Gordon Farmer honored for service

Carolina Hills Garden club celebrated the World War II Army career of J. Gordon Farmer, honoring him with a tree planting at Wade Hampton Memorial Veterans Park. The Rev. Jim Dennis from Grace United Methodist Church was present and gave a dedication prayer.

Farmer graduated from Georgia Tech in February 1943, earning a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering just before heading off to serve in Europe as the lead navigator in a B-17, making bombing runs over Holland, France, Germany and "all the way to Czechoslovakia," as he recalled.

From 1944-45, he flew 17 bombing missions over Europe as the lead navigator for the Mighty 8th Air Force, 490th Bomber Group. Returning from World War II with a $5,000 savings, he founded Augusta Concrete Block Company in 1946."

Last year, he was named to the Georgia Tech Engineering Hall of Fame.

Locally, Farmer has served as chairman of the Aiken County Historical Commission (and subsequently helping establish the Aiken County Historical Museum) and president of the Augusta Georgia Tech Alumni Association.

Farmer, whose 91st birthday will be Jan. 14, has over the years been named as the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce "Citizen of the Year" in 2005. He has also served the Chamber as president.

A native of Jefferson County, Ga., Farmer married the former Martha Claire Holladay in 1949. Their son, Jim, is now the company's president.

The Rev. Dr. John Younginer had prepared comments for the tree planting; however, he was unavoidably detained. A longtime friend of Farmer, Younginer shared the following:

"A Reading from the 1st Psalm: 'Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

'He is like a tree planted by streams of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.

'In all that he does, he prospers.

"For 37 years Gordon Farmer and I have forged a close friendship - first, working together in the church and then spending time together, relishing in his seemingly endless acquisitions, enjoying many things we have in common and solving the world's problems.

"People are like trees. There are some we like to associate with because we feel better having been in their company. Gordon is such a person. He enjoys life, he loves his family, his church, his God, antique cars and, yes, concrete block. He has made significant contributions to make North Augusta a better place to live.

"This tree is a symbol of the man."