JAMES WALLACE (JIM) FARLEY died April 13, 2015 at home. He was born July 31, 1928 to Wallace J. and Idabelle (Vanlandingham) Farley in Kansas City, MO and until 1991 was a resident of Farley, founded by his great-great grandfather in 1850. He was predeceased by his parents and his two sons, James W. Farley, Jr. and John W. Farley.
He is survived by his wife of 33 years, Sue (Markwell), the love of his life; a daughter, Susan Farley, rural Platte County; daughter-in-law Terri Farley (J.W.), Allison Park, PA; daughter-in-law Wendy Farley (John), Olathe, KS; stepsons Michael Murphy (Z.K. Gordy), Kansas City and Mark Murphy, (O. Hall) Parkville; stepdaughter Kathy Murphy Show (Gregg), Kansas City; seven grandchildren; nine great-grandchildren and many friends in all walks of life. He deeply appreciated the excellent care and concern his close friend Carl M. Myers, MD gave to him for many years and was very grateful to the Mayo Clinic for decades of care to him. Jim highly valued his close friendship with his close friend and 2nd cousin, Wallace (Son) Hendrix, 101 and appreciated very much him sharing his amazing memories of Farley and Platte County in their many conversations. Son’s contributions to the writing of Jim’s book Gone But Not Forgotten were invaluable and helped immensely to make the book possible.
A 1945 graduate of Parkville High School, he received a B.S. in business administration in 1949 and J.D. in 1952 from Missouri University in Columbia. He began practicing in Farley (population then about 125) in 1952 and continued practicing in Platte County for over 61 years, retiring in January 2014. Beginning in 1963 he incorporated 24 water supply districts that brought water to towns and rural area previously unserved by public water systems. Upon his retirement, he still represented ten districts that he had incorporated 35 – 50 years previously. He was a forming member of Missouri Rural Water Association in the 1960s and represented it for the last 13 years. It awarded him its 2014 annual Outstanding Service Award for over 50 years of service to the water districts of Missouri and named two college scholarship funds for him. He was a member of the Missouri Bar association and the Platte County Bar Associations, and served two terms as president of the latter; he was also a member of the Sixth Judicial District Disciplinary committee for two terms, and a Trustee of the Missouri Bar. Upon retirement when asked what he missed most he replied, “the people I have represented, worked with and known over the years.” Jim often stated that he had a passion for practicing law from the time he began and he never lost it, even after retirement.
Beginning in 1952 Jim was an officer of Farley State Bank, organized by his grandfather, J.W. Farley, in 1907, and was a board member from 1960 until 2009, serving as CEO from 1980 – 1992 and as board chairman from 1992 until 2009.
Active in Democratic politics all his life, he was treasurer and president of Missouri Young Democrats; served 19 terms as a member of the Platte County Democratic Central Committee, four terms as chairman, and one term as treasurer; four terms on the Missouri State Democratic Committee, and five terms on the 6th District Democratic District Committee. He was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention five times; served an unexpired term in the Missouri House of Representatives in 1956 but did not seek reelection because of other responsibilities; was co-chairman of the Missouri Senatorial Redistricting Commission in 1961; received the Jerry Litton Memorial Award in 1991 and was a member of the Platte County Democratic Hall of Fame. During the past 65 years he supported many candidates and actively participated in numerous campaigns.
One of his passions was Missouri Tiger athletics. He saw his first Tiger football game in 1939 and held season football tickets for 56 years. Jim attended 60 consecutive MU-KU football games from 1952 until the series concluded in 2011. He was a member of the MU Intercollegiate Athletic Committee from 1970 – 1974, of the Intercollegiate Athletic Fund for over 50 years, and of the Jefferson Club.
Another passion was his love for animals, particularly dogs and the 10 Brittanys he owned from 1973 to April, 2014 with the passing of Dixie. While most of them were bird hunting dogs his primary reason for bird hunting was to work with his Brittanys. For the last 14 years before he retired, on most days he was accompanied by one of them (and sometimes also by Lady, a mixed breed rescue) to his office where they greeted clients with their gentle dispositions. He was especially grateful to his close friend Charles (Chuck) Meyer, DVM, who gave them excellent care for many years.
From 1964 to 1971 Jim helped start and participated in a baseball program in Farley for ages 9 through 18 and coached boys at various levels through such time. Though the smallest town in the league the program produced many championship trophies and he was proud of a thank you plaque from former players. He also served as a volunteer assistant coach for Platte County R-III the first year of its baseball program.
A Civil War buff, he wrote Forgotten Valor, a history of the First Missouri Confederate Calvary in which his great grandfather served for 41 months; With his son, John, they wrote Missouri Rebels Remembered – John Thrailkill and Silas M. Gordon. He also was author of Gone But Not Forgotten, an account of the 1900 murder of his great-grandfather, James Wallace, and Platte County Sheriff John Dillingham.
A serious photographer, he published two books of his photographs, Platte County Places and Other Places.
Jim was a member of the First Christian Church, Platte City, Missouri and held many positions including board chairman, deacon, elder and trustee. A Mason, he was a Knight Templar, member of the Scottish Rite, and a Shriner.
Other service organizations he served were Board of Services for Developmentally Disabled 1980- 2014; Mid-America Regional council 1972 – 1982: member of Platte County Industrial Authority; member Platte County Historical Society from the time of its formation in 1946; member of Cushing Memorial Hospital board 1980 – 1990; member and secretary of first Platte County Planning commission 1953 – 1954.
Jim’s idols were his father, Wallace, and grandfather, John Walter Farley, from whom he learned much and whose principles, values and wisdom he always tried to emulate.
Memorial services will be held at First Christian Church of Platte City at 10 a.m., Saturday, April 18, 2015. The family will receive friends from 5 – 8:00 p.m., Friday, April 17, 2015 at the church. The Meyers Northland Chapel in Parkville has been entrusted with the final arrangements. Memories of Jim may be shared with the family at www.meyersfuneralchapel.com.
Memorials may be given to First Christian Church of Platte City, P.O. Box 2000, Platte City, MO 64079; Friends of Parkville Animal Shelter (FOPAS), P.O. Box 29121, Parkville, MO 64152; American Brittany Rescue, 731 Ridgehaven Drive, La Habra, CA 90631 or other charity of donor’s choice.
5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., Friday, April 17, 2015
First Christian Church of Platte City
708 3rd Street
Platte City, Missouri
10:00 a.m., Saturday, April 18, 2015
First Christian Church of Platte City
Reverend J. Kerry Presnell
Hon. Abe Shafer Hon. Lee Hull
Hon. James Van Amburg Tammy Glick
John Higgins Bryant King
Larry Leachman Hon. Lee Hull
Carl Myers, MD Hon. Abe Shafer
Ray Miller Hon. James Van Amburg
Jim Bowers Rick Mos
Bob Kincaid Wm. Schmollinger
Platte City Cemetery