe when he was younger now fixed his broken arm. Dad went in holding his arm carefully; the doctor grabbed it, straightened it out, popped it back together—none too gently—and put a ball of casting material in Dad’s palm, wrapping Dad’s arm up with gauze really well. (The doctor said that casts made the arm swell, and then he had to break them off, so he didn’t like them.) Dad said he was trying to be brave and tough, and commented, “Well, at least I’ll get out of milking tonight!” The doctor looked up at him, startled, and said, “Why? Just don’t lift any heavy buckets with that broken arm, and you’ll be okay!”
Peanut Butter Magic Trick
Grandma always had oatmeal cookies or hot homemade bread waiting for Dad after school. She and Grandpa would already be out milking, and Dad would get a snack, then go on out to the barn to help. One time Dad and his friend came home starving and ate a whole loaf of hot bread, with a whole jar of peanut butter, having their favorite snack of bread with peanut butter and honey.
When they realized they’d finished off the whole jar of peanut butter, they scraped the leftover peanut butter around the inside of the jar, just goofing around, until it looked like the jar was still full. Grandpa came in later to get a snack, took off the lid, and clunked his knife down to the very bottom of that jar, instead of sinking it into soft peanut butter like he was expecting. He had such a surprised, funny look on his face that Dad and his friend couldn’t quit laughing, and Dad still laughed ‘til he cried years later whenever he told this story, just remembering!
Buddies in Adventure
Dad’s good friends were named Wayne Crandall, Dale Nickols, and Bud Leonard—he has many very fond memories of adventures with them. He also had another friend, Tal-medge Huber, who got into a lot of scrapes with the cows, and Dad would laugh and laugh as he recalled these memories for us. For instance, a cow once licked Talmedge’s face when he reached down to get something he dropped into the feeding trough; impulsively, Talmedge reached out and bit the cow’s ear for revenge. The startled cow swung her head around and knocked him clear out to the haystack!
Dogs to the Rescue
Dad and his fun-loving friends excelled in practical jokes, and later his children always delighted in hearing him—a marvelous story-teller—tell stories of the adventures they master-minded together. One favorite story was a time the young men planned out an elaborate prank sure to appall their dates: they nailed tin plates to a wooden table and trained their 2 dogs to jump up on the table to lick the plates clean after a meal. They then invited some girls over for a fancy dinner they had prepared; after dinner, they casually whistled for their dogs to come in—to the girls’ dismay, the dogs jumped up on the table, as trained, and licked every plate clean!
Another favorite story we children liked to hear was about a trick he and a group of friends played on one of their teachers who drove a Volkswagen to school every day: one day he and his friends picked the small car up and set it down in-between a tree and a pole—it fit so tightly that she couldn’t possibly get it out on her own. Later, the boys casually strolled by. “Noticing” the bind she was in, they sympathetically offered to help move it back, acting completely innocent!
Timing is Everything
Dad remembers getting kicked out of class just 2 times during his school years: one time, he was late for class because a teacher had stopped him in the hall and asked him to help move some tables, for which he gave Dad a late slip to get into his next class. When Dad walked into class late, the teacher said, “Farr, you’re late!” Dad—with his excuse in hand—still had to make a clever retort: “Yes, sir; I’ll leave early to make up for it.” The teacher replied, “Farr, you can just leave right now.” (He later told Dad that he thought that was very funny, but he couldn’t let him get away with it in front of the class.)
The second time that Dad was sent out of class, the teacher was saying, “Italy: we say ‘Italians’ [with a short i sound], not ‘Italians’ [with a long i sound].” Dad raised his hand and said, “Do we call people in France “Franch” or “French?” The teacher dismissed him from class for that remark! However, despite Dad’s sometimes unwise timing of jokes and wit, he had a good rapport with his teachers, who enjoyed him, depended on him, and respected him as a leader.
Dad loved to dance and always went to church and school dances. Another funny incident we children loved to hear him recount happened during a high school dance: as a crowd-mixer during the dance, one young man would be given a broom to dance with; when the music stopped, he was to give the broom to any other guy on the dance floor and dance off with the girl that that young man happened to be dancing with.
One time during a broom dance, Dad happened to be dancing with a girl who thought she was “really something” (to quote Dad), when a good friend of his danced up to them with the broom. Dad says that his and his friend’s eyes met, and they could tell that they’d had the same brilliant idea strike both of them at the same moment: they gave the broom to the stuck-up girl, and the two boys danced off together! Dad says the girl was sputtering mad and not very good-natured about it, but everyone else enjoyed the joke!
The Dance That Would Last Forever
Lucille and Clyde first knew each other when she was a freshman and he was a sophomore. Lovely Lucille really liked Clyde, and admired how he was nice to everybody, but he was out-going, well-known, and well-liked, and she was a little shy around him. He thought she was the prettiest, nicest girl in the school, but only knew her from a distance.
Then, one memorable evening, she and her cousin and good friend, Bessie Hulett, attended a high school dance where eventful changes happened. Clyde came up to them and asked Bessie to dance; knowing how much Lucille liked him, Bessie’s heart sank and she didn’t know what to do. But, as they danced, it was Lucille that he started asking about—if she liked anyone, etc. Bessie couldn’t stand to play it cool, and blurted out, “Yes! She likes you!” Clyde then asked Lucille to dance—a dance that would last forever. They were sweethearts from that time on, having eyes and hearts only for each other for the rest of their lives.
Dad and Mom dated throughout high school in group dates. When Dad was 18, a high school graduate and attending Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona, and Mom was 17, still a senior, world events crucially affected the timing of their plans for the future. Dad was preparing to leave on his 2-year mission for the LDS Church, but the First Presidency sent out a letter stating that any young man eligible for the draft (the Korean War was in full swing), should go into the service of their country at that time, rather than on a mission.
Farr Family Forever
Dad was very eligible, and decided that he’d rather sign up for 4 years in the Air Force than be drafted for 2 years into the Army. He and Mom then decided that they didn’t want to wait 4 years to be married. After consulting their parents, who heartily approved their plans, Clyde and Lucille were married in the Mesa, Arizona Temple on Nov. 9, 1950 before he left for active duty.
Service in the Service
While in the service, Dad and Mom were called to be stake missionaries, and Dad’s specific assignment was to find and fellowship the inactive servicemen wherever he was sta-tioned. Dad’s gifts for friendliness, warmth, humor, genuine interest in others, and firm testimony were fully employed by the Lord: he was instrumental in bringing many young servicemen back into activity in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He and Mom influenced course corrections in numerous lives.
Want To Be Happy? Do It Right!
Dad’s experiences with young men who were miserable because of sin, and then joyful as they repented and turned their lives around, made a deep impression on him. When he had children of his own, he would often remind them of the gospel truth he had repeatedly witnessed in the service: “Wickedness never was happiness. If you want to be happy, do it right!”
Merry Christmas is Right!
After basic training, Dad was stationed in Wichita Falls, Texas for aircraft mechanic school, then at Shepherd Air Force Base in Bellville, Illinois, and Mom was able to join him both places. When he flew overseas to Japan, however, she had to go back to Arizona to work to save up enough to pay for her plane ticket to fly over to join him. Nine months apart seemed forever, but finally they together saved enough, and she arrived in Japan on Christmas Day.
