Roger Farley 1934-2013

Council Recognizes Roger Farley’s Service

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Thursday July 25, 2013

  The first item on the July 15 City Council agenda was to formally remember and recognize Roger Farley for his years of service and commitment to the community while serving as a Planning Commissioner, and on the Development Review Board.

Interim Deputy City Manager Tom Hubbard spoke on behalf of John Dinklage, Chair of the Development Review Board, 1999-2010, and  Mark Behr,  Chair of the Development Review Board , 2010-present.

“Roger was deeply involved with his large family, his amateur radio friends, and with his community. He was a diligent member of the DRB, regaling us with stories of his travels, sports scores and statistics (the Red Socks, especially) to help keep the atmosphere light.  He was serious in his participation in DRB matters, although not vociferous. His comments were helpful, thoughtful, and respected. He helped us find common ground, and the community can be grateful for that.  He found his larger voice in writing for The Other Paper and for Vermont Maturity Magazine.    Roger was appointed to the Planning Commission on August 18, 1998 and when the Development Review Board was created on July 19, 1999, Roger was appointed to this newly created municipal panel. Roger served on this Board until passing a few months ago and was the only remaining original member of the Board.  Roger was a unique individual and he is greatly missed.” 

Roger is deeply missed here at The Other Paper, as well, where he served in many roles over the last fifteen years.  “ He will be fondly remembered for his whistling arrival, hearty morning greeting, amusing antecdotes, and loyal attention to detail,” said Judy Kearns,  publisher. 

George Chamberland, Publisher and Editor of The Other Paper from 1997 - 2009 also remembers him with great respect and admiration.  They first met while Roger was working part time at Radio Shack and offered to volunteer to help The Other Paper. At the time the paper wasn’t set up to have volunteers, but as the paper grew, he was welcomed to join the staff.  “It was one of the best decisions I made and it was the beginning of a fifteen year relationship,” Chamberland said.  

George Chamberland recalls:

“Roger assisted in preparing the draft copies of the paper for delivery to North Haverill, New Hampshire where it was printed. We had a five-hour window of time to complete this task before the driver from Upper Valley Press would stop to pick up the “mechanicals”. It was stressful to say the least. If the mechanicals weren’t ready when the driver came, he could not wait. While assisting in this process, Roger never raised his voice or lost his patience. He was always a competent, calming influence and a tremendous help. He became an integral part of staff. 

Roger was first and foremost a devoted family man.  He spoke often about both children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Roger was always on the move.  He maintained a challenging schedule that included membership on the DRB, and his responsibilities as a husband, father and grandfather. He thought nothing about climbing on the roof regardless of the weather to adjust the satellite dish, or to shovel off snow accumulation. In addition, each year he would reduce the huge stack of logs that were delivered to his address to several cords of neatly stacked rows of firewood for the heating season.  He continued the labor-intensive process of heating with wood into his seventies. Even significant health issues didn’t keep him from maintaining the needed wood supply. 

Roger was an avid ham radio operator. He communicated on a regular basis with his radio “buddies” scattered throughout the country.  I have been in his office when he received a call from an operator from somewhere across the country asking how the weather was in Vermont.  He also had a receiver in his car. The telltale 6’ antennae were attached to the car roof so he wouldn’t miss a call. 

Most of all I will always remember Roger’s home office/workshop/command center. Once you entered his domain you were greeted by the sound of music; his taste was eclectic. The room was stacked from floor to ceiling with old computers, printers, and every kind of electronic device imaginable.  At his desk he would have several “vintage” computers running simultaneously, each one running with a different operating system. The TV was also running, especially if his beloved Red Sox were playing.  He was quite content in the maze of this well organized representation of his wide-ranging interests. 

Roger was a kind, caring and loyal man.  He truly was a good guy.

I will remember with a smile Roger’s always cheerful greeting of “howdy, howdy, howdy”.