• December 25, 1932 - October 16, 2017
  • Antelope, California

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Bill J. Farmer
December 25, 1932-October 16, 2017

Billy Joe Farmer ("Bill") was born in Fulton, Missouri on Christmas day in 1932 to Hallie and "Brack" Farmer. He was the youngest of seven children. Bill lived on a farm in rural Missouri with his parents, older brothers Lewis, Robert and Morris and older sisters Marguerite, Opal and Beryl. As a very young child of about ten years old, his family moved to Chicago where Bill says he grew up and learned to be Bill. And any of you who knew Bill, knows what that means. It was a cultural shock to move from rural Fulton, Missouri to the big city Chicago, Illinois. Bill remembered his time in Chicago as reading about the war in the newspaper and living between an Irish and Italian ghetto.

As a young teenager, Bill moved to California and lived with his older brother Lewis and attended Roseville High School. After graduating from school he married Lois Streets, a lovely young lady from his high school in June 1952. Soon they were blessed with a daughter, Donna Jean (DJ), who was born in October of 1953. He talked about the joy of being the father of a beautiful baby girl. She was his pride and joy.

Bill had several jobs before winding up in Bakersfield working as a Technical Director for the local TV station there. He later moved to Sacramento to take a position at KXTV Channel 10 in Sacramento. He saw television as his future. Bill worked hard to support his family and initiated an effort to unionize the station to provide for better working conditions for his colleagues. Ultimately, Bill went on a long strike with his colleagues for 4 years and never returned to the station. Bill then went on to work for Montgomery Wards repairing televisions and other electrical devices. He ultimately became the Supervisor of the department and retired in 1991.

Bill built his first home in Antelope, California where he cared for his family. His first home was destroyed as a result of the huge explosion in the nearby train yard that burnt his home and all of the family's belongings to the ground. But never deterred, he rebuilt the home in the same location where he lived with Lois right up until his death. In that same location he also provided a home for his mother in law Edith, who survives him at 102 years of age.

Notwithstanding his tough exterior, Bill had a kind heart for people who needed help. If you were a friend of Bill's, he was willing to help you. He will be sorely missed