Dad had often signed up for his buddies’ slots on the duty rosters while Mom was in the States and he had time on his hands; now the men in his unit generously returned that favor by many times erasing his name on the duty roster and replacing it with their own, so that he and Mom could have time together after being apart for so long.
Second Honeymoon in Japan
In addition, his commanding officer gave Dad several weeks leave when Mom arrived in Japan, so they were able to have a second honey-moon, touring around the beautiful Japanese countryside on their own. Mom remembers one time that they, feeling young and energetic, rode bikes 40 miles to another town; by the last few miles, she was so tired that she held onto Dad’s shirt tail to rest, while he peddled for both of them, towing her along! They put their bikes and themselves on the train for the return trip.
Not This Guy!
Dad was the only guy in his outfit who didn’t drink, smoke, and party. At first, his squadron was always trying to get him to drink, but when they never succeeded, they started sticking up for him. When anyone asked him if he wanted a drink, he wouldn’t even have to answer for himself; someone else would say, “No, he doesn’t do that kind of stuff!”
You Can’t Have Your Money!
All the other men entrusted him with their paychecks while they went out partying. They would give him all their money to keep for them, and instruct him not to give it to them, no matter what they said when they were drunk.
Only one time did Dad yield, when a guy pleaded so hard for some of his own money and wouldn’t quit begging him, that Dad finally gave it to him. The next day, the guy came to him crying and said, “Why did you give me that money? I had to have it to send home, and now it’s gone.” Dad said never again did he ever yield to their pleadings or threats when he was left safeguarding their money, even though sometimes he practically had to fight them off in order to keep it! His fellow servicemen very much looked up to Dad, and depended on his stalwart moral character.
Dad was a flight engineer for the Air Force, maintaining B-25 Mitchell airplanes. He also worked on C-24s and C-124s, cargo planes and bombers converted into cargo planes. He was scrupulous about keeping “his” plane in top working order always. He was proud that the commanding officer wanted to “use Farr’s plane” whenever he needed to travel at a moment’s notice, because he knew he could count on Dad’s plane always being properly cared for and ready to go.
Dad flew with a crew back and forth from Japan to Korea, transporting enlisted men, officers, and supplies. He remembers only one time that all the men in his plane got their parachutes on, tense and ready to jump, but ended up not actually having to do it. During his stay in Japan, he also experienced floods, a huge typhoon, earthquakes, and terrible winds.
During the Korean War, two leaders of the LDS Church, Harold B. Lee and Joseph Fielding Smith, came to Japan to tour the area and create branches so that people stationed because of the war could go to church. Dad’s plane was the one they traveled in, so he got to tour with them—a special privilege to him.
Friends for Life
Dad and Mom made lasting friendships while in the service—decades after returning home, they continued to keep in contact with many dear friends, and often spoke fondly of that time spent together, gathering for reunions with the various friends from the service whenever they could.
Good to Be Home!
After finishing his four years of Air Force service, Dad and Mom returned to Mesa, Arizona, where they joined Grandpa and Grandma Farr, and Bess and her husband, Tom, in dairy farming. Dad worked in partnership with his father his entire life, first in Mesa, then in Casa Grande, Arizona, then in Nevada. Living next door to grandparents their whole lives was a blessing for which his children were very grateful.
Teach Those Hooligans?
When he returned to Arizona from the Service, his first calling in the Church was teaching a Sunday School class that had a reputation for driving off any teacher in a matter of weeks. Dad took on the challenge, and said those young people were thirsting for the knowledge of the gospel. Dad taught them from the scriptures, and soon they were asking him to ask the Bishop if they could meet during the week, besides on Sundays, to have a second time each week to study the scriptures together. This experience was typical of his influence with young people.
Dad and Mom couldn’t have children for 7 long years after they were married. They both wanted a big family, planned on a big family, and were very sad not to have that dream materializing.
During those long years of waiting, they had plenty of time to observe other parents interacting with their children, and together cemented very definite ideas about what they would do and not do as parents, if they were ever able to have children. For example, they would hear a mom at the grocery store telling her child over and over to do something, but never following through with any consequence for disobedience, and they resolved together that they would tell their children to do something only one time, then watch to make sure they obeyed. Their children can vouch that that rule was certainly kept!
Drought Ends with Downpour
After 7 long years, Dad and Mom found a specialist that was able to help with their infertility issue, and they were finally able to have children. After being childless and longing for children for so long, they were absolutely thrilled to have spirits sent to them at last, and had babies in quite rapid succession: the first few were only a year or 1½ years apart.
Yahoo--Keep ‘Em Coming!
When their children were grown and figuring out how to parent busy little children of their own, they would ask Mom and Dad how in the world they managed, with the first few so close together. Mom and Dad would smile and say, “After having to wait so many years for you, we were so thrilled to have you children that we jumped up and down for joy every time we found out another one of you was coming!” And that is exactly how they treated us—like they were completely delighted to have us. Knowing that our parents felt that way about us was a marvelous blessing for us children!
Dad had always had a dream of owning a cattle ranch. When Lyle was a baby, he finally found an opportunity to make that dream come true. He and Grandpa Farr sold their prosperous dairy farm in Arizona and bought a cattle ranch near Eureka, Nevada: The Willows Ranch. Dad was thrilled! He had a beautiful setting of miles of hill country for his cattle, excellent horses to ride through those hills, a pleasant situation where he could work with his father and children, and he was happy!
However, that dream didn’t last long: within 3 years, the price of cattle dropped so low (8 cents per pound) that they weren’t able to make payments on the ranch, and were forced to lose it. This was a very disheartening time for Dad. He felt responsible for this financial blow, in that he had won Grandpa over on the idea of selling their financially very successful dairy farm in Arizona in order to buy the ranch in Nevada, and now it hadn’t worked out.
Blow or Blessing?
Years of financial struggle followed as they recovered from this setback, but in time, Dad was able to see that long financial trial as a blessing: he often said, in later years, that he loved us children so much that if they had had plenty of money while we were growing up, as was the case in Arizona, he most likely would have given us anything we wanted and spoiled us to death. Whenever he told us this story, he always concluded by say-ing very earnestly, “If it took having no money to raise such wonderful children, then it was worth it!”
On the Move
After the Willows, Dad and Mom, and Grandpa and Grandma Farr, moved around quite a bit with work before life set-tled down again for them: back to Lehi, Arizona, then to Garrison, Utah, then Austin, Nevada. Finally, they settled out in Antelope Valley, Nevada, halfway between Austin and Battle Mountain, first raising alfalfa seed, then alfalfa hay for dairies. First they farmed for others, then eventually were able to buy their own place, and put down roots there in Antelope Valley that were to last the rest of Dad’s life.
Throughout his life, Dad was always involved in church service. He was the branch president of the Austin Branch for years, then a counselor in two different stake presidencies in the Fallon, Nevada Stake, then Fallon Stake patriarch, Sunday School teacher, and full-time missionary. He was a wonderful example to his family of being willing to serve wherever the Lord asked him to. When Dad was branch president in Austin Branch for many years, the family would drive the 65 miles in and out of Austin each week, staying all day long on Sundays for him to do his branch president work and taking that very matter-of-factly because of Dad and Mom’s attitude.
Our Own Branch!
Dad had urged for a long time the creation of an Antelope Valley Branch of the Church; he was elated when that finally happened. The Branch held Sacrament Meeting in his and Mom’s living room for years, followed by classes held in the bedrooms.
