NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

August 16, 2013

H. Louis Farmer Jr., 98


Haverhill — H. Louis Farmer Jr., was born on February 6, 1915, in Tewksbury, Mass., and was the son of the late H. Louis and Caretta (Kenney) Farmer. He attended Tewksbury Public Grammar Schools, was a graduate of Lowell High School's Class of 1932, attended Boston University College of Business Administration, and graduated from the New England School of Embalming and Funeral Directing.

He became associated with his father as an apprentice funeral director and embalmer in 1932 in Tewksbury. Together they expanded to Ayer, Mass., in the fall of 1932, when they acquired the E.C. Page Funeral Home. Mr. Farmer became a licensed funeral director and embalmer in 1936, and the firm name was changed from H. Louis Farmer to H. Louis Farmer & Son. In 1941, they purchased Kimball, Hall & Loomis Funeral Service, which was located in Central Square, Bradford. Mr. Farmer moved to Haverhill in 1945, and the Kimball, Hall & Loomis name was changed to H. L. Farmer & Son, and the location of the funeral home was changed to its present location at 106 Summer Street. In 1965, he purchased the O’Toole and Sullivan Funeral Home at 210 South Main Street, Bradford, which the firm now operates under the name of H.L. Farmer & Sons Bradford Funeral Home. Mr. Farmer was the president and treasurer of H.L. Farmer & Sons of Haverhill and Bradford. He was also treasurer of the Farmer & Dee Funeral Home of Tewksbury. His firms are members by invitation of National Selected Morticians, now Selected Independent Funeral Homes, and he served on the board of directors from 1974 to 1977, and was elected secretary/treasurer from 1976 to 1977. He was also a member of the Massachusetts Funeral Directors Association and the National Funeral Directors Association.

He was a member of the First Baptist Church and a trustee of the Ministerial Funds of the Baptist Religious Society, and former chairman of the Prudential Committee at the church. Mr. Farmer was a past master of Merrimack Lodge F. & A.M. of Haverhill, a member of Wamesit Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Tewksbury, the York and Scottish Rite Bodies and the Aleppo Temple Shrine of Boston, and also a member of Fidelity Chapter #90 O.E.S. of Haverhill.

Mr. Farmer was director of the former Whittier Co-operative Bank, later merging with Haverhill Bank, serving again as a director. He was a former general chairman of the Greater Haverhill Community Chest and a campaign co-chairman of the Greater Haverhill Red Cross, where he had been a former member of the executive committee. He was a Legion of Honor member of the Haverhill Kiwanis Club, where he served as president in 1951, and was a member for nearly 75 years. He was a former member of the Hale Hospital Trustees, and was the recipient of the Liberty Bell Award from the Haverhill Bar Association in 1968, and was a longtime member and past president of the Haverhill Golf & Country Club, where he won the B Division Championship in 1946. Mr. Farmer was a longtime member of the Haverhill Monday-Evening Club and the Elmore Associates. Mr. Farmer served on the committee that was instrumental in bringing Northern Essex Community College to Haverhill.

In his early years, he was elected Town Clerk of Tewksbury, serving from 1937 to 1940. He was also clerk of the Board of Registrars of that town from 1937 to 1940. He was a past master of Lowell Chapter Order of DeMolay, a DeMolay Legion of Honor, and he was a State Master Counselor in 1936.

He was the beloved husband of the late Audrey T. (Cameron) Farmer, who died December 3, 1998. He is survived by his four children, Henry L. “Hank” Farmer III and his wife, Verlinda G. “Linda,” of Newburyport, Duncan C. “Deke” Farmer and his wife, Brenda J., of Bradford, Michael Farmer and Martha S. of Richboro, Pa., and Wendy C. and her husband, Jack B. Nienaber of Fort Thomas, Ky.; his dear companion of many years, Bessie (Lathas) Vitas of Hampton, N.H.; 10 grandchildren, Henry L. Farmer IV, Britt C. Farmer, Kelly C. Quevillon, Brian C. Farmer, Jamie C. Sweeney, Christopher M. Farmer, Amy C. Farmer, Cameron E. Nienaber, MD, Peter C. Nienaber, Esq., and Hannah C. Nienaber; 13 great-grandchildren, Audrey Mae Quevillon, Caysie J. Quevillon, B. Cameron Farmer Jr., Sophia T. Farmer, Mackenzie K. Farmer, Joshua M. Sweeney, Lucas T. Sweeney, Grace C. Sweeney, Henry L. Farmer V, Lily A. Farmer, Olivia A. Farmer, Anna G. Farmer, and Jackson M. Farmer. He was also the brother of the late Janice Vose.

ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend his Funeral Service on Monday, August 19, at 10 a.m., at the H.L. Farmer & Sons Funeral Home, 106 Summer Street, Haverhill. Interment will follow in the Tewksbury Cemetery. Calling hours at the funeral home will be today, Sunday, from 3 to 5 p.m. Contributions in his memory may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice. Condolences to his family may be made at www.farmerfuneralhomes.com.