Helen Mary (Gannon) Farmer


Helen Mary (Gannon) Farmer peacefully passed away on Friday, January 21. Her husband of 67 years Francis X. Farmer and her surviving children Michael, Mark, John, Brian and Maryellen were by her side. She was predeceased by her oldest child Denise A. Farmer. 

Helen grew up in Lynn, Massachusetts. She was the devoted and proud daughter of Joseph Michael and Helen (Walsh) Gannon. She was the sister of the late Joseph and Kenneth Gannon. She graduated in 1948 from Lynn English High School where she was a cheerleader. In 1952 she graduated from Salem State College and began her teaching career in Lynn. 

In 1977 while working full time, raising six children and attending every youth football, baseball, hockey, tennis match and swim meet her children participated in she was awarded a master’s degree in Education from Salem State College. 

Helen spent 25 years as a teacher in the Danvers Public School system until her retirement in 1993. She educated children at the Thorpe School, the “Portables”, the Highlands School and eventually completed her stellar career at the Great Oak School. 

She was a proud member of the Manchester Bath and Tennis Club in Manchester and spent 59 happy summers there surrounded by her family and friends.  She was an active tennis player until she found golf in her retirement which took her to North Port, Florida and the Sable Trace Club for twenty years.  She was a former member of the Wenham Country Club and an active participant in the ladies’ group there. 

Helen was an avid and voracious reader and she read thousands of books from the Peabody Institute Library.  She was a devoted Catholic and a parishioner of St. Mary of the Annunciation Church. 

In addition to her husband, she leaves her sons Michael of Danvers, Mark and his life partner Beth Owens of Ijamsville, MD, John and his wife Susan of Danvers, Brian and his wife Anne of Danvers, and her daughter Maryellen Feeley and her husband Ed of Greenwich, CT and Manchester by the Sea.  A devoted grandmother of eleven she will be missed by Jay, Meghan, Justin, Joan, Neal, Nathan and Sarah Farmer and Caroline, Ellen, Kate and Patrick Feeley. 

Her funeral mass was celebrated on Wednesday, January 26 at St. Mary of the Annunciation Church in Danvers.  Burial was in St. Mary Cemetery, Lynn. 

An endowed scholarship has been named in her honor for her efforts in education. Expressions of sympathy may be made in Helen’s memory to the Salem State University, 352 Lafayette Street, Salem, MA 01970 with a special note to add to the “Helen Gannon Farmer’52, ‘77G Scholarship”. In addition, sympathy may be expressed to the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, St. Mary of the Annunciation 24 Conant Street Danvers, MA 01923.

Information and sympathy, click here.

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