Ironically, though, almost as soon as this dream of his materialized, he was called into the Fallon Stake Presidency, so was rarely at home on Sundays, and instead of 1 ½ hours each Sunday to drive to Austin, he now drove 3 ½ hours—at least—to Fallon, and usually many more to surrounding branches, often staying overnight be-cause of distance. Through that call, many additional people were able to be blessed by his teaching and counsel.
But, we children never heard Dad hes-itate to accept church callings, nor Mom hesitate to support him, and he drove many long hours in church service to the widely distant towns of north-central Nevada, leaving very, very early (2 or 3 am), and often not returning until the following day.
Easy or Hard?
He then served as a stake patriarch, which Dad said was the easiest or the hardest calling in the Church, depending on whether or not he had the Spirit—there were no counselors, no one else to depend on, “just me and the Holy Ghost, so I’d better be worthy and ready for that companionship”, as Dad put it.
Grandchildren who were privileged to receive their patriarchal blessings from their grandpa had one of the choicest memories of their lives, where the veil was the thinnest and heaven the closest, making them reluctant to leave the room and go back to “normal life”.
A Real Chapel!
A few years before Dad died, he witnessed what he considered to be a true miracle: a real chapel right at Farr Ranch, “out in the middle of Nowhere, Nevada”, as the Farrs called their location. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints built a beautiful Antelope Valley Chapel on property the Farrs donated. Dad couldn’t have been more delighted!
‘Hunk a Junk’
Dad loved many things about farming and ranching, but not “mechanicing”, as he called it. Fixing machinery life—it always tried his patience to the limit, and he was really glad when his sons were old enough and knew enough to take over that aspect of farming!
As patriarch, Dad said he learned not to do any mechanicing for several days before giving a blessing, because it “always made him so mad that the Spirit would run for the door and he’d be stranded!”, to quote Dad. He wanted the Spirit of the Lord.
We knew Dad sought heavenly inspiration, and we trusted him. One spring it had been raining hard, so there was a lot of water in Reese River—which hardly ever happened. The family excitedly planned a tubing-down-the-river party for the following day. However, the next morning, Dad told us—very soberly—at the break-fast table, that he had had a strong impression in the night that we shouldn’t go tubing. We were very disappointed, but none of us questioned Dad on that impression.
Elder & Sister Farr
He and Mom were thrilled to achieve a life-long goal when they served a full-time mission together in the St. George, Utah Mission, where they met and taught people from all over the world. They conducted tours at the Temple Visitors’ Center and at several church historic sites around St. George, and made many lifelong friends among the other senior couples. Mom and Dad had wonderful memories of that time together as husband and wife mission companions—they loved their mission!
“The Most Important Thing”
One of his favorite callings was Sunday School teacher to many of his teenage grandchildren in the Antelope Valley Branch in his later years. He said he started out the first week’s class saying, “This is the most important lesson you’ll ever hear,” (talking about the plan of salvation, and he said he thought it was), and the next week, again, “Today we’ll talk about the most important thing you’ll ever hear”. Soon it was a class joke: as they’d come in each week, they’d say, “Grandpa, what’s the most important thing we’ll ever hear in our life today?”
The Sound of Music
Dad had a beautiful singing voice, and was in regular demand as a singer—another way he touched many lives. He sang all through life, at everything from church meetings to high school graduation to stake programs to 4th of July town celebrations and other special events. He often involved his family in singing opportunities, as well, and we sang as a family for many events and occasions, thanks to Dad.
In all his life endeavors, challenges, and joys, Mom was his staunch helpmeet, ally, and sweetheart. She was an unfailing support and encouragement to him. Their children never heard her complain about anything.
Dr. Farr, the Counselor
Dad should have been awarded an honorary PhD in family counseling, so many sought his counsel and benefited from his wisdom in child-rearing, marriage concerns, and any family or personal issues. Many people would come to him for counsel and advice, our whole lives.
He and Mom had 43 foster children live with them over the years, in addition to their own 10 children—young people who needed a place to go while they sorted out life, and Dad and Mom succeeded in almost every case in helping those teens make eternity-altering course corrections. Dad had a talent for knowing how what to say, and when and how to say it, and was able to influence others to an unusual degree.
His Own Boss
Dad loved being his own boss, and never wanted to work for anyone else. He loved working with his father, and managing their own place. One reason he liked this arrangement so much was that his children could work with him.
We have many happy memories of working together with our dad while growing up. One regular job that we enjoyed with him was moving the irrigation tubes down the ditch to a new section of field. We would gather up armfuls of the plastic siphon tubes and either walk with them, or load them in the back of a pickup if the distance needed was too far to walk, and spread them out, one to a furrow, further down the field, while Dad re-set the tarp in the ditch to where we were, then restarted the pump.
Then it was a race to restart all the tubes as the ditch filled back up with water, and we’d all run up and down the ditch banks, starting tubes as fast as we could. (Dad could always start them with one pump, but we children usually had to pump furiously several times before we were successful.) After the tubes were all restarted, then we’d walk the furrows and the ditch, making sure there were no breaks, and that the water was going where it was supposed to go.
The Wet Finale
Once everything was all set, we always ended with a big water fight—a tradition we dearly loved, and always looked forward to after the work: usually us children vs. Dad. We’d scheme and plan ahead of time how we’d gang up on him and finally “get him this time”, but somehow we could never get him wet!
Dad would usually be the one to start the water fight with an “innocent” dirt clod splashed in the ditch next to where one of us was standing, or a shovel of water “accidentally” splashed in our direction, followed by Dad saying in a very innocent tone, “Oh, excuse me—I didn’t see you there.” That was the signal for all-out water warfare!
We’d use dirt clods, the siphon tubes, shovels—whatever we could find—and run up and down the ditch banks, laughing so hard we could barely run, splashing each other, and always trying to splash Dad, but somehow never quite pulling it off. We’d huddle to confer for strategy-planning to soak him, Dad very amused by our “secret conference”, then race to put our plan into action.
One time we all grabbed him at once, dragging him to the ditch while we were all laughing so hard we kept almost dropping him, (sure that this time we really had him!), and just as we actually got to the ditch, he jumped over it at the last minute, and all of us children were instead the ones splashing about in the water!
“Mom, Guess What Happened?”
We’d go home together for lunch still laughing, all of us soaking wet (except Dad), and excited to tell Mom about our adventures over lunch. The part we really loved was how Dad always acted like he truly enjoyed interacting with us children. He and Mom both had a knack for making us feel special.
Dad had some big trials to deal with throughout life. One was a big fire that burned most of their possessions: one of their hay stacks, being a little green, ignited itself in the middle of the night, and was out of control before they discovered it.
This fire burned their bunkhouse, which included their saddle shop, food storage, pictures and library, tool shed, laundry room, other family storage, and their generator. Also, machinery, hay stacks, and fuel tanks were destroyed. Dad and Grandpa, along with other family members and neighbors, worked to put out the blaze, but it was too huge to contain.
After spending what was left of the night at the neighbors, the family returned the next morning to kick through the still-hot ashes and survey the damage. Not much was left, but Dad and Mom were very thankful that no one was badly hurt, and started to clean up and start over.
