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Johnny Farmer Sr., 64, of Jacksonville dies

Attorney Johnny Franklin Farmer Sr. of Jacksonville died November 25, 2011.

Mr. Farmer was born October 29, 1947 in Pine Top west of Glen St. Mary, the son of the late Melvin and Annie Farmer. He attended public schools in Baker County and graduated from Keller High, class of 1966. He was a member of Greater Church of God by Faith in Jacksonville. He was preceded in death by  brothers Lawrence Baker, Elisha Farmer, Charles Belford and  sisters  Mary Farmer and Bessie Coleman.

Survivors include devoted wife of 39 years, Georgiana Farmer; children Zabrina Farm­­er and Johnny Farmer Jr; grandchildren Jasmyn Clements and Imani Clements; brother Thomas Belford (Corrine) of Stone Mountain, GA; sisters Carrie Jones of Margaretta, Rozanne Rouse (Edward) of Katy, TX, Ruby Pittman (Leroy) of Baldwin, Betty Brown (Alphonso) and LuAnne Williams (Vern),  both of Macclenny; mother-in-law Louise Brown Miller; sister-in-law Hildrey Brown and brother-in-law Frederick Brown; a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, other relatives and many friends.

A wake will be held at Holmes-Glover-Solomon Funeral Home Thursday, December 1 from 4-7 pm. The funeral service will be at his church Friday, December 2 at 11:00 am.

Molded and shaped young lives

Dear Editor:

Recently we were guests at a reception in honor of Mr. Tom Covington. Coach Covington was at Baker County High School from 1957 to 1968. He and his lovely wife Joanne were among those educators for whom teaching was a “calling” rather than a job.

They sowed seeds of encouragement and discipline that demanded the best of their students and influenced lives far beyond the high school years. They showed by example how to be men and women of integrity, how to love others as you love yourself.

Even after over 40 years, a majority of former players were there to honor this couple. A successful group of men, husbands and fathers, and now grandfathers, whose own lives have left indelible marks on our community. They are men of business and education, government leaders, and professionals, all who played for “T.C.”

What was then all about the Friday night game or track meet was really about the molding and shaping of young lives.

Thank you, Coach and Mrs. Covington, for your loving investment in us. May we be as diligent to pay it forward.

Gary and Kathy Barber

Glen St. Mary

Jr. ROTC: ‘more than a uniform’

Jr. ROTC cadets (from left) Michael Kuster, Randall Johns, Ashli Knapp and Scott Burkhardt lower the flags in the high school court yard November 29.Jacksonville may be a big Navy town but the Air Force rules in Baker County. At least on the high school campus.

Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps has been a permanent fixture at Baker County High since 2005 and there’s every indication it will continue for years to come. The school board officially renewed the program, which currently has about 114 cadets enrolled, for a seventh year at its November 22 meeting .

“There’s a feeling of family in the corps that students respond to,” said school principal Tom Hill, “and they absolutely do enjoy doing the drills.”

Students get to demonstrate their precision marching and other ceremonial skills, not only on campus where they raise and lower the US flag every day, but throughout the county at various events, including football games, parades and other community activities.

“We’re extremely proud of those young men and women who participate in the JROTC program,” Superintendent Sherrie Raulerson said. “They participate in numerous civic functions.”

But there’s much more to it than looking sharp in a uniform, synchronized marching, giving crisp salutes and respectfully handling the American flag.

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Making sure they can see

Dr. Mary Futch examines Jaxon Burnsed.Macclenny optometrist Dr. Mary Futch has been providing exams and glasses free of charge to a select group of students in Baker County public schools. It’s her way of giving back to the community.

“There is such a need in this county,” said Marcheta Crews, the school district’s chief nurse. “Dr. Futch didn’t want any children who truly needed vision correction to be without glasses, especially when it comes to school and learning. And being able to see properly is critical for them to adequately prepare for FCAT testing.”

A recent change in Medicaid coverage left many local children without access to vision care. Such services, once contracted to private vendors, were centralized at Shands Hospital in Jacksonville.

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