Richard Burton Farnsworth, a former U.S. State Department professional who later served as a dean at Stanislaus State University, died Tuesday in Turlock. He was 83.
Friends and colleagues remembered Mr. Farnsworth as a well-mannered and scholarly man who helped arrange the university’s first extension courses as an associate dean and director of continuing education.
“He was very proper and very much of a scholar,” longtime friend Bonnie Cook said. “He did a lot of reading and was very interested in education.”
Mr. Farnsworth was born in Livingston, Mont., on March 5, 1913, and attended high school in North Sacramento. He obtained a doctorate from Stanford University, and one of his first jobs was as principal of a Sacramento school, Cook said.
He served with the Army Air Corps during World War II.
He later went to work for the State Department in countries such as Japan, Korea, Lebanon and Nigeria. Cook said he helped set up educational programs in post-war Japan. He also served as dean of the State Department’s School of Administrative and Consular Studies.
He was a regional representative for the U.S. Commission on Education and worked at Stanislaus State for nine years, retiring in 1976.
At the Turlock campus, Mr. Farnsworth was popular among the staff. “He was one of nature’s aristocrats,” former colleague J.W. Smurr said.
After retiring, Mr. Farnsworth launched out on more world travel, his primary hobby, Cook said. He died after a yearlong illness.
He is survived by his daughter, Wendy Farnsworth of Los Angeles; and two grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
A memorial service will be conducted at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Turlock. Inurnment will be at Tollhouse Cemetery, Clovis [Fresno Co.]. Allen Mortuary is in charge of arrangements.
Remembrances may be made to the St. Francis Episcopal Church Memorial Fund, 915 E. Main St., Turlock 95380.
Notes I try to copy into the bottom of every obit I look up:
I will send you the paper copy printed from the microfilm if you send me your street address privately.
I'm not related, nor did I know the family. I look these obits up to repay people who looked things up for me, by "paying it forward". If you have the time and inclination, you can look up an obit in your county for someone too.