Marion Rhoda Tufts Farrar – daughter, sister, enquiring mind, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, seamstress, homemaker, secretary, teacher, forward thinker, perennial student, matriarch.
Always thirsting for knowledge, always looking ahead, always having a zest for life, always reaching for more and finding a way to reach her goals.
Marion Rhoda Tufts Farrar was born in 1917, to Flora and Delbert Tufts in Wells, Maine. She was the eldest of six(?) children, and saw many changes throughout her lifetime of 102 ¾ years. During her early years, she grew up on a farm, and went to a one-room schoolhouse. If she didn’t walk to school, she was transported by horse and buggy. Early on, there were no phones, and she remembered having only an outhouse for a bathroom. Marion was a very sharp and motivated student, and learned at a very young age all the lessons that the teacher had to offer. Her parents felt she was too young to go to high school, so she went to live with her grandparents in a neighboring town during the week, where she could get more schooling.
Marion graduated from high school in 1933. She wanted to go to college, but there were no funds to do so, and she was still very young, so she worked in a woolen mill for three years, earning $16/ week, and saving her earnings for college.
In 1936, she was accepted into the University of Maine, and qualified for the Co-Op program that was being offered to those needy students who wanted more education, but couldn’t afford the college tuition and expense. These students lived in a house, and had their own bedrooms and a common kitchen and living room. Marion helped to organize the meals and cook for the students there. She also waitressed at a local Howard Johnson’s Restaurant during her college years to further help with her college and living expenses.
At the University of Maine, Marion met her future husband, Herbert Wendell Farrar, from Hingham, Massachusetts. Herbert graduated with an Electrical Engineering degree, and Marion graduated in 1940, Suma Cum Laude, from the College of Science, with a major in Home Economics. After college, they settled in Herbert’s hometown of Hingham, Massachusetts. They built a small home, near Herbert’s parents. They were blessed with two children, Sandra Lee, and Linda Sue. During the war, while Herb was working long hours at the Quincy Naval shipyard as an electrical engineer, Marion decided she needed ‘wheels’ to get around. Many adventures ensued, with carloads of kids in her Crosley, and then in her Woodie station wagon, and many different vehicles after those. Beach trips, shopping trips to find the newest bargains, and many other adventures – much fun over the years. Marion was an excellent seamstress and made many clothes for her children, and taught them how to sew also. Once Sandra and Linda were more independent, Marion was offered a secretarial job at the local junior high. She worked there for several years, and then was asked to take a home economics teaching position in the neighboring community of East Bridgewater. She loved working with the high school students, and they loved her. She finally retired from teaching in 1983, after serving the community for 25 years.
Marion spent her retirement years in Hingham, her home. She was able to live in her small house, by herself, right up until her passing. Her granddaughter, Lysa, lived nearby, during the last 20 years of Marion’s life, and offered assistance when needed – especially in the last few years. Friends and neighbors were also very kind and helpful.
Marion is survived by her daughters, Sandra Milne (Craig) from Cumberland, Maine, and Linda Akers, from Palmer, Alaska; her youngest sister, Jackie Berry, from North Berwick, Maine; Jackie’s remaining children, Kathy and Scott; grandchildren, Lysa Milne Curry (Tim Curry),from Hingham, Massachusetts, and her three children, Sarah, Katharine, and Sean; Michael Milne (Julie Lamm), from Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and David Milne (Jen) from Sarasota, Florida, and their three children, Tanner, Jackson and Riley. And many other relatives and friends who have kept in contact over the years.
A life long lived. A life well lived. A strong and alert mind to the end. A forward thinker. A very independent woman who knew what she wanted in life and went after it with gusto. A lover of shopping – especially of bargains. A lover of fabrics, and beautiful and wild and happy colors. A gardener who loved flowers and vegetables. A cook. A seamstress. A voracious reader. A bridge player. A thinker. An amazing mind, with an uncanny ability to remember her whole life. A beautiful smile.
Marion long recognized the importance of nutrition, of exercise, of keeping your mind active, of forgiveness, of tolerance, of humor, of love.
Think of how the world has changed in the last 100 years. Marion welcomed those challenges that came with change. She was usually on the cutting edge of new ideas. She rode the crest of each wave right to the end. Even near the very end of her life, she told her doctors how it was going to be; what she would allow and what she wouldn’t. She wrote the last chapter – and all the preceding ones.
Rest in Peace, Dear One. We all feel blessed to have had you with us for so long.
Your wisdom and your love have nourished us. As the sun continues to shine down on us, so do you.
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