Dad also had an accident one day while digging a new ditch with a tractor and v-shaped ditcher: a tightly-pulled chain fastened to the machinery snapped loose, and caught Dad at the knees with speed and power that crippled him for a long time, and caused injuries that bothered him for the rest of his life.
For a long time, he was on crutches, and his children took turns chauffeuring him on all his business trips to town—an invaluable time for them to have one-on-one heart-to-heart talks with a wise father on those long Nevada stretches.
In addition to the effects of this injury, Dad had contracted sugar diabetes in his mid-20s, while in the Air Force, and battled the effects of this disease his entire life. In his last few years, the diabetes constricted his blood circulation so much that injuries wouldn’t heal, and resulted in finally requiring the amputation of first his toes, then his foot, then his leg. Even with constant pain, Dad managed to keep his sense of humor, remarking that he con-sented to his foot and leg being taken off, but when they got to his neck, that’s where he’d draw the line!
When we were young, Dad sometimes rebelled against the “no-sweets” rule of diabetics, and would insist that he needed some “vitamins”—which we children were delighted to hear, because that was code for ice cream! Mom was an angel of patience and support for him as his health deteriorated, and the endurance, faith, and courage both of them showed inspired their children enormously.
Discussions with Dad
Dad loved to have a good discussion, and we very often sat around the dinner table long after a meal was finished, talking away together. Dad always had novel ideas to bring up, interesting questions to ask, profound quotes or gospel principles to share, or funny stories to tell, and we’d all be willingly drawn into a deep discussion very often.
Grandpa Farr, who was a very early riser, would sometimes bang on the front door as we’d be engrossed in a big family talk around the breakfast table, calling, “Anybody coming out to work today?”, and we’d all start up guiltily, grabbing our hats, and running for the door to head to work.
Around the World with Ideas
During those around-the-table visits, we’d discuss everything, from gospel principles, to human relations, to trips around the country Dad wanted to take (he had big plans for a refurnished school bus as an RV for us), to pranks from Dad’s youth, to inventions like a conveyor-belt table that ran 1) dishes through a cleaning machine under the table, or 2) babies through a diapering machine. Priceless memories, those discussions!
Dad was a big tease, and would always hug us after teasing, saying, “How would you know I loved you, if I didn’t tease you?” He’d also say things like, “How does it feel to be so beautiful? You look in the mirror—you have to know it!”—and say it very seriously. He would often say of Mom, “I’m modestly willing to admit your mother’s perfect.” Mom’s reply would be, “Oh, darlin’!”, kind of self-consciously. He made a point of kissing or hugging Mom in front of us, both because he thought it was important for us to see, and because he got a kick out of our response of ,”Ooohh, they’re being mushy again!”
Culture in the Country
Dad and Mom introduced us to a remarkable amount of great music and literature in our childhood, even out in “the middle of Nowhere”. They had a practice of putting on a stack of classical music records to play at night as we all went to bed, and in our thin-walled single-wide mobile home, we could easily hear that inspiring music throughout the whole house. We’d go to sleep listening to “Swan Lake Ballet”, or Claude Debussy, or Mario Lanza singing “The Student Prince”, and became familiar with much great music through that practice.
Dad loved to read, and we always had lots of excellent books around. When we were little, we’d all pile on his and Mom’s big bed, and listen spellbound to scripture stories he’d make come alive for us—he was an awesome storyteller. He read aloud to us many evenings, classics like “Tom Sawyer” and “The Scarlet Pimpernel”, and was such a gifted dramatic reader that we’d be on the edge of our seats, begging him to read “just a little more!” His influence made us interested in reading and enjoying great literature.
Muddy Water, A Million Times
Even when he was reprimanding us, such as for standing in front of something he was trying to see, he’d do it tactfully, saying, “You’ve been drinking muddy water, I guess—I can’t see through you.” He often produced little sayings like “If I’ve told you once, I’ve told you a million times, don’t exaggerate!”, and really chuckled when the lights went on for one of us and we would exclaim, “Dad, I finally get that joke!”
“Come in, Come in!”
Dad was a natural host, very hospitable and gracious. Anyone was always welcome in our home—impromptu or expected company—to share our meals, stay the night, join right in with our family. Dad pulled others right into the family circle with love and humor and warmth. Who hasn’t gone to visit Dad and heard him say, “Come in, come in! Make yourself at home—if you’re not at home, you oughta be!” He had a very quick wit (inherited from his own father) and a sense of humor that made life a lot of fun for all of us.
He had a gift for making everyone feel at-ease—even in the hospital in his last tough months, he would make visitors and hospital staff alike laugh and feel comfortable when they’d come to his room.
Dancing Across the Plains
Dad was proud of his noble pioneer ancestry, and liked to tell us stories about them. He said he was almost embarrassed, knowing the hardships of many of the pioneers, to read in his ancestors’ journals about their experience crossing the plains: to them, it was a big party! They weren’t trial-free, but they loved the adventure of traveling clear across the country, camping out, dancing in the evenings. They had a ball! That philosophy of “enjoying the journey” is one both Dad and Mom raised us with—a heritage we’re very grateful to have.
The Gift Goes On
All of us who knew Clyde Farr have been loved, enriched, taught, inspired, and blessed beyond measure—how grateful we are, as his children, to claim him as our father for all eternity!
Memories of Dad by Lana
When Lana was a little girl she got hit and knocked down by a tractor. Dad was nearby and from where he stood it looked like it ran over her head. After he got up the strength and courage to go to her, he found that it had stopped just in time. The experience left him so weak he had to go home and sit down and didn’t have the strength to work the rest of the day.
When Allen and I (Lana) were little, probably about 4 and 6 years old our family lived on a farm with some bunk houses in the yard. One day Dad told us to go take a nap in the bunkhouse; one room was set up as a bedroom. We went in there and played and bounced and laid down some (for what seemed a long time). It was probably only a half an hour. Then we came out rubbing our eyes and stretching trying to make Dad think we’d been asleep. We didn’t trick him. We were kind of amazed he somehow knew we didn’t really go to sleep.
One time Reese River was running full in the spring, which rarely happens. We decided to go tubing down the river. Everyone was excited. We woke up that morning anxious to go. Then Dad told us in the night he had a strong impression that we shouldn’t go tubing. We’ll never know what might have happened because we didn’t go. Even though we were disappointed we knew when Dad had an impression or thought like that it was from the Holy Ghost and we’d better listen.
Dad showed so much love to his children. When I made mistakes he would talk to me and explain the risks or reasons why it wasn’t a good thing but he always did it with love and didn’t get angry. I knew I could talk to him and looked forward to those times I could spend with him one on one and visit with him.
Dad loved to have discussions about the gospel and the scriptures and lots of other topics. A favorite family time was sitting around the table after a meal and having family discussions and listening to Dad’s stories and thoughts. He had great wisdom. We were all free to share our opinions.
CLYDE FARR MEMORIES by Allen
One day when we were little, Dad came home from Winnemucca, and got us all and took us back to see Bambi, because it was a rare occasion to see a movie at that time.
I remember walking rows, and shoveling, and listening to Dad singing “today I passed you on the street” and “Please release me, let me go,” and “If I had the brains of a lizard.”
I remember Dad telling us little stories, and having to wipe his eyes at the good points….now I do the same thing! And my kids get a big kick out of it.
