My father was a very special man.
Born 1920 in Brooklyn, NY, John "Jack" Charles Farquhar grew up in Gloucester and Haddonfield, New Jersey. His parents were well-respected in the community and founding members of the methodist church. They were second and third generation immigrants from Scotland and from Germany and those ancestors, like so many, worked their fingers to the bone to ensure that the successive generations THRIVED! For that I am eternally greatful.
In my father's family there was a shoemaker, a seamstress and several business owners: Philadelphia - a few butchers, a whiskey distillery, a textile dye house, a weaving mill for paisley scarves both here and in glasgow, scotland. New Jersey: a bakery in gloucester city, NJ, a grocery store and even a mayor, Samuel T. Murphy, who was also a member of the New Jersey State House of Assembly, Camden County in 1877. (my father's father's mother's father!)
My father was the middle child of five and quickly became a favorite son and brother with his sweet, easy-going nature. A much beloved child, he was filled with confidence and an extremely positive outlook which he maintained throughout the course of his lifetime, spanning 85 years. In addition to his great physical beauty, I can assure you, everyone who came in contact with him sensed his INNER beauty as well!
Dad was a star scout in the Boy Scouts, an accomplished gymnast, baseball and football player, popular with his classmates and voted Class President in his senior year at Haddonfield High School at the tender age of 16!
During the depression years, his parents scraped and saved so that he could attend Springfield College, MA as a Physical Education major. Dad was captain of the (exhibition) gym team, travelling extensively throughout the east coast performing highly stylized routines with a Triple Balance team and the team as a whole. Thanks to his "pack rat" nature, I have his scrapbook from college, his 16 year old Diary, dance cards, post cards along with BOXES of photos and have developed a clear picture of my father as a young man, of which I am extremely proud.
To understand why I have hesitated to write anything in any great detail about my father's life before today, take a look at this list of his interests/accomplishments:
knot tying, astronomy, camping, tree identification, gardening, growing roses, gymnastics, cub/boy scouts, acrobatics, senior HS class president, editor of HS/Camp/Church newspaper, cartoonist, crossword puzzle design, wordsmith, limericks, cloud patterns, Springfield College NEAAU - Tumbling Champion with a silver medal in 1941 and a gold medal in 1939, pilot, flight instructor, squaredance caller, dance instructor, lettered in both HS and college sports, camp counselor, circus acrobat, captain of college gym team, HS basketball coach, ballroom dancer, jazz aficionado, educational jazz radio show host (with parkinson's disease in his late 70's), competition badminton player, senior olympic SILVER MEDALIST (with parkinson's disease in his mid 70's), emcee, learned to ski at age 60, ski instructor to my brother and I (at age 61), spun records for college parties, jazz piano, big band jazz, classical music, "night course" teacher of Jazz Appreciation, son, friend, brother, father, husband, uncle, grandfather...
More pictures and stories to follow!
~ end of Part I ~