Friday, April 25, 2014

Barbara Boynton Farmer

Farmer, Barbara

Barbara Boynton Farmer
Oct. 26, 1920-May 28, 2011

Barbara B. Farmer passed away May 28, 2011, at the age of 90 in Davis, with her family members present.

She was born in Russell, Mass., to Harry Boynton and Mary Grant Boynton, attended elementary school in Russell, high school in Westfield and American International College in Springfield, Mass., graduating in 1942 with a B.S. degree. She was working for the Army checking gauges at the Winchester plant in New Haven, Conn., when she met Garland Farmer, a student at Yale Divinity School preparing to be a missionary overseas. They married Sept. 10, 1944, in Russell and lived in New Haven until Garland graduated in 1945. Then followed a visit to Texas to meet his family.

In preparation for missionary service with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Puerto Rico, Barbara studied Spanish and Bible at Vanderbilt University and Scarrett College, Nashville, Tenn. They arrived in San Juan, PR, in July 1946, and she began her work at McLean Conference Grounds, a center for retreats in the hills south of Bayamon. In addition, she made friends with local area women, encouraging them to do needlework, which she sold to tourist shops in San Juan for them. She also worked with the pastors’ wives and the laywomen of the congregations.

By 1959, Barbara and her husband knew that they had worked themselves out of jobs and were considering returning to the States when they were asked to be missionaries to what was then the Belgian Congo in Africa. By this time, Barbara was the mother of three girls, Margaret Anne and Louise, born in Puerto Rico, and Christine, born in Massachusetts. All five of the Farmers went to Brussels to learn French.

After eight months of study, the family left by ship for the Belgian Congo, landing on May 1, 1960. They were stationed at Coquillatville (Mbandaka), the capital of Equator Province, where Barbara worked with women’s groups of the large church in the city until the riot of noncom soldiers following independence from Belgium on June 30, 1960. At that time, Barbara and her daughters, along with other families, were flown to Belgium and then to the U.S. while seven husbands remained working with the churches in Congo.

Barbara and her daughters returned to Congo in 1961 and remained until 1964 when the whole family moved to Indianapolis, Ind. In Indianapolis, she was hired to work at Indiana University Medical Center. She earned a master’s degree in biochemistry while working, did research on the effect of chemicals on rat heart muscles and joined the National Institutes of Health in four site visits to schools of medicine prior to retirement in 1990. In retirement, she and Garland served two short terms at hospitals in Kempese and Bolenge, Congo. In addition, she was an active volunteer in the Indianapolis community until she suffered a back injury, which limited her activities. She and Garland moved to California in 1995 to be closer to family members.

Barbara is survived by her husband of nearly 67 years, Garland Farmer; daughters Margaret Ann Farmer and Louise Uota (Alan) of Davis and Christine Clarke (Michael) of Menlo Park; grandchildren Brian (Marie), Jeffrey and Catherine Clarke, and Ryan Uota; great-grandson Niels; sister Elizabeth Boynton of Providence, R.I.; and other relatives in Texas, Southern California and Seattle.

Barbara will be remembered for her warmth, her generosity, her intellect, her talent as an artist, her love of gardening and, above all, her love for and dedication to her family.

An interactive memorial tribute for Barbara Boynton Farmer will be held on Saturday, June 11, 2011, at the Carolee Shields White Garden and Gazebo at the UC Davis Arboretum, a place she loved to visit.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Citizens who Care, 1017 Main St., Woodland, CA 95695, or Yolo Hospice, 1909 Galileo Court, Suite A, Davis, CA 95618, or to a favorite charity.

Special to The Enterprise


Discussion | 1 comment

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Katherine EckJune 10, 2011 - 12:57 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss and will be thinking about you tomorrow. I am so glad so many details of her life were shared. I enjoyed reading about Barbara and her family very much.

    Reply | Report abusive comment


Junior high students embrace diversity training

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Measure P asks: Are the water rates fair?

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

Neighbors mourn loss of popular wildlife-viewing platform

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Can you give them a home?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

Yolo County Bar Association hosts Law Day event

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Beronio gets backing of county’s attorneys

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sierra Club backs Swanson, Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Yes on Measure P at market

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Smithsonian animal exhibit rolling into UCD

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Fix-a-leak workshop set Tuesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Brennan campaign event set in West Sac

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

Judge candidate at Winters Youth Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Oakley to hold office hours in Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Yolo CASA plans upcoming training

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Meet judicial candidate at market

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Explorit: Turning Earth Day into Earth Year

By Lisa Justice | From Page: A4

Four women recognized for contributions to agriculture, philanthropy

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Joe Krovoza, at a glance

By Cory Golden | From Page: A6

Parting ways

By Cory Golden | From Page: A7

Dan Wolk, at a glance

By Cory Golden | From Page: A7



Davis is an inspiring leader

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Beronio is tried and true

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

Pat Oliphant cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

We’re boiling the frog to death

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

Please, let there be light

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10



Boxing has passed me by; the Sweet Science is lacking

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

Final Aggie spring football scrimmage open to public on Saturday

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

DHS’ volleyball win streak reaches five matches

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

DYSA roundup: TigerCats go 4-0 in youth softball action

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery





‘Eight from ACGA’ exhibit opens at Davis Arts Center

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A13 | Gallery

Davis native’s feature documentary to screen in Woodland

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15 | Gallery

Band plays tribute to The Carpenters

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

Davis Youth Flute Choir to perform Spring Concert

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A15

Jazz singer Sachal Vasandani to play four nights

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A15 | Gallery





Gerald Anthony Martinez

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4



Comics: Friday, April 25, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A12