William “Bill” Farmer

William “Bill” Farmer

William “Bill” Farmer

Cedar Falls

William “Bill” Farmer, 72, of Cedar Falls, Iowa, died peacefully at Allen Hospital on Dec. 29, 2022.

Few people lived their lives with as much compassion and joy as Bill. Bill was born Sept. 14, 1950, in Great Bend, Kan., and was raised in Mason City, Iowa, where he loved singing and spending time outdoors. While studying biology and education at Loras College, Bill took part in two particularly transformative experiences: a choir trip to Europe, which opened up the world to him, and a mentoring club called “Do It Yourself,” where he met lifelong friends as well as his wife of 48 years, Mary Lee. The two were married at St. Patrick’s Church in Dubuque on June 15, 1974.

During the Vietnam War, Bill served his country as a conscientious objector, first as a teacher at St. John’s school in Waterloo and then as an orderly at Allen Hospital. This experience inspired him to pursue a nursing career, and he graduated from Allen College of Nursing in 1977 – one of two men in his graduating class. Bill enjoyed his career at Allen and greatly appreciated his treasured colleagues and mentors. Every day at the hospital provided an opportunity to help someone, and he encouraged that same sense of purpose and fulfillment in those around him.

As a father and husband, Bill was loving and ever-present: he packed the family lunches every morning and always included a thoughtful note; he tucked the girls in every night, with songs for Laura and Sherlock Holmes stories for Ann; in the summer, he and Mary and the girls took epic family road trips, including one all the way to Maine.

After retiring from Allen Hospital, Bill enjoyed traveling with Mary and spent many great mornings with friends at Cup of Joe in downtown Cedar Falls, where he was a beloved regular.

Survivors include his wife, Mary, of Cedar Falls; daughters, Ann (Matt) Congdon of Augusta, Maine, and Laura Farmer of Marion; brother, Steve (Kathy) Farmer of Mason City; sister-in-law, Betty Lee of Dubuque and sister-in-law, Shawn Farmer of Des Moines; and nieces, Lisa (Ray) Wilfong of Urbandale and Karen (Steve) Sprague of San Antonio, Texas.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Howard and Nancy Farmer; his sister Linda; brother, Paul; and sister-in-law, Ruth Farmer.

A visitation will be held at Richardson Funeral Service on Monday, Jan. 2, from 4 to 7 p.m., with a rosary at 3:45 p.m. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Cedar Falls. A lunch for all will follow, with burial at Greenwood Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Allen Foundation or St. Patrick Catholic Church.

Online condolences may be left at www.richardsonfuneralservice.com.

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