A beautifully written obituary about someone who died of COVID: Marvin J. Farr.

Obituary of Marvin J. Farr

Dr. Marvin James Farr, 81, of Scott City, Kan., passed away Dec. 1, 2020, in isolation at Park Lane Nursing Home. He was preceded in death by more than 260,000 Americans infected with covid-19. He died in a room not his own, being cared for by people dressed in confusing and frightening ways. He died with covid-19, and his final days were harder, scarier and lonelier than necessary. He was not surrounded by friends and family.

Marvin was born May 23, 1939 to Jim and Dorothy Farr of Modoc, Kan. He was born into an America recovering from the Great Depression and about to face World War 2, times of loss and sacrifice difficult for most of us to imagine. Americans would be asked to ration essential supplies and send their children around the world to fight and die in wars of unfathomable destruction. He died in a world where many of his fellow Americans refuse to wear a piece of cloth on their face to protect one another.

Marvin was a farmer and a veterinarian. He graduated from Kansas State University in 1968. His careers filled his life with an understanding of the science of life: how to nurture it, how to sustain it, and the myriad ways that life can go wrong. As a young man he debated between studying mortuary or veterinary science. He chose life over death. The science that guided his professional life has been disparaged and abandoned by so many of the same people who depended on his knowledge to care for their animals and to raise their food.

Marvin was a religious man. He was a lay reader at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. He saw no conflict between the science of his professional life and the belief of his personal life, each enriched the other. From religion, he especially drew on lessons of forgiveness and care. Perhaps the most important comes from the Lord’s Prayer:

    and forgive us our trespasses,

    as we forgive those who trespass against us;

He would look after those who had harmed him the deepest, a sentiment echoed by the healthcare workers struggling to do their jobs as their own communities turn against them or make their jobs harder. He would also fail those who needed him the most at times, as he was still human, with his flaws and limits.

Marvin was a man of the community. His membership in the Anthem Masonic Lodge #284 and the Scott County Shrine Club mattered to him for both the camaraderie of his brothers and for the good works that they facilitated, the most visible of which is the Shriners Hospitals for Children network. Even in a social organization, he chose one that centered the health and medical care of others.

Marvin was a family man, both of blood and chosen family. He was preceded in death by his wife Lottie Farr; son Justin Farr; brothers Everett Farr and Howard Farr; and parents. He is survived by his children Courtney Farr and Tamra Wilkens of Eudora, Kan.; Tesa Fansler of Sanford, Fla.; and Scott and Tracy Burling of Scott, La.; and numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren, other family and loved ones.

Memorial donations may be made to the Scott County Hospital Foundation in care of Price & Sons Funeral Homes or https://www.scotthospital.net/getpage.php?name=Foundation

A memorial will be held at a later date due to covid-19.


Sparkle — The Cheesesellers Wife

Maybe we are not players on a stage

But in an orchestra

Each with a part to play

Integral to the whole

They tell us to aim high

Lead role, boss, the one and only

First violin

But so many of us thrive without the spotlight

The pedestal

What is a orchestra without a third row?


Copyright © 2018 Kim Whysall-Hammond

Sparkle — The Cheesesellers Wife

David Bruce: The Funniest People in Books, Volume 3 — Rejections, Religion


• Marjane Satrapi, the author of the graphic memoir Persepolis, which became an Oscar-nominated animated film, has sold over a million copies of that book, but even she had to deal with rejection. Early in her career, before creating Persepolis, she showed a graphic manuscript to a French publishing company’s art director who rejected it because “you don’t have any style — it goes in all different directions.” Ms. Satrapi says, “I came home depressed and cried for a whole week.” But a couple of years after the successful Persepolis was published and had won awards, she was invited to show this same art director a manuscript, so she showed him the same manuscript that he had earlier rejected. This time he said, “What courage! You have tried all these different styles!” Ms. Satrapi explains what happened: “I said that’s not what you told me three years ago. And he said, ‘Did I see you three years ago?’ And I said, ‘You don’t have a very good memory, but I do.’ We ended up working together. I’m not a revenger kind of person.”

• Madeleine L’Engle Camp wrote many books from 1950 to 1959; unfortunately, only one of her books was published. When she turned 40, she received yet another rejection letter, and she cried and resolved never again to write. As she was crying, she came up with a good idea to write about, sat down at her typewriter, and started writing, having resolved to keep on writing even if she never got another book published. Later, Madeleine L’Engle became the best-selling author of A Wrinkle in Time.

• When Ursula K. Kroeber was eleven years old, she wrote a science fiction story and mailed it to Amazing Stories. Unfortunately, the editors of the magazine rejected her story and mailed it back to her. Young Ursula’s brother worried that she would be upset by the rejection; instead, she was thrilled to receive a real rejection letter, just like adult writers received. As an adult, she married Charles Le Guin, and as Ursula K. Le Guin, she wrote such books as The Lathe of Heaven and A Wizard of Earthsea.


• In 2007, author Christopher Hitchens had some interesting experiences as he toured to publicize his best-selling book God Is Not Great. In New York, he saw this sign put up by the Second Presbyterian Church: “Christopher Hitchens doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” In Raleigh, North Carolina, he appeared before a huge crowd at a Unitarian church, whose rector whispered to him, “I ought not to say this, but the church has never been this full before.” And in Austin, Texas, an audience member asked him if he knew the works of Friedrich Nietzsche, another anti-Christian author. Mr. Hitchens replied that he did, although he did not always agree with Nietzsche. The audience then asked if Mr. Hitchens was aware that Nietzsche was suffering from terminal syphilis while writing his anti-Christian works. Mr. Hitchens replied that he had heard that, but that he didn’t know whether it was true. Finally, the audience member asked if the same explanation accounted for Mr. Hitchens’ own anti-Christian works. Mr. Hitchens immediately thought, “Should have seen that coming.”

• G.K. Chesterton was a Catholic, and his Father Brown mystery stories were filled with his ideas on religion. In one story, a doctor says, “I’m afraid I’m a practical man, and I don’t bother much about religion and philosophy.” Father Brown replies, “You’ll never be a practical man ’til you do.”


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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Music Recommendation: Librarians with Hickeys — “Until There Was You”


Music: “Until There Was You”

Album: This is a single.

Artist: Librarians With Hickeys

Artist Location: Akron, Ohio

Info: “Digging deep into the wellspring of #PowerPop and #IndieRock!”

Price: $1 (USD)

Genre: Power Pop. Alternative Rock.


Librarians With Hickeys on Bandcamp


“Until There was You”