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James Alexander Farmer

March 12, 1931 ~ May 4, 2020 (age 89)


James Alexander Farmer Jr., 89 of Urbana passed away at 3:35 p.m. on May 4, 2020 at Meadowbrook Health Center in Urbana.

Services will be held at a later date.

James was born in New York City on March 12, 1931 to parents James A. Farmer and Margaret (Belknap) Farmer. They preceded him in death.

On January 25, 1955 Jim married Helen Sweeney in New York City, she survives. Also surviving are their children, James S. (Jennifer) Farmer of Trevor, WI and Paul A. Farmer of Sammamish, WA. His sister Sylvia Hultkrans of Boulder, CO, three grandchildren and five great grandchildren also survive him.

Jim attended Hamilton College, Union Theological Seminary and Columbia Teachers College, earning an Ed.D.  He played football and tennis in college and was captain of both teams.

He was a Professor of Adult and Continuing Education for the University of Illinois for twenty-four years, 1974-1998. Before teaching Jim was a Minister at Riverside Church in New York City where he got to know Rev. Martin Luther King.

He was a member of Faith United Methodist Church in Champaign.

Jim was an avid fisherman and enjoyed scuba diving, he completed over 1,600 dives. He and Helen loved spending summers in Canada on the Ottawa River with family and friends.

Jim was a devoted husband, committed family man, a man of great integrity and generosity of spirit.

Memorial Contributions may be made in James’ honor to the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts or to Clark-Lindsey Village. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Alexander Farmer, please visit our floral store.


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Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
500 S Goodwin Av., Urbana IL 61801

Clark - LIndsey Village
101 W Windsor Rd, Urbana IL 61802

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