James Lee Farmer

— 10/04/2020

From Richland, WA | Born in Kilgore, TX

James Lee Farmer


James Lee Farmer passed away at home the morning of October 4, 2020. Jim was born June 17, 1947 in Kilgore, TX to James Lee Farmer and Betty Roberts. He is survived by his wife Kathy Farmer, son Michael Farmer, daughter-in-law Mandi Farmer, and grandchildren Jameson and Samantha. Also surviving Jim are his four siblings in Texas: Mike Farmer, Jon Farmer, Tom Farmer, and Jan Able.

Jim grew up in East Texas about 2 hours from Dallas in a handful of small towns. His family settled in Gladewater where he attended high school and graduated in 1965. After high school Jim attended Kilgore College and North Texas State, now the University of North Texas. After enlisting in the Air Force in 1968, Jim and Kathy were married in 1969. Jim and Kathy moved around the country and the world while Jim played primarily saxophone in the Air Force band. After stints in Louisiana, the Philippines, Virginia, and the Philippines again, the family ended up in Omaha where Jim switched careers and joined OSI, the Office of Special Investigations.

In 1989, after 20 years in the Air Force, Jim retired and accepted a job with Battelle at PNNL bringing him and his family to Washington State. Jim worked another 20-year career in national security endeavors before retiring for a second and final time from Battelle in 2010.

Jim enjoyed playing golf wherever he was, and was a member of Meadow Springs in Richland for over 25 years. In addition to golf, Jim was an avid football fan, especially of the Dallas Cowboys.

With COVID-19 restrictions on funerals and gatherings there will be a memorial service/ celebration of life for Jim on a yet to be determined date in the future. Jim will be cremated after a small family service Monday October 12th, and laid to rest on Oahu Hawaii at The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, or as it is more commonly known, the Punchbowl.

Guestbook for

James Lee Farmer

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  • Kathy,

    I had the pleasure of working with Jim at PNNL from 2000 to 2007. I always enjoyed hearing his Air Force influenced approach to the work in which we were engaged. Coming from a civilian federal agency in the same field, I found Jim’s observations frequently included in our common objectives. He found humor everywhere and shared it frequently. His passing will be a loss for all who knew him.

    Steve Gray

    Steve Gray
    October 22, 2020
    Kennewick, Washington
  • My prayers are for comfort and peace for you, Kathy, and your family. I know this is so hard to lose Jim and, as I sometimes say, It is not a relief, but a release from pain and suffering. Please know how much we love Jim and you. Hang in there and let God help you through these hard times. Jim was a remarkable man with many talents and “smarts”. Take care.

    Sylvia and Lee Reid
    October 22, 2020
    Kilgore, TX
  • Kathy,
    We are so sorry for your loss. We have many wonderful memories of Jim from our time in the Tri Cities. You will be in our thoughts and prayers. Moe & Terri Pease

    Moe Pease
    October 19, 2020
  • Dear Kathy and family!
    We are so sorry for your loss. Jim was a wonderful man and dear friend.
    He will be missed by many.
    Keep the memories close at heart.
    Our deepest condolences to all of you.

    Kari and Bob Allen
    October 17, 2020
  • Jim you will be greatly missed, the kids and I love you!

    Kathy, Mike and family, I’m so sorry for your loss. My thoughts are with you during this hard time. At least now Jim will be free of pain and discomfort and hopefully always on the green.

    Sandy Smith
    October 14, 2020