Berta Joanne Slocum Farmer, 89, of Abilene, joined the Choir Triumphant on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 in Abilene after a full and fruitful life.
Berta will be available for viewing from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, March 27, 2020 and from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, March 28, 2020.
A private graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 28, 2020 at Elmwood Memorial Park in the Garden of Memories with Reverend Dr. Clifford Stewart of First Central Presbyterian Church officiating. “How Great Thou Art” will be performed by Reverend Rick Grant of Wylie Baptist Church and Anthony Miculka will perform “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipe. Services are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the family will hold a celebration of Berta’s life at First Central Presbyterian Church at a later date.
Berta entered the world in Brimfield, Illinois on July 4, 1930. She was the first child of Bert H. Slocum and Gladys LaFollette Slocum of Brimfield. She graduated as valedictorian from Brimfield School in 1948 and went to Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois on a full scholarship where she graduated with a B.S. in Medical Technology in 1951. She was then employed at St. Francis Hospital in Peoria where she met Bettye Farmer, who introduced her to Bettye’s brother-in-law, George, whom she married on February 17, 1952 at Union Church in Brimfield. They enjoyed 56 years together before George’s death in 2009. During the course of their marriage they lived in 7 states and were transferred to Abilene in 1967 where Berta began working at Hendrick Medical Center, eventually becoming head of the Hematology Department and then head of the School of Medical Technology before her retirement in 1995.
In 1968, she joined Central Presbyterian Church, which later combined with First Presbyterian Church to form First Central, and was a very active member, teaching Sunday School, working in VBS, and serving on, and sometimes leading, many committees. She greatly enjoyed being a member of the Sanctuary Choir there for decades and was on the Pulpit Committee that called Dr. Clifford Stewart to First Central. She was also a member of the Martha Circle and a representative to Presbytery. She was a group leader in Bible Study Fellowship from 1993 to 2016. Berta volunteered at and served on the board of the Presbyterian Medical Care Mission and was past president of the Abilene Business Women’s Association. She also belonged to Harmony Club and TSMT and was a regular volunteer in the ticket booth at the Paramount Theater in Abilene and at Breakfast on Beech Street. Berta had a true capacity for joy and believed that God was always in control of her life. She loved celebrating her Independence Day birthday with her family and never missed any activity her children or grandchildren were involved in. Her family remembers her for her steadfast faith in God, her study of The Bible and her daily application of that devotion. She was a true prayer warrior.
Berta was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Beverly Jane Smith, in 1992; and her husband, George, in 2009.
She is survived by a daughter, Debbie Farmer, of Abilene; two sons, Mike Farmer and wife Kelly, of Abilene, and Mark Farmer and wife Linda, of Lake Worth, Texas; a brother, Jack B. Slocum, of Chandler, Arizona; a grandson, Jaron Farmer and wife Lauren, of Albuquerque, New Mexico; 3 granddaughters, Heather Farmer, of Leander, Texas, and Paige Farmer and Brooke Farmer, both of Dallas, Texas; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made in Berta’s memory to First Central Presbyterian Church, 400 Orange St., Abilene, Texas 79601 and the Presbyterian Medical Care Mission, 1857 Pine St., #100, Abilene, Texas 79601.
The family wishes to express our gratitude to the special people at Wisteria Place who took such good care of Mom and to the wonderful staff of the Hendrick Hospice.