September 26, 1951 - October 5, 2012
Greg passed away suddenly in his sleep at home on Oct. 5, 2012. Greg was born in Walla Walla to Paul Christian Farrens and Angeline Sarah Ganguet Farrens. He grew up on the family centennial farm on Mill Creek Road. He was in Little League and National Honor Society. He played the trombone in the Walla Walla High School Band and participated in Wa-Hi baseball. He was an active member of the Mill Creek Wranglers 4-H Club. He was very proud of winning the Community Beautification award and attended the annual congress in Chicago when he was just 16. Greg graduated from Walla Walla High School in 1969.
He attended Washington State University. He was a resident assistant and graduated in 1973. He was married to Kathie on June 29, 1974, in Seattle. Prior to his Walla Walla Community College career, he worked
for Tri-City Irrigation, 1973-77.
This is an excerpt from a WWCC memo:
“Greg has been a leader at Walla Walla Community College for 35 years, beginning his work with the development of the college’s two-year accredited Irrigation Technology program in 1977. This November, he will be recognized by the National Irrigation Foundation as the first ever recipient of its ‘Excellence in Education Award.’ He also received the U.S. Department of Education Secretary’s Award for Outstanding Vocational Education Program in 1983 and the President’s Award for Outstanding Faculty Member in 1984.
Over the years, Greg served the college in an amazing number of key roles. He was an Irrigation Technology instructor from 1977, Faculty President from 1980-82, Chair of the Professional Development Committee from 1983-85, a Bookstore Committee member from 1985-86, Division Chair beginning in 1986, a Student Outcomes and Student Success committee member from 1987, Golf coach from 1988-2000, Faculty Senate representative from 1996-98.
“In addition to teaching students in his own excellent program, Greg taught other students in agriculture-related programs, both on campus and via distance learning around the country. Greg has always been the epitome of service and excellence, both to the college and the community. He is one of the reasons WWCC has become one of the best colleges in the nation.”
Greg was planning to retire from WWCC in June 2013.
During this time Greg was a founding owner of Water Watch Irrigation, 1983-94. Following in his father’s footsteps, Greg bowled for the same team (Ridge Runners) for 35 years. He was an inaugural season ticket holder of the Walla Walla Sweets baseball team, was a member of several wine clubs and was the first club member for Five Stars Winery. He was a longtime Warrior Booster Club supporter and was a member of Wa-Hi’s Big Blue Booster. He was a youth soccer coach, Little League baseball coach and Cub Scout Leader. He served many terms on the Assumption Parrish Council, member of Knights of Columbus and served on the Tri-Parrish religious education board. He was a member of the Washington Association of Wheat Growers, Grain Growers, Walla Walla Watershed Management Partnership, Irrigation Association, Walla Walla High School Vo-Ag Advisory Board and American Farm Bureau. He was also a member of Steelheaders, Snake River Salmon Recovery Board, Lead Entity Team, Walla Walla Watershed Planning Unit, Washington Department of Ecology-Walla Walla River Basin TMDL Advisory Group, U.S. Committee on Irrigation and Drainage, and the Ad Hoc Water Advisory Committee-City of Walla Walla. He was a member of the Fort Walla Walla Museum and was a proud WSU alumnus.
Greg enjoyed community sporting events, being outside, fly fishing, working in his immaculate yard and improving his golf game. He also enjoyed his favorite wineries, drinking wine and eating good food with friends.
Greg is survived by his wife, Kathie; his two children, Heather (Mitchell) Eng of Spokane and Brian of Yakima; his siblings, JoAnn Farrens of Walla Walla and Dean Farrens of Walla Walla. He is also survived by his nephew, Keith Farrens (Jennifer), and niece, Tania (Eric) Nelson, both of Walla Walla; and by many great-nieces and great-nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Angie Farrens; and sister-in-law, Peggy Kelly Farrens.
Viewing and visitation will be held on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. at the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla. The Rosary will be recited on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, at 7 p.m. at Assumption Catholic Church with Father Tim Hays officiating. The funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, Oct. 12, 2012, at 11 a.m. also at Assumption Catholic Church with Father Tim Hays, celebrant. Interment will follow at Mountain View Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Greg Farrens Irrigation Scholarship-Walla Walla Community College Foundation through the funeral home. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herringgroseclose.com.