I remember going into the mountains to cut wood. Dad was driving the old ford cattle truck with the flat bed. We saw some good trees off the road a ways, and Dad went crashing over small trees and bushes to get there. I was way impressed!
I recall walking down the ditch bank behind Dad, and trying to step in his boot prints, and turn my toes out, just like him! (talk about emulating your dad!)
I recall going to town with Dad, just me and him. We would talk, and sing, and have a good time.
I recall going to Texas and back with Dad in the semi truck. We drove for days! We talked, laughed, and sang. It was a great time to have with my dad. One time we were in a store, and I asked for a roll of lifesavers. He said, “You have had a lot of treats today, so we better not.” I said “OK” and we went out to the truck. We got started down the road, and Dad pulled out a roll of lifesavers. He said I was so sweet about not getting them, he couldn’t help it. I was only five years old, but I still remember that act of kindness.
When Lyle and I were about 6 and 7, we didn’t have any bikes to ride. One day Dad came home with two brand new bikes! It was such a fun surprise. We rode and rode those bikes for years! It is a fun and happy memory for both of us.
Another time, when we were teenagers, we were trying and trying to figure out a way to get a couple of motorcycles. We struggled and worked at it, and looked, and tried to figure a way to afford them, but without much success. One day Dad came home with two new motorcycles in the back. It turns out that he talked to the owner of the shop, and negotiated a very good price. Then Grandpa Rudolph pitched in to help cover the cost. That was one of the most wonderful and memorable surprises of my life. It always made me feel how much he cared about us, and how hard he always tried to make us happy.
I remember several times when I was very concerned about something, but it was kind of personal, and I didn’t know if I wanted to talk to anyone about it. I would say something like, “Dad?” and he would instantly hear that serious sound in my voice, stop everything, and give me his full attention. And then when I would bring up a topic that could cause a big reaction, he was completely calm, and listened very nicely. After having this type of experience several times, I learned to trust him with my secrets, and that I could confide and talk to him about things that were very important and personal. That was always a great blessing to me, to know that I could talk to him about anything, anytime I needed to.
I remember talking with Dad about how we could make more money, and get all out of debt. We would write numbers down on a piece of paper, and talk about how things could work out if the numbers could be reached. It became one of my dreams to get Dad and the farm completely out of debt. On the day that happened, I took a picture of Dad holding the check that paid the very last payment. He was so happy and pleased, and that was a very happy memory for me!
Lori’s Memories of Dad
I always loved to go out and work with Dad. I have fond memories of carrying siphon tubes down the ditch and changing ports in the pipe. Dad made working together fun. It was like a party to go out with him and brothers and sisters and work on things. Even though it was fun, he taught us to work hard.
I drove Dad to his church meetings many times while he was in the Stake Presidency in Fallon, and I was 12 to 16 years old. We usually had to leave at 2 or 3 a.m. We went over the back road so that it wouldn’t take quite as long. Dad would lay down in the back of the suburban and sleep so he would be rested for his meetings. If I swerved too much, or stomped on the brakes he would quickly sit up and ask what was the matter. Then I would feel bad that his rest had been interrupted because he had such long days of meetings ahead. So, I got really good at driving over the back road without hitting the brakes or swerving, and making it a smooth ride so Dad could rest. When he was rested enough, he would get up and we would talk about things. He would ask about things and teach me things. He was so fun to talk to and had so much wisdom to share. One thing that he said over and over is, “Wickedness never was happiness.” He always made me feel like he loved me so much and that I was a special daughter to him.
Dad gave great talks. Even as a teenager, I loved to hear him speak in church meetings. He had a way of speaking that made what he was saying easy to understand. He also made it interesting. He made you want to pay attention and listen. I’ve heard many other people make the same comments about his talks. I didn’t care when they ended because it was so fun to listen to him.
Dad loved to read and study church material, and he also loved popcorn. On cold winter days he would spend a lot of time studying and reading, and usually had a bowl of popcorn at his side. When he would learn something he was excited about, he would share it with us. I learned so much from those pieces of information he would share, and he often got me excited to study about different things. I also liked to hear him pray, and many times would start to include the same things he prayed about in my prayers.
He liked to grab the kids, throw them over his knee, and give them a paddle (just teasing). Then he would say, “That’s for nothing, now try something.”
Being one of the youngest, Dad told Glen and I a lot of times that he had been telling someone for twenty years not to do that (whether it be running in the house, jumping on the furniture, etc.) and he was tired of telling someone that. I can start to relate to that now that I have my own children. He was very patient with us, though.
Trips to town were so fun with Dad. He would usually buy us some gum or a candy bar, and we would get to get a hamburger and milk shake. That was such a fun treat! Usually there were too many of us, and we didn’t have enough money to get things like that. Mom couldn’t stand to spend money on things like that. When I would ask for gum or candy or things like that when we were shopping, the answer was always no. We just couldn’t afford it. Mom was so frugal and could stretch the food and money so far. I learned the value of money, and to be careful about little purchases like that. They add up fast. I think her excellent example of wise spending taught most of her children how to be frugal and provident in how they live from an early age.
When I was little, probably about 5 years old, we were planning to go in to Austin to some kind of church activity or party. I had to take a nap first. When I woke up the house was quiet, and nobody was there. I thought they had all forgotten about me and left me home. I came out of the house crying, and there was Mom out in the yard. She comforted me and hugged me and assured me they would never leave me. I can still remember how scared I was, and how Mom was so sweet and understanding.
Mom always had time to stop and come and look at what I was doing. I would want to show her what I had made or a trick I could do on the trampoline, and she would stop whatever she was doing and come and watch. She made me feel like I was so important and that she always had time for me. I always knew how much she loved me.
Dad liked to go on trips, especially to see the children that were married and lived away from home. It was usually a spur-of-the-moment decision to pack up and go, when there was a break in the farm work. Many times we wouldn’t call the brother or sister we were going to visit. I think that was usually Dad’s idea. We would just show up and surprise them. We would take the suburban, which had a front seat and a back seat. In the very back was a mattress, and we would spread out on the mattress with books and games. Mom would pack food for us. She would always pass out food to everyone else until they were happy, which took quite awhile sometimes, and then she would eat last. I remember being amazed that she could wait so long to eat, and feed everyone else first. We had a lot of fun on those trips. We would listen to Dad sing, or all sing songs together. We just had a good time being together.
We didn’t have a television until I was probably a teenager, and then it was just a VCR and tv to watch movies. So, we didn’t watch much tv. Most evenings we would just play games together with our family, or sit around the table and talk about things. Dad was good at getting a good discussion going. I have great memories of those times around the table with everyone talking and laughing and enjoying being together.
Dad was really good with horses. We always had several horses until he got older and didn’t ride any more. I liked to watch him ride and train the horses because he was so good at getting them to do what he said and making them mind. He could make them do whatever he wanted, it seemed to me. He made it look so easy. Then we would try to get on, and the horse wouldn’t go. Or we couldn’t the horse to stay close enough to the fence that we could climb on. Dad would come over and get it to do it so quickly and easily.
Memories of my dear, beloved father, by Debbie
Sitting around the table after dinner, talking and listening to Dad tell jokes and stories, and listening to Dad reminisce about when he was young.
Hearing Dad always singing. I think he sang because he loved to. He had a special song he would sing to us when we would feel bad. It seems he had a song for almost any occasion. He would sing at weddings and funerals and in church meetings.
