Dr. James Carroll Farrar
Services celebrating the life of Dr. James Carroll Farrar will be held at 11:00 a.m., Saturday, November 3, 2012, at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral. Officiating will be Father Andrew Comeaux with eulogy by Dr. Donald A. Webb. Interment will follow in Forest Park East Cemetery, St. Vincent Avenue.
Visitation will be at Rose-Neath Funeral Home, 1815 Marshall Street from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 2. There will be a second visitation prior to the funeral service at St. Marks Cathedral in the Church Parlor from 9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
James was born July 7, 1931 in El Dorado, AR to Carroll George (“CG”) Farrar and Ela Mae Hunt Farrar. He passed away Tuesday, October 30, 2012 with his family by his side after a long battle with leukemia.
“Coach” spent his early childhood in Lillie, LA, graduating from Bernice High School, and later Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA with a B.S. degree in 1953. While at Louisiana Tech University, he was a two-time, All-Gulf States catcher in 1951 and 1952. He earned his Master’s Degree from the University of Arkansas in 1961. James proudly served his country during the Korean Conflict in the United States Marine Corp Reserve from 1950-53 and the U.S. Army active duty 1953-55. He was extremely proud of his time in the military and the opportunity to serve his country. James Carroll married his high school sweetheart, Katie Lou Smith, in Bernice in 1953. “Miss Kate” was the love of his life and his support throughout their 55 year marriage. James played minor league baseball in the Detroit Tigers organization before beginning his 22 year career as a high school coach, teacher and assistant principal at Heflin High School and Sibley High School. He played semi-pro ball with the Minden Redbirds. In 1961 he moved to Shreveport to serve as head baseball coach and assistant football coach at Fair Park High School, and was later hired as head coach at Northwood High School in 1967. He subsequently coached at Natchitoches Academy, while obtaining a Doctorate in Education at Northwestern State University in 1975, and Southfield School.
James was selected Louisiana High School Baseball Coach of the Year three times: Fair Park 1965, Northwood 1968, and Southfield 1976. He was also named Louisiana High School Football Coach of the Year at Northwood in 1968. He was a member of the Louisiana High School Hall of Fame, Centenary College Hall of Fame, Louisiana Sportswriters Hall of Fame, and Northwood Hall of Fame. The Northwood High School baseball field is named for him. Farrar was honored by the National Football Foundation in 2003 for his contribution to high school football.
Dr. Farrar was a professor and baseball coach at Centenary College for 23 years. He served as Chairman of the Health and Physical Education Department for 11 years, and Chairman of the Discipline Committee for 9 years. His baseball jersey #20 was retired by Centenary College. He was selected Professor Emeritus at Centenary College upon his retirement in 2000.
James scouted for the Houston Astros for 27 years and was honored as the Astros Scout of the Year in 2002. Players he recommended or drafted who have played in the Major Leagues with the Astros include: Roy Oswalt, Todd Self, J.R. Richards, Kary Bridges, Russ Johnson and Barry Wesson. Dr. Farrar’s coaching accomplishments are far too numerous to name. But the coaches and players who shared in those successes certainly understand their significance and will remember them fondly.
Coach Farrar always said he wanted to make ball players out of his young men, but more importantly he wanted to make young men out of his players. As a role model, he felt that it was an honor and privilege for him to coach. A man of integrity, he valued the traits of hard work, sacrifice and discipline. The five words he valued above all others were: Husband, Father, Man, Friend, Coach. He had a positive and lasting affect on the lives of hundreds of young men. He profoundly influenced everyone he met with his philosophies about life (“In this life you will have a lot of acquaintances but few friends, and you make damn sure you know the difference!”). “Coach” had a great sense of humor and was a master storyteller. His colorful use of words that can only be described as “Coach Farrarisms” made any story he was telling or any example he was giving special and unique to him. James always believed in strength of character and had a deep faith in the Lord. He always taught his family and players to “never quit” and Coach never did. Game called!
James is preceded in death by his wife of 55 years, Katie Lou Smith Farrar (“Miss Kate”) and his parents, Carroll George (“CG”) and Ela Mae Hunt Farrar. Loving memories will be shared by his son, Dr. J. Roman Farrar and wife Jennifer S. of Ruston, LA; daughters, Dr. Melody Farrar Duncan and husband, David of Shreveport, LA; Tammy Farrar Trahan and husband, Daniel S. of Baton Rouge, LA; and grandchildren, Katie Duncan Toal and husband, David of Shreveport, LA, Molly Caroline Duncan of Shreveport, LA; Mary Jessica (MJ) Trahan of Houston TX; Jacob Stuart Trahan of Baton Rouge, LA; James Beauregard (Beau) Farrar, and Tate Mathewes Farrar both of Ruston, LA.
Honoring James as pallbearers will be Dan Trahan, Jacob Trahan, David Duncan, Sam Wilkinson, Pete Colvin, and David Bedard. Honorary pallbearers will be Phil Johnson, Jimmy Russell, Doug Robinson, David McQueen, Gene Hamner, and Clem Henderson.
The family wishes to express their sincere appreciation to Dr. Michael Moore, the staff at Willis Knighton, WK Cancer Treatment Center, LifeCare, The Savannah at the Oaks of Louisiana, the Williams Sitting Service, and the entire staff of St. Joseph Hospice for their kindness and care of their father during his illness. And finally, to his countless friends, colleagues and former players, his children wish to extend their deepest thanks for always letting “Coach” know how much he meant to them.
Memorials may be made to the Dr. James C. Farrar Memorial Fund P.O. Box 41188, Shreveport, LA. 71134; St. Mark’s Cathedral, 908 Rutherford St., Shreveport, LA 71104, or the Union Grove Baptist Church Cemetery Fund, Lillie, LA.