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September 23, 2012

Farmers celebrate 60 years

NORMAN — John and Margaret Farmer of Norman marked their 60th wedding anniversary on Sept. 4. They were married in 1952 in Margaret (McQuarrie’s) hometown, Easton, Pa., in the chapel of Lafayette College.

They met at The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, where both were students. John completed college in the summer of 1953. They moved to Ames, Iowa, where John earned a masters and Ph.D. in the Department of Zoology and Entomology at Iowa State College (now ISU) with time out in the middle for two years in the U.S. Army. John was born to a British family in Simala, India. He came to the U.S. after his father married an American medical missionary. His Army service provided a quick path to his citizenship in 1957.

In 1960, Margaret and John left Ames with two children after five years of living in old corrugated Army barracks for married students and several bug infested apartments in San Antonio, Texas. They moved to Columbia, Mo., where John began a career teaching large classes at MU in the Zoology Department. He also mentored more than a dozen masters and Ph.D. students. Their three children were raised in Columbia. They are Johann Cutkomp, Iowa City, Iowa; Steve Farmer, Phoenix, Ariz.; and Susan Bueti, Waterbury, V.T. There are six grandchildren and two great-grandsons.

While John taught and the children grew, Margaret became an active member of the Columbia/Boone County League of Women Voters. She served on the Columbia Planning Commission after an unsuccessful run for city council. These days, she continues her active interest in working for good, participatory government and has served on two City of Norman boards.

In 1979, the University of Oklahoma beckoned and John continued to teach in the Zoology Department. In 1982, Margaret became an OU graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in geography. She went on to work for the City of Oklahoma City and retired from the position of assistant planner in 1997. John retired as a David Ross Boyd Professor of Zoology in April 1995.

This August, they celebrated their anniversary early with their family in Phoenix. In Norman, the couple skipped hosting a party and donated money to the Cleveland County Democrat Party and asked that Legend’s lemon cake be served at the party’s wine and cheese fundraiser.

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