Irrigating with Dad, having water fights with the shovels in the irrigation ditch. Dad was always the best splasher.
Getting a big bear hug from Dad and having him tell us we were beautiful. He used to say, “I don’t know what I did to get the most beautiful children in the world.” He always made me feel beautiful and like I was very important and worthwhile.
Going on trips with Dad, one on one, having him all to myself.
Sitting on the fence post, watching Dad train horses. I could sit for hours and listen to him talk as he worked, and enjoy his great knowledge of horses and cattle and everything.
Dad letting me give the cows shots when they would brand them, even though I was a young girl. I loved to work with the cattle and horses.
Listening to his wonderful talks at church, his great words of wisdom at home.
Seeing Dad in his chair reading, reading, and reading. He inspired me to love to read.
Dad asking Mom for some vitamins, which meant he wanted a rootbeer float or a milkshake.
I have nothing but wonderful, warm memories of my dad. He was an outstanding father, husband, leader, and person. Even though he was a poor farmer living in the middle of nowhere Nevada most of my life, he was certainly rich in what really mattered.
He exemplified the fact that one person could make a profound difference for the better in countless lives. I am ever grateful that I was so richly blessed to be his daughter and partake of his tremendous example and hear his words of wisdom.
My dear parents have certainly shaped me into the person I am today. How can I ever thank them enough? Dad truly inspires me to live better so we can be together again as an Eternal Family.
I know that Heavenly Father loves us. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. I am so thankful for the gospel, the great Plan of Happiness, the scriptures, a living prophet, and eternal families. Dad, I love you very much.
Grandpa memories, by Michael
He used to say, “Domorasankabila much” for “Thank you”.
“Come in out of the snow”, when someone came to visit.
“Make yourself at home, if you’re not at home you ought to be.”
Jessica and I were talking to Mom and Dad shortly after we were married. We were showing them pictures of things we had done together. One picture of me kissing Jess on the cheek prompted a comment from Dad: "Looks like you’re trying to chew her ear off.” Mom: "Now, darlin’, you used to chew on my ears.”
Some one would say, “You’re looking good, Dad”. His response: "Is that the same as good looking?”
"That’s for nothin’, now try something".
He spent all night about halfway between the farm and Austin because a truck hauling our hay tipped over on the highway and the cows were eating the hay. He didn't want anyone to hit a cow so he stayed there all night with our old dog Billy and kept the cows off the road.
A captain in the Airforce needed Dad's plane for a mission. He came down to the runway and said, “Sergeant Farr, you have this plane ready to go in one hour.” Dad said, “Sir, the repairs aren't done and even if I started putting it back together right now, I couldn't have it ready by then.” The captain was furious and said, “Farr, are you refusing a direct order?” Dad said, “No, sir, just telling you it can't be done so you don't wait for nothing.” Captain: "Farr, I'll give you one more chance; you get this plane ready in one hour, get help if you need it but you get it done or I'll have you court-martial led." Dad: "Well, sir, I'll do my best, but it just can't be done". Captain goes stomping off cussing and muttering. Meanwhile, Dad keeps taking the airplane apart to finish the service and repair. At this point I stopped him and asked, “Why did you keep taking it apart?” Dad said, “Because I had to finish the job and couldn't finish in an hour no matter what, just like I told him.” Well, about 20 minutes later the captain came back down on the runway and asked more humbly, “Farr, when can you have this aircraft ready?” Dad said, “In 4 hours.” The captain said, “Okay, we leave in 5 hours.” Later Dad found out that his plane had the reputation of being the most dependable. The captain had gone up to the base commander and complained against Dad and told the base commander to court-martial him. Base commander asked what he had done. When he heard the story, he said: "If Sergeant Farr says that plane can't be ready in one hour, then it can't be ready and a court marshal won't change anything. You leave him alone, Sir.” I always thought that was an awesome story. The hours might not be right but it doesn't matter.
I had a talk with him in the hospital in Elko when we thought he was going to die from kidney failure. It was one of those special times just he and I. I asked him what he thought about when he thought his time was short. He said he pondered his family and how well he did teaching his children. He said he thought about his marriage and hoped he had done all and said all that he should have to Mom. He pondered his church service, the way he served and loved others. He said that he hoped his repentance was sufficient. He said he had peace in knowing the truth of the resurrection. It was short and powerful, one of the most memorable experiences of my life.
Memories about my daddy from Karen
One of my earliest memories is when Dad would “spank” us and then ask, “Who loves you?” And then tickle us until we said, “You do, you do!” I remember one time when he spanked me, just teasing, and I cried and cried cause I thought he was upset. He held me for a long time and made sure I knew he wasn’t mad and that I knew how much he loved me. I never remember wondering if he loved me. I always knew, how could I not?
When I was in 8th grade, Dad took Glen, Lisa Lauritzen (my friend) and me to Reno to the State High School Basketball Finals. We stayed in Circus Circus for 3 days and went to basketball games and ate out. We thought that was very fancy as we had never done anything like that in our lives. Dad took such good care of us. He dropped Lisa and I off at a basketball game and he and Glen went somewhere else, and then were coming back to get us. Well, the game got over before they got back and so Lisa and I decided to walk back to the hotel. Now I can see how terrifying that was for Dad when he couldn’t find us. Finally, we met up again several hours later at the hotel, but in the meantime Dad had just about called the police and sent out a search party. I’m so thankful for a Daddy that cared about our safety and well being. I remember the total look of relief on his face when he saw us. I didn’t understand then, but I do now.
A favorite memory always is all the years growing up and working with Dad. When I was swathing, I liked to see Dad drive by in his truck and check on me. He taught me how to drive the one-ton baler and I felt pretty important that I could drive and fix the knitters by myself. Dad had such a quiet way of making me feel important. I could definitely tell when he was pleased with something I was doing. He liked to bring visitors out to the field where we were loading hay and tell them how smooth I drove the loader. I’m thankful that he taught us how to work hard and to have fun while we were working. Always the funnest times were irrigating when we would have water fights and try to push him in the ditch or even get him wet. Out of all 10 children, I haven’t heard of one yet that succeeded in getting him wet and certainly never in the ditch.
I liked to hear him tell stories of when he and mom were courting and how there wasn’t ever any other girl for him. I’m thankful for their great example of a strong marriage and loving each other and their children whole heartedly.
I never really liked having diabetes, but it did make me feel better when Dad called us “Betes Buddies”, just because I was happy to be his buddy in anything.
I loved going to town with him in the summers when he needed to get parts. He would take my by myself, or Lana and I, and then he would let us get some treats. That was a big thing for us as we didn’t go to town much and hardly ever ate in a restaurant or got store bought treats.
I remember all the songs Dad knew. All my years growing up, he could always seem to come up with a song that I hadn’t heard him sing before. I remember Mom didn’t like some of his songs and when he would sing them she would say, “Oh Darlin!” I sure did love to hear her say that. As I am writing this and thinking of all these memories it sure does make me homesick. We had such a great life growing up. What a treasure to have a mom and dad who loved all of their children and each other. I wish that I could go back and visit those days again.
When Dad was on the High Council and I was 13-16, I would drive him to his meetings and speaking assignments. He let me drive without a license. I always felt proud to be by my Dad. I used to play the piano for him when they asked him to sing.
