Our story this week is found in the life of Laverne Farmer, who helped to oversee Samford’s financial operations from 1983 until his retirement in 2000. A study in competence and character, Mr. Farmer died last week, facing the transition with grace, stoicism, and gratitude for a blessed life. He provided stability for our institution during important years of transition. On more than one occasion, I’ve heard him tell the legendary story of the time that Samford friends took a birthday gift of two pairs of trousers to the very frugal Ralph Beeson. Mr. Beeson reportedly thanked his guests, admired the trousers, then handed back one pair with the admonition, “I only need one pair. You can return the other pair and get your money back.” Laverne was a good steward of relationships, as well as a good steward of Samford’s financial resources.
The world is better because Laverne Farmer was born into it. We mourn his passing, and we celebrate a life well lived.