Obituary: Farley, Robert Eugene
FARLEY, Robert Eugene
On Wednesday, July 25th, 2012, at approximately 5:30PM, Robert Farley left this life. He was 85 years old. Robert is survived by Carmen, his wife of nearly 59 years, and by his son Jon and daughter Jan. His sister JoAnne Dix and his brother Gordon Farley preceded him in death. He was born in 1927 in the town of Cando, North Dakota, and moved to Spokane in 1942.
In his time, Robert touched uncountable lives and was known by many titles: Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Coast Guardsman, Teacher, School Principal, Actor, Clown, Arts Advocate. He dedicated his life to young people. Ever optimistic, he remained active in his life’s work to the end. Though his body was no longer able to sustain him, his spirit was undefeated.
He is fondly remembered by generations of students of St. George’s School, first as a math and science teacher, then as Principal, and eventually as a drama teacher and director. In all, he spent 32 years on the St. George’s faculty. His association with Spokane Children’s Theatre started in the early 1970’s and continued the rest of his life. He served many terms as President of the organization, but is perhaps best remembered as “Tickles the Clown” who greeted every Children’s Theatre audience over a period of more than 10 years. As an actor he appeared in numerous shows for both Spokane Children’s Theatre and Spokane Civic Theatre. He and Carmen also organized and taught in Spokane Civic Theatre’s Theatre School.
In 2008, Spokane Children’s Theatre endowed a scholarship fund in the name of Robert and Carmen. In 2009, the City of Spokane Arts Commission honored Robert with the Individual Benefactor Arts Award.
Robert will be honored in a private memorial service. Plans for a celebration of his life are pending. Remembrance donations may be made to the Robert and Carmen Farley Scholarship Fund at Spokane Children’s Theatre, or to the Spokane Civic Theatre Endowment Fund; two institutions that were close to his heart.
Robert’s favorite song comes from the musical “No, No, Nanette.” He never missed an opportunity to sing “I want to be happy, but I won’t be happy ‘till I make you happy too!” But more than just a song, this is the way he lived his life. He was deeply loved, and is deeply missed.