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William E. Farnham

April 19, 1937 ~ November 30, 2021 (age 84)

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William (Bill) Ernest Farnham, 84, of Willimantic, departed this life suddenly on November 30, 2021 with his beloved wife and daughter at his side.  Born April 19, 1937, in Barre, VT to the late William C. & Evelyn M. (Harley) Farnham.  

William grew up in the towns of Northfield and Barre, VT.  He spent as much time as he could working in a local gas station as a teenager, where his love of race cars and mechanics took root. 

William served honorably in the United States Air Force during the Korean War. You would find him proudly wearing one of his many Air Force or Korean War hats in public and enjoying every “Thank You for your Service” he received. William also served in the National Guard of Vermont, Honorably discharged in August 1954. He most recently became an honorary member of the Martial Arts for Veterans with Master Dan Arnini. This was truly something he was most proud to be a part of.  He was one of 7 veterans honored for their service at the Eastern Connecticut Veterans Community Center on National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day July 27, 2021.

Bill met his sweetheart, Gail, in 1966 at a restaurant called Jane Aldin in Vernon, CT. It was “Love at first sight”.  They married on August 19, 1967, at the First Congregational Church of Vernon. William and Gail lived in Ashford, CT for 40 years (where they raised their two daughters), then Brooklyn, CT for 6 years and most recently resided in Willimantic, CT.  He was a devoted and loving husband, father, and grandfather. You could find him at all family events, with his happy-go -lucky disposition.  He was proud of his family. His smile, sense of humor, attentiveness, stories, advice, along with his easy-going approach to life were his trademarks.  Besides enjoying spending time with family & friends, he also enjoyed Nascar, Star Trek, Boston Red Sox, country music, puzzles, working on small engines and watching TV.  He loved tinkering with modern day electronics and playing with his smartphone. He was an avid fisherman, and there wasn’t a trout around who didn’t fear him. William was a mechanic by trade and worked at GEM Chevrolet and Columbia Ford. He also enjoyed being a parts driver for the Willimantic Napa, working at Sears Hardware and delivering fuel for R&J Harvesting in his later years.

William aged the hardest over the past few years. Slowly but surely, as his health declined, he was losing his independence, one piece at a time, and that was the most painful of all. William was a very proud & modest man and did his best to prove to everyone he was “OK”.  He didn’t like being fussed over. He was tired, in spite of his efforts to conceal it.  

William received the Lord’s Mercy the day he was called home. He came in quickly and swept him away to heaven, relieving him of all his worldly pain. 

He leaves his bride of 54 years, Gail, his daughter & son-in-law Lucinda & Richard Labbe of Eastford, CT, daughters Pamela Farnham of Lebanon, CT and Christine Farnham of Collingswood, NJ , a son William R. Farnham of VA, beloved  grandchildren Nicholas Stone of Windham, CT and Amanda Hair of Eastford, CT.  William also leaves a sister, Margaret Partlow of St. Cloud, FL, and a brother,  Peter Farnham of Mocksville, NC,  his brother & sister-in law Ray and Peggy Flavell of Tolland, CT. He leaves numerous nieces, nephews, grandchildren & great-grandchildren, all along with his loyal friends…. Frank David, Bill Haggis and George & Greta Hansen. William is predeceased by his parents, a daughter Ruth Nancy Brickman and his beloved cat, Smokey. 

Special thanks goes out to the staff on duty at The PhysicianOne Urgent Care in Norwich, The Norwich EMT’s and First responders, and the compassionate nurses, doctors and clergy at the Backus Hospital ED on November 30, 2021. 

The family would like to extend a sincere note of gratitude to all Doctors and their staff involved with William’s care.  Dr. Ralph Laguardia, Dr. Michael Keenan, Dr. Jeffery Kegel, Dr. Asad Ali Rizvi, and Dr. Ma, HH Cardiac unit, WCMH staff, including the ED, floor staff and the wound clinic, and finally, the Masonicare Home Health Services.  

A Calling hour will be held on Saturday, December 18, 2021, from 9:30 am - 10:30 am at the Holmes-Watkins Funeral Home, 400 Main St., Manchester, CT with a memorial service to follow. A graveside service with full Military honors will be held at the East Cemetery, 240 East Center St., Manchester, CT.  To view a live stream of the service, or to leave a memory or message of condolence, please visit www.holmeswatkins.com

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of William E. Farnham, please visit our floral store.

Funeral Service

Committal Service


Calling Hours
December 18, 2021

9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
Holmes-Watkins Funeral Home
400 Main Street
Manchester, CT 06040

Memorial Service
December 18, 2021

10:30 AM
Holmes-Watkins Funeral Home
400 Main Street
Manchester, CT 06040

Video is available for this event

Burial following services

East Cemetery, Manchester
240 East Center Street
Manchester, CT 06040

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