I liked to hear Dad say, “I guess I will go check on Dad (Grandpa Farr)”. He always showed such respect for his father and loved being able to work with him and live by him. I loved living by Grandpa Farr too.
When I was making the decision of marriage, I asked Dad, “Do you think I will marry Kenneth Woodland?” Dad would say with that little smile, “Sweetheart, I am not going to tell you.” I’m so thankful for his wisdom. He made all the right answers seem so easy to know and to do. He always knew the answer to everything. I trusted his answers completely and miss so much being able to ask him the questions I need to know now.
When Kenny and I were looking for a job after we had to sell our cattle, Dad gave Kenny a blessing and blessed him that it would all work out and that where ever we went it would be very beneficial to us all. I’m thankful that he honored his Priesthood.
What a great example!! I sure do love my Daddy!
Lyle’s memories of Dad:
My favorite memory is when we lived at the Willows. I was about 3 or 4. Dad took me with him in the old Ford truck. We got about 10 miles from home and tried to cross a stream and got stuck. He couldn't get it out. Dad was upset, but I thought it was the best day of my life. I remember walking holding on to Dad's hand and falling asleep and dragging along beside him. Then he put me up on his shoulders and I woke up at home. I got to spend the whole day with Dad. It was the best outing ever.
One day I walked into the barn to see what Dad was doing, and he was under a pick up. Before I could get there a wrench came flying out from under the pick up and hit the side of the barn. I heard Dad say, "You dirty hunk of junkified outfit". So I just turned around and snuck back out.
One day I was visiting Tommy Cunningham and we got on the subject of religion. Tommy said, " I don't hold with organized religion because they are a bunch of hypocrites. But I know that your religion is true because your Dad lives his religion the same on Wednesday as he does on Sunday."
Dad, "You go the same place for lying as you do for stealing."
“When I was a little girl. . .”
I remember being in trouble a lot growing up because I had a different idea than Dad about how things should be done. One time I remember trying to hide from Dad because I knew I was in trouble for something. I cant even remember what it was that I was supposed to be in trouble for, but I remember thinking I didn't want Dad to catch me. I remember being out at the barn and seeing Dad come out of the house looking for me. I thought if I could just keep the barn in between him and me I would be safe.
Well, somehow, Dad managed to catch me anyway; and it didn't take very long either. I thought I was pretty fast, but I found out he was faster. I prepared myself for the beating I knew was approaching. To my surprise he simply put his arm around me and told me he loved me, then walked away. What an incredible impact that made on my heart and mind.
Lori and I were running through the house and Dad told us to stop....we didn't. He told us to stop again...we didn't. So he told us to keep running and if we stopped he would spank us. We ran as long as we could but in the end we had to stop. We both received the promised spankings but I remember them being rather gentle.
I had to go to the doctor in Reno and Dad thought it would be a good opportunity to spend some time with me so he came along. We had a wonderful time talking and spending the day together.
When I was very young I remember Dad coming home for lunch and laying on the living room floor to take a nap. I would drive my cars and trucks on his back and rub his legs until he went to sleep.
Dad sang for lots of different events. I played the piano for him sometimes. I played in Austin once when he sang, “How Great Thou Art”. I had made a new arrangement for the song. He made me feel like I was very special.
Kyle's memories of Dad
Dad and I were going somewhere in our GMC truck when I was about 4 yrs old. It quit and the only way he could get it to go was to sit on the fender and pour gas into the carburetor. My memory is pretty vague but somehow he got it going in low gear and had me stand in the seat and drive on the shoulder of the road while he poured gas in the carburetor. I don't remember what happened after but I remember feeling pretty important helping Dad and driving the truck. Doing things with Dad always made me feel good.
When I was 5, I remember riding horses with Dad a lot. Once we were way up on the mountain at the Willows ranch when a big buck jumped up right in front of us. I remember that both the horses froze for a second and then Dad’s horse jumped straight in the air and tried to run several ways at once. My horse was pretty calm but I remember watching Dad try to calm his horse while it bucked and ran around. I remember thinking that he was sure a good rider to stay on with all that horse was doing. By the time his horse calmed down the deer was gone but the bucking show left quite an impression on me. I was always pretty sure that Dad could handle anything.
When I was 5 or 6, I was playing in an old army truck that we had at the Willows. Somehow I started it without meaning to and it started going. Dad was working not too far away and I remember him running to catch me and the truck while I pushed and pulled all the levers I could and hollered for help. The truck and I were headed for a very steep bank that led up to the highway and I can remember feeling pretty scared. I don't know why I didn't turn but I didn't and I think the truck died just as Dad caught up to it. I remember being mighty relieved that it shut off and that Dad had caught me. I don't think he scolded me. I only remember him hugging me and saying how glad he was I was alright. I think he also asked me if I learned anything from the experience. That was how he taught me.
Another memory from the Willows happened in the house. I was in the bathroom and somehow I got the spout to Dad’s can of shaving cream stuck so that shaving cream was coming out all over. I remember trying to get it to stop and calling for help. I guess I had the door locked because Dad couldn't get in. He must have thought I was in bad trouble because he broke the door to get in. Once he saw me and the bathroom covered in shaving cream he started laughing so hard that he was crying. I was crying too by then for a different reason.
I remember that I liked to take things apart when I was little. Once I found a whole bundle of pens in one of Dad’s drawers. I guess I took them all apart and took the springs out and put them back together without them. I remember Dad trying all of the pens and when none of them worked he came looking for me. I remember that he was frustrated but he only said that when I took something apart I should put it back together. I remember him walking away and shaking his head.
I remember lots of Sundays in Austin while Dad was branch president. He usually had to stay after meetings for quite a while. We would play on the hill behind the church until he was ready. I remember that he always seemed happy to do what he needed to at church. The only thing I was aware of him being frustrated about was the bookkeeping. I remember him spending hours trying to get his numbers to balance with Salt Lake.
A very fond memory is of Dad singing with us as we drove places. I loved to sing along with him, even when he would make up his own words. I was always amazed at all the songs he could come up with.
While Wendy and I were courting, Dad said very little about what he thought about the whole thing. When I told him that I had made my decision, he said, “I've known you were going to marry her for months and I was just waiting for you to figure it out.” I then found out he had known before I came home from my mission. I had sent home a Christmas Card with pictures of all the missionaries in Guatemala, and when Dad came to Wendy's picture he told Mom that he hoped that was a nice girl because that was who Kyle was going to marry. It really touched me that he would be open to that kind of inspiration. I always wanted to be like him in that way.
I remember Dad giving Patriarchal blessings to our older children. It was sacred and precious to me to hear him speak with the inspiration of heaven to our children. I know that he received revelation on those occasions.
I remember standing with Dad and Mom in the celestial room of the Arizona Temple when I went for the first time. I felt like I had come home and that they had brought me. I will never forget how wonderful that felt and the witness of the spirit that we were in the right place. My love for them expanded a great deal that day and I think I came to understand more about their love for me.
Dad and I were sitting in a hospital in Salt Lake waiting for an operation on his foot the summer before he passed away. We talked about many things but the thing that stood out to me was when he said, “Son, I don't want to commit suicide, but there are things a lot worse than dying. I don't want to just prolong life if I am going to be useless and in pain. I want to go out of this life with the foot I have left still on and if that kills me that will have to be OK.” I always had the feeling from him that passing from this life to the next at the right time was a good thing. I know that he had complete trust in the promises of eternal life with his family and with God. I know that he is waiting for his family to join him and there have been times that I have felt very clearly that he was with us in spirit.
