Peter James Farmer

1956 - 2018

COOPERSTOWN, NY – Peter James “Pete” Farmer, 61, a native of Cooperstown, New York, who resided in Lancaster, Massachusetts and in Cooperstown, died unexpectedly of a pulmonary embolism on Wednesday morning, April 25, 2018, at UMass Memorial Leominster, Massachusetts. 

He was born in Cooperstown on June 5, 1956, a son of Dr. Edward Truman Farmer, DDS and Gretchen Schweickhard Farmer. 

After graduating from Cooperstown Central School with the Class of 1974, Peter went on to earn a BS from Cornell University. Upon graduation, he joined the Peace Corps and was assigned to Chile. Pete loved his time there and made many good friends. After the Peace Corps, Pete remained in Chile for a year teaching fishery management at a local university. He recently visited Chile again, fulfilling a decades-old dream. 

After he left Chile, Pete looked for another adventure and found it managing a farm in Saudi Arabia. When he had time off he continued to see the world, visiting Spain, Thailand, and Nepal. Upon his return to Cooperstown, he earned his pilot’s license and worked as an airplane mechanic at Westville Airport. Pete was considering another international adventure when he reconnected with the love of his life and best friend, Abby Armstrong.

Pete and Abby married in 1990 and have lived in Lancaster, Massachusetts for the past 27 years. They also owned property in Cooperstown and truly were at home in both places. Pete earned a master’s degree in environmental science at UMass Lowell and worked in ground water cleanup. After their first son was born, Pete continued his ways as a ground-breaking pioneer and began his next great adventure: as an at-home-Dad. 

Pete’s love for activity was shared with his boys. Over the years, they joined extended family and friends camping in Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada. He was proud of the fact that the boys were the fourth generation of his family to camp there. He was happiest up in the air, but along with flying planes he loved fishing, camping, hiking with his beloved yellow Lab, Cleo, and skiing at Mt. Wachusett. Pete loved nature and outdoor activities, and protecting the environment was a passion. To that end, he served on the Lancaster Conservation Commission for the past 18 years, engaging in numerous town environmental causes. 

Recognizing the value of being a close part of his sons’ lives, Pete went to college nights to obtain a master’s degree in education at Fitchburg State University. Upon graduation, he taught high school earth science for many years.

Peter was a true renaissance man. A skilled craftsman, he could fix anything, mechanical or otherwise. He enjoyed telling the story of how he volunteered to sew together the quilt squares made by children in one of the boy’s pre-school classes and the teacher was shocked that he owned a sewing machine. He was particularly proud of having completely re-built a 1946 Aeronca 7 AC, affectionately called “The Champ”. You could often see him fly it over Cooperstown, “waving” the wings to say hello. Pete was also a talented chef. His wonderful cooking was second only to his gift for genuine hospitality and for making everyone around him feel welcome. 

Pete was a true “giver”. He would help anyone who needed his help, without a thought of thanks. He was exceptionally kind and non-judgmental. He was hard working, loving, fun and generous with his time and talent. He loved his family and friends and would do anything for them. His final act was to give the gift of life through tissue donation and his spirit will live on in the many lives he will touch through this humanitarian gesture. The world is a better place, in many ways, because Pete Farmer was in it. He will be greatly missed by many.

Peter is survived by his loving wife of 27 years, Abigail M. Armstrong, of Lancaster, Massachusetts; their two sons, Brian and Kevin Farmer; a sister, Helen Crowell and husband Greg of Phoenix Mills; a brother, Edward A. Farmer of Floresville, Texas; nephews Dan Crowell and wife, Dee of Fly Creek, Sam Farmer and wife Jackie of Corpus Christi, Texas and Seth Farmer of Floresville, Texas. He is also survived by many loving cousins and friends far and wide. 

Peter was preceded in death by his mother, Gretchen Farmer, his father, Dr. Edward T. Farmer, DDS, and his brother, Paul William Farmer.

The family will receive friends from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Friday, May 4, 2018, at The Tryon Inn, 124 Main Street, Cherry Valley, New York. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Peter's name should be made to Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Young Eagles Program, 3000 Poberezny Road, Oshkosh, WI 54902, or The Lancaster Land Trust, PO Box 626, Lancaster, MA 01523, or the Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA), PO Box 931, Cooperstown, NY 13326.

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown, New York.

If you would like to send condolences to the family, send an email to Connell, Dow & Deysenroth. We will forward your comments to the family. If you would like to send flowers in memory of the deceased, contact Mohican Flowers at (607) 547-8822, or A Rose is a Rose at (607) 264-3100.