Ames High School Alumni Assoc
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Letters to AHSAA

Dr. Ralph Lewis Farrar Tribute
Nov 14, 1934 - Oct 25, 2006

From the AHS Alumni Association
October 25, 2006 More AHS Letters

Dear AHS Alumni,

Dr. Ralph Farrar passed away on October 25, 2006. Many AHS alumni knew Dr. Farrar, especially the 11,600 AHS graduates that passed through the AHS doors and earned their diplomas during the 29 years from 1969 to 1994 when Dr. Farrar was Principal of Ames High School, and the years from 1994 to 1998 when he was deputy superintendent of schools.

The family has requested that memorials be made to the Ames Education Foundation or the Ralph Farrar Media Center at Ames High School. The 1995 AHS graduating class has graciously decided to make a $250 contribution to the Ralph Farrar Media Center at AHS.

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 Click here to see Quicktime Movie Tribute

scan of 1970 AHS
Spirit page 16 - Dr. Farrar 1st appearance before the student body, Steve Sampson
Quicktime tribute to Dr Farrar by Allyse Hellmich 2007 AHS graduate 1970 Spirit page 16 caption - In his first appearance before the student body, Dr. Farrar swears in Steve Sampson
Dr Ralph Farrar casual family portrait AHS 1970 Spirit page 17 Dr Farrar bowling form
AHS 1970 Spirit page 17 caption - Dr. Farrar relaxes for a casual family portrait. The boys are Kris, Kelley, and Kirk. AHS 1970 Spirit page 17 caption - Taking time out from a busy schedule, Dr. Farrar displays his bowling form.
1971 AHS Spirit page 16 Dr. Ralph Farrar with students Bruce Edwards, Laura Koerber, and Gene Larson.jpg Dr Ralph Farrar principal of Ames High School in the 1973 Spirit on page 192
AHS 1971 Spirit page 16 Caption - During a visit to the classroom, Dr. Farrar shares a joke with anthropology students Bruce Edwards, Laura Koerber, & Gene Larson AHS 1973 Spirit page 192. Dr. Ralph Farrar, principal, sips coffee in a rare moment of relaxation.
Dr. Ralph Farrar 1973 Spirit page 42 swim-a-thon at Ames High School pool 1975 Spirit page 118 cookies here Dr. Ralph L. Farrar treats at his birthday
AHS 1973 Spirit page 42: Dr. Farrar takes part in the swim-a-thon that made new starting blocks available. AHS 1975 Spirit page 118 caption - Get yer cookies here!' Ralph Farrar distributes the treats at his birthday party
1985 AHS Spirit page 3 The caption reads A-ONE and A-TWO Ralph Farrar midnight
madness run
AHS 1985 Spirit page 3 caption - A-ONE, A-TWO. In order to prepare for a performance at Dr. Farrar's house, Mr. Karl Schloerke, Farrar, Mr. Keith Carlson, Mr. Dale Tramp, and Mrs. LoAnn Campbell practice in the boiler room. AHS 1990 Spirit: Managing to maintain a smile while keeping pace, AHS principal, Dr. Ralph Farrar, expresses an effort to stay fit at Midnight Madness July 8. He completed the race, placing 850th.

As a remembrance, AHSAA has posted Dr. Farrar's obituary below as it appeared in the Ames Tribune.

Ralph, we will miss you.


AHS Alumni Association

Dr. Ralph L. Farrar Ralph Lewis Farrar
Nov. 14, 1934-Oct. 25, 2006

Ralph Lewis Farrar died Wednesday, Oct. 25, at Israel Family Hospice House. His life was celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 30, 2006 at First United Methodist Church in Ames.

Ralph Lewis Farrar was born Nov. 14, 1934, in Burwell, Neb. His early years were spent in Barnston and Red Cloud, Neb., graduating from Red Cloud High School in 1952. He earned a bachelor's degree from Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln, Neb., in 1956. He went on to receive a master's of education in 1957 and a doctorate of education in 1969 from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

He began his teaching career at the Men's State Reformatory and Millard-Lefler Junior High in Lincoln, Neb., in 1954. Then he was the high school principal at Wilber, Neb., from 1957-58; assistant principal at Westside High School in Omaha, Neb., from 1962-69; high school principal at Ames from 1969-94; and then deputy superintendent of schools for the Ames School District until 1998.

While at Nebraska Wesleyan, he met "my lovely bride," Mary Jo Dunbar, and they were married for more than 51 years. They have three sons, Kirk, of Burlington, Kelley (Kim), of Ames, and Kris (Jennifer), of Iowa City. He also has two grandsons, Nathan, of Des Moines, and Sean, of Ames.

He was a member of many professional organizations such as Phi Delta Kappa educational fraternity, the Iowa and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, the Association for the Supervision of Curriculum Development, and a member of the State Steering Committee of the North Central Association. His professional activities were widespread and diverse including the chairperson for 18 North Central evaluation teams, chairperson for the North Central Association visitation teams for the Department of Defense Schools in Germany, and a member of the Central Iowa Health Committee, to name just a few.

As part of his continuing commitment to the children of Ames, after his retirement from the Ames Schools system, he worked as a mentoring coordinator for the GRIP Program through Youth and Shelter Services of Ames, from which he finally retired in 2006.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Homer and Sadie; and by one sister, Joan Gish.

Visitation was from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 29, 2006 at First United Methodist Church, with a short prayer service at 7:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Ames High Education Foundation or Ralph Farrar Media Center at Ames High School.

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