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Donald H. Farr, retired Williamsville teacher

Aug. 24, 1934 – Aug. 20, 2014

Donald H. Farr, of Amherst, a retired teacher in the Williamsville School District, died Wednesday in Millard Fillmore Suburban Hospital, Amherst, after a short illness. He would have been 80 on Sunday.

Born in Buffalo, he was a 1952 graduate of Kensington High School, where he was a varsity swimmer. He earned a bachelor’s degree in math education from Brockport State College and a master’s degree from Canisius College.

A high-speed radio instructor in the Army, he was given a crypto security clearance and spent a year with the Army Security Agency in Korea in the mid-1950s.

Mr. Farr taught math and computer science in the Williamsville schools for 32 years, retiring in 1992, then taught for five years as an adjunct professor in the School of Education at Canisius College.

He also was an assistant and varsity swimming coach for 27 years, primarily at Williamsville North High School. He coached future Olympic bronze medalist Gordon Downie and several high school All-Americans and state champions.

He also competed in Niagara District Masters Swimming in the mid-1980s, winning many gold, silver and bronze medals in the Empire State Games and in national competition.

Mr. Farr served as a building representative for the Williamsville Teachers Association in the 1960s and as a salary team member for the union in contract negotiations during the 1970s.

He earned his private pilot’s license in the 1980s and enjoyed taking family and friends on sightseeing trips over Niagara Falls.

Mr. Farr was a volunteer worker for the World University Games in 1993 and for many years was a radio reader for the Niagara Frontier Radio Reading Service.

He was a member of New York State United Teachers and a certified member of Mensa.

In the early 1960s, he was a founder of the Williamsville Teachers Invitational Golf Tournament, and he continued to play in the league after retirement.

Survivors include two sons, Donald S. and Marc D.; a daughter, Kelly F. Wilkens; a brother, Dr. Roger C.; a sister, Dr. Beverly; and six grandchildren.

A memorial Mass will be offered at 3 p.m. Friday in St. Joseph University Catholic Church, 3290 Main St.

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