Cover photo for Robert Austin Farrand's Obituary
Robert Austin Farrand Profile Photo
1923 Robert 2013

Robert Austin Farrand

June 3, 1923 — May 12, 2013

Robert Austin Farrand, age 89, of Grants Pass died Sunday, May 12, 2013 in Grants Pass of age related causes. He was three weeks short of his 90th birthday.

A memorial service will be at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, July 20, 2013 at First Christian Church, 4th and H St. in Grants Pass with Pastor Wes Winn officiating.

Private interment with full military honors was held on May 19, 2013 at the Juniper Haven Pioneer Cemetery in Prineville, Oregon. Hull & Hull Funeral Directors were in charge of arrangements.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the First Christian Church Memorial Fund, 305 SW H Street, Grants Pass, Oregon 97526.

Bob was born June 3, 1923 in Prineville, Oregon to Carl Herbert & Katie Louise Farrand.

Raised on small dairy farms, he went to grade school in Redmond and high school in Prineville. He graduated from Crook County High School in 1942 and worked in local sawmills until joining the United States Army in 1943. Although blind in one eye, he won medals in marksmanship as an Army Rifleman. He served in the military police at Gowan Field in Boise, Idaho and at Camp Cooke, California (now Vandenberg Air Force Base) until he was discharged at Fort Sam Houston in 1946.

He married his Prineville High School sweetheart, Betty Jean Henton in Lordsburg, New Mexico on June 2, 1946.

Bob attended Southern Oregon College (now S.O.U.) in Ashland and Oregon College of Education (now W.O.U.) in Monmouth before earning a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Oregon in Eugene in 1951 where he also earned a Master’s Degree in Education in 1959.

Betty & Bob moved to Cave Junction in 1951 where he taught Music, Math and Science classes for five years before coming to Grants Pass in 1956. Farrand was the Physics teacher at Grants Pass High School from 1956 until 1979. He was the Principal of Jordan Valley High School from 1979 to 1981 and Superintendent of Marcola Schools in the Willamette Valley from 1981 until he retired and moved back to Grants Pass in 1983.

During his 22 years in District 7, Farrand was awarded four National Science Foundation Summer Scholarships for high school Physics teachers: at the University of Washington in 1960 and 1973; at Fort Hays State (Kansas) in 1961; and at Saint Cloud State (Minnesota) in 1962. He was a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers; actively involved with the Southern Oregon Science Teachers; and was a charter member of the Oregon Science Teachers Association.

Farrand was also an active member of the Grants Pass Education Association, serving as President in 1970 and 1971. He served on the District 7 Science Curriculum Committee for Physics & Chemistry in 1976 and was the District 7 Nominee for National Teacher-of-the-Year in 1978.

Bob was active in many hobbies. In high school and college he designed, built and flew gas-powered free-flight model airplanes on both wheels and floats. In the 1950’s he became interested in ham radio design and operation; his call sign for nearly 50 years was W7TLK. He belonged to the American Radio Relay League until 1995, and helped provide emergency communications between Cave Junction and Grants Pass during the flood of 1955. He built two wood sailboats in the 1960’s and was an active fresh-water sailor until 2003. Most of all in retirement, he enjoyed traveling and camping with his wife, Betty Jean, until she died in 2006 after 60 years of marriage.

He is survived by his sister, Helen and his son, Bob Jr. and four grandchildren.

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