Dale C Farmer, Sr.July 30, 1929 ~ September 14, 2017 (age 88)
Dale C. Farmer, Sr., age 88, passed away on Thursday, September 14, after a 4 year fight with cancer. Born on July 30, 1929 in Williamson, West Virginia to Dora (Riggin) and Houston Farmer, much of his childhood was spent in Galax, VA and in Wilmington, Delaware. A graduate of Galax High School in Virginia, Dale also attended A.I DuPont High School in Wilmington. He spent his professional years in Delaware as a coach and leader in scholastic athletics.
Dale was a passionate believer in the benefits of organized sports and the corresponding life lessons provided to young people. He lived life with an abundance of energy and a focus in the three areas of family, work and friends – and he was great at all three. Among his many blessings was the companionship of his wife Jennie – a perfect complement to Dale in every way and the best of life partners that helped make his wonderful life possible.
Dale served in the U.S. Air Force from 1950-54, earning the rank of Staff Sergeant. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education from Pittsburgh State University (Kansas) in 1958 and a Master of Science degree in 1959 from the University of Colorado.
His professional career began in 1959 at Lord Baltimore High School, Ocean View, Delaware where he taught health and physical education and served as athletic director while also coaching football, baseball and boys basketball. In 1963, Dale moved to Smyrna High School where he taught health and physical education and served as athletic director. He also served as the head football coach at Smyrna through the 1969 season where he never had a losing season (41-20-3 record). His teams won 2 Conference Championships, 1966 and 1969, with the 1969 campaign resulting in the first ever Henlopen Conference Football Championship. He was also selected as head coach of the Gold team for the 1967 Delaware All-Star Football game and was selected as the 1969 Henlopen Conference "Coach of the Year".
In 1970 he became the State Supervisor of Physical Education and Interscholastic Athletics for the State of Delaware, a role that evolved into the Executive Secretary of the Delaware Secondary School Athletic Association, which he held until his retirement in 1991. His tenure was noted for the implementation and expansion of statewide tournaments across high school sports, especially in the area of women’s athletics. His focus on sportsmanship and fairness under the rules earned him the nickname by some members of the press as the “Godfather of High School Athletics”.
He was the first person from Delaware to serve on the Executive Committee of the National Federation of High School Athletics. He was inducted in to the Delaware Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. In retirement, Farmer was a founding board member of the Wild Quail Golf and Country Club, located near Wyoming, DE.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Jennie Louise (Jurick); sister Ethel Boyce (Farmer) of Wilmington, DE; his three sons, Dale C. Farmer, Jr. (Sue) of Jacksonville, FL, Larry K. Farmer (Brydee) of Fleetwood, PA, Randall J. Farmer (Linda) of Dover, DE; 6 grand-children, Brian Farmer (Holly) of St. Johns, FL, Lauren Brannon (Jason) of Panama City Beach, FL, Jay Farmer of Columbus, OH, Daniel Farmer of Fleetwood, PA, Brooks and Ryan Farmer of Dover, DE; and 4 great-grandchildren, Miles and Maxwell Farmer, Kinsley and Diem Brannon. He is also survived by numerous nephews and nieces who he loved greatly.
He is pre-deceased by his parents Dora Farmer (Riggin) and Houston Farmer; brothers Guy and Ernest Farmer and sister Edna Smith (Farmer).
A funeral service will be Noon Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at the Pippin Funeral Home, 119 W Camden Wyoming Avenue, Wyoming, DE 19934 where friends may visit with the family from 10:00 A.M. until Noon Tuesday. Burial will follow in Holy Cross Cemetery, Dover, DE. Online condolences may be made via www.pippinfuneralhome.com.
In Lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Dale can be made to the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame.
801 Shipyard Drive
Wilmington, DE 19801-5121