I love the memory of Dad singing “My Hat I Had Three Corners” with all the actions and laughing as the rest of us tried to follow along.
Dad wrote me a letter every week of my mission. Some of the letters were short and some longer. Most consisted of 1 sentence paragraphs updating me on a member of the family. He always shared his testimony and his love. I always felt those two things from him.
A few months after I came home from my Guatemala mission, Dad and I were able to drive a new vehicle from California to Guatemala and an old one home for the church. We had a great time. It took about two weeks. I remember Dad fell in love with mangos on the trip. He loved it at borders and check points when the officials would try to pull something over on us and then send us right thru when they found out I could understand all they were saying. He would ride with one hand on the dash and his feet braced when we were driving in traffic. I guess he wasn't as used to it as me. I remember how interested he was in everything. We had a great time walking through old ruins, seeing new country, meeting people I had taught and baptized. It was like sharing my mission with him in a capsule and it was really fun. I remember how we both breathed a sigh of relief when we were back in the US. The muffler was torn off the car we were bringing home on a train track about 200 miles before we reached the US border. It made so much noise we could not talk so we just pointed and laughed. We had it repaired when we got to Texas and were able to talk again as we drove on up to SLC. I remember how pleased Dad was when we delivered the car in SLC and gave them back much more of the trip expense money than they expected. Doing something with his son was much more important to him than spending money on nice places or things.
Memories of Dad: His Gifts to Us, by Rainy
1. The gift of testimony. I remember Dad many times bearing his testimony of our Savior and His gospel, usually with tears streaming down his face, he felt so strongly about what he was saying. When you heard him bear testimony, there was no doubt in your mind that Dad knew.
2. The gift of willing service in the Kingdom of God. Dad didn’t just have a testimony—he did something about it! In any calling he ever had, I remember Dad being a wonderful example of whole-hearted service anywhere the Lord needed him.
3. The gift of counseling : When I was a teenager, Dad had a bad farm accident in which his legs were hurt so badly that he couldn’t walk or drive for a long time. This turned out to be a blessing for me because, since he couldn’t drive, I got to chauffeur him to Elko, Fallon, all over, on any business he had, and we had wonderful one-on-one talks on those long drives, where I received counsel and input so earnestly given, it couldn’t help but sink into my heart. I don’t know anyone who knew Dad who wouldn’t jump at the chance to have input like that from him. He had a gift for speaking heart to heart.
4. The gift of loving Mom. When we were young and reaching those know-it-all years, if we ever felt like talking back to Mom, or giving her a hard time in any way, I remember that we children would always first look around to make sure Dad wasn’t around—he didn’t stand for that! I happened to hear this tender exchange between them in their home the summer before Dad died, as we were all getting ready for church: Dad: “Gosh, Sweetheart, you look beautiful this morning.” Mom: (going over to give him a kiss) “You’ll always be my eternal sweetheart.” Mom and Dad’s devotion to each other gave us as children great security.
5. The gift of making us feel like 8-cow children. Dad had the knack of making us feel special. He often said things like, “How does it feel to be so beautiful?” or “What did I do to deserve the greatest children in the world?”—and said it so sincerely, you believed him!
With 10 children in a single-wide trailer until the year before I was married, (the spacious double-wide felt like a palace when we finally got it!), it was a great tribute to Dad and Mom that I have only happy memories of a wonderful childhood, filled with memorable times together. It wasn’t until I went off to college and saw how other people lived that I realized we’d been pretty poor. Dad got a big kick out of a letter I wrote home, and teased me about it ever after: “Dad, I didn’t know we were poor—I just thought we didn’t have any money!”
6. The gift of hospitality and humor. Dad was very good at making others feel welcome and at-ease, whatever the situation. When our older children came to visit Dad at the Elko Hospital, tense because he was in very serious condition, Dad immediately had them smiling, then laughing, as he made funny little comments to them and to the nurse about his situation—as ill as he was, his quick wit didn’t fail him!
7. The gift of loving scriptures and other great literature. We’d all pile on Mom and Dad’s bed when we were little and Dad would tell us Book of Mormon stories. If he’d start to actually read them, we’d stop him and say “Daddy, tell it out of your own mouth.” He made those great scriptural accounts come alive for us!
He was also a great reader—he read classics to us at night, and I remember him reading so dramatically that we were on the edge of our seats by the end of the chapter, and would beg him to “read just a little more”!
8. The gift of music: I remember Dad and Mom and playing stacks of records for us to listen to at night as we went to sleep.
I also remember being half-proud, half-embarrassed as a child to hear my dad’s voice booming out over the loudspeakers, up and down Austin’s main street for the 4th of July celebration, or high school graduation, or social events, or any of the many church functions he was asked to sing for. I remember Dad getting us to sing as a family for many different occasions over the years.
I have great memories of singing together in the car as we drove to church, or on trips. Dad never ran out of songs—I was always amazed at how many he knew. He often made up funny new words for existing songs, so we children wouldn’t know the real words until years later. We’d hear a song on the radio, and say, “Hey! Is that how that song really goes?”
9. The gift of hard work: Dad taught us to work hard, and to have a good time doing it. Working together with Dad has some of my favorite memories. I especially love the memories of irrigating together, and always having hilarious water fights afterwards, kids vs. Dad, laughing our heads off, Dad seeming to enjoy this tradition as much as we did.
10. The gift of example: Dad was always a great example to me. At the end of his life, he left a final legacy by being very peaceful about the idea of moving on to the next life. He was looking forward to meeting the Savior, not being anxious about it in the least! Dad taught us all to want to do what’s right, to continue faithful to the end, to look forward to eternity with our Heavenly Father, who we find easy to love and want to come home to because of our dad’s example.
Stake Presidency Message: By President Clyde Farr, 2nd Counselor Fallon, NV Stake
“Most of us want to be happy. “Men are that they might have joy.” (2 Ne. 2:25) That is the purpose of our existence.
The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “Happiness is the object and design of our existence and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it, and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping the commandments of God.” (Teachings, p. 255-256)
Satan has other plans. “For he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.”
(2 Ne. 2:27)
Satan knows that he won’t have much success trying to get us to break what we consider the “important” commandments, so he starts off with what we consider “unimportant” things.
We consider morality to be of great importance, but “a little immoral music can’t hurt much” or R-rated movies or pornographic pictures. “No harm in flirting a little”, or “there can’t be any harm in parking in some dark, quiet place for a little talk.”
Jesus Christ was a member of the Godhead before he was born on this earth. He created everything we know of except man himself. He had more knowledge than we can even imagine, yet he thought it important to do exactly as his Father told him. He was to ride to Jerusalem on a certain donkey. Do we imagine that he could not figure out how to get to Jerusalem? Yet he went to great pains to ride to Jerusalem on a certain donkey. Why? To be obedient.
Our joy would increase greatly if we would determine for ourselves that we were going to keep all the commandments of our Father in Heaven. It would also increase greatly if we would not try to see how close to the edge we can come.
If “man is that he might have joy”, why not go for a fullness of joy? Why not be as happy as we can be?”