Mark B. Farmer
Houston, TX – Mark Bertram Farmer, 53, passed away Sunday, September 21, 2014, in Houston, Texas, from complications related to brain cancer. Graveside services will be held at 2:00PM on Saturday, October 4, 2014, at Ways Baptist Church Cemetery with Rev. Jerry Cole officiating. Interment will follow the services.
Son of the late John and Anne (Parish) Farmer, Mark was born in Augusta, Georgia and moved with his family to the Panama Canal Zone in August, 1962. He was a very active boy and took full advantage of the year-round outdoor weather as he grew up. He developed into a very fast runner. On Sunday mornings if he got outside before he could be corralled by the family, it took everyone running as fast as they could to corner him so that they could go to church. They later figured out that he ran because he got carsick every time during the 45-minute drive, both there and back. Fortunately, he grew out of hat. Mark used that speed and athleticism to be a valued player in football and baseball leagues. He was also on his high school track team.
After graduating from high school in the Canal Zone, he attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, CA, where he quickly decided an engineering degree was not for him. He went to live with his older brother, John, in Galveston, TX where he took a job as a short order cook at the Dutch Kettle, a local version of IHOP. Mark later decided to go to a welding trade school where the owner liked him so much that he hired Mark as an instructor. As the oil industry began to wind down and welders were less sought after, Mark determined it was time to go back to college and enrolled in Galveston Community College. Mark quickly made true friends in Galveston. During a visit to one of those friends in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, Mark met his wife, Paula Dee.
Mark did very well at Galveston Community College and concluded he wanted to pursue a degree in accounting at the University of Texas. He and Paula moved to Austin where he earned his Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. He passed his CPA exam and landed a job as an auditor for the Department of Defense, reviewing contracts the DOD had with civilian companies, searching for fraud. He and Paula were very much in love and, as was Mark’s way, he made lifelong friends with neighbors and co-workers. Paula’s son, Todd, came to Austin to live with them and Mark welcomed him with open arms and adopted him as his son. Mark and Todd grew to love each other and Todd became an extremely important part of Mark’s life. Mark, Paula and Todd were a very joyful family and these were some of the happiest years of Mark’s life.
After many years of a blissful marriage, Mark and Paula decided to go their separate ways. Mark had suffered severe allergies in Austin and after 25 years there, he moved to Seattle, WA, with his faithful companion and significant other, Zorro, a Parti Poodle to whom he was devoted. He went back to work with the DCAA, the same government department he had worked with in Austin. In May 2012, he had been at work only five weeks when he had a seizure and was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, a common and fatal form of brain cancer with a prognosis of one year.
Mark was determined to prove them wrong and made a valiant effort—never giving up. He went through three months of chemotherapy and radiation treatment. Shortly after finishing those treatments, he had a routine colonoscopy and was diagnosed with colon cancer. He underwent colon surgery and was put back on chemotherapy. Five months later during a routine MRI, it was discovered his brain cancer was recurring.
It was a sign of Mark’s character, and the character of the people he worked with, that even with only an initial five weeks on the job, his co-workers and bosses cared for Mark and supported him through this difficult time. He and Zorro recently moved to the Houston area to be closer to family.
Mark was a singular and unique individual. He was very honest, sincere, trustworthy and direct. He was very loyal to his friends and family and would help and support them in any way he could. He was very serious-minded when dealing with job, family and financial responsibilities, but outside of that, the last thing he wanted to be was serious. He lived to make others laugh. He would talk to you about anything in the world and milk it for at least a chuckle.
Outside of friends and family, and making people laugh, Mark’s prime passion was music. As a young fellow he dreamed of being a drummer in a rock band and was frequently caught playing air drums. One of his favorite pastimes was scouring Amazon, eBay and YouTube for rare and little known music and videos of his favorite bands. And he didn’t mind playing his favorite music loud! He was a heavy metal aficionado who did not mellow with age.
Mark was a committed Christian. Holding to his beliefs, he was sustained by his faith to the very end.
A large part of the shaping and making of the man Mark became was instilled by his parents and extended family who taught him that family and friends are the most important things in life. The love shown him by his family and friends allowed Mark to be who he was. It was a joy knowing him and he certainly took joy in those he knew.
Mark is survived by his two brothers, Carey Farmer of Katy, TX, and John Farmer (Sharon) of Friendswood, TX; his niece, Alicia Farmer; his nephew, Elliot Farmer; numerous relatives and dear friends; and his beloved dog, Zorro, who currently resides with John and Sharon.
The family will receive friends at Ways Baptist Church Cemetery at 1:00PM prior to graveside services on Saturday, October 4, 2014.
I'd like the memory of me to be a happy one.
I'd like to leave an after glow of smiles when life is done.
I'd like to leave an echo whispering softly down the ways,
Of happy times and laughing times and bright summer days.
I'd like the tears of those who grieve to dry before the sun
Of happy memories that I leave when life is done.