Cover photo for John Farris's Obituary
1933 John 2024

John Farris

February 2, 1933 — May 14, 2024

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John Adam Farris, Age 91 died of complications of a stroke in Albuquerque, New Mexico on May 14, 2024. He was born in 1933 in St. Joseph's Hospital in Albuquerque, NM. He was preceded in death by his wife Jo Margaret Gore Farris (1932 - 2018), and by his only sibling, Marshall Elmer Farris Junior (1927 - 2020) and both of their parents Marshall (Mike) Elmer Farris (1895 - 1973) and Rose Ellen Gould Farris (1894 - 1984). John and his uncle John Adam Gould (1889 - 1953) were both given their middle name after immigrant Matthew Adam (? - 1825) from Scotland who was the millwright that designed and built the now restored water wheel driven Aldie Grain Mill a few miles West of Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia.

John received a great education in the Albuquerque public schools; Monte Vista Elementary, Jefferson Junior High School and Albuquerque High School (AHS) Class of 1950. At AHS he was awarded the Bausch and Lomb Science Award. During the last year or two at AHS, he formed a singing duet with Jack Housley (1932 - 1983) called the Loco Weeds and they sang many Saturday afternoons on the Dick Bill's Show on KOB-TV. They also performed for fraternities, clubs, etc. using music they often borrowed from Homer and Jethro.

John continued his education at UNM where he was awarded a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering in May 1954. He was also commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the US Air Force (USAF). On 17 April 1954, just prior to their both graduating from UNM, he married the late Jo Margaret Gore (1932 - 2018) from Artesia, NM in the First Presbyterian Church of Artesia with the Rev. Ralph L. O'Dell officiating. She was the eldest of four children, all now deceased.

John and Jo Margaret are survived by their four children: Jo Ellen Farris of Littleton, CO, Vivian Kathleen Rosso of Bailey, Co., Beverly Farris Williams of Albuquerque, Marshall Edward Farris of Albuquerque, and special friend, Mary Johnson of Albuquerque. They are also survived by their nine grandchildren and one great-granddaughter..

While awaiting reception of his USAF orders to report to active duty, John took an engineering job with General Electric in Schenectady, NY as part of their training program. In September 1954 John received his orders to report to Wright Patterson Air Force Base (WPAFB) in Dayton, Ohio. John and Jo Margaret were in Dayton for two years where they were active in the First Presbyterian Church.

John's service at WPAFB dealing with Aircraft Hydraulics was very fortuitous. He was sent all over the USA to be trained by the top engineers in this field. His major contribution was issuing and monitoring a contract to make hydraulic filters which would withstand higher operating temperatures, working in conjunction with a young company, Aircraft Porous Media (APM) founded by Dr. David D. Pall (1914-2004). APM had developed the ability to make filters using sintered very fine weaves of stainless steel. John was also appointed to represent the USAF on National Standards Committees such as SAE-A6 for Aircraft Hydraulics.

When Dr. Pall learned that John's two-year USAF commitment was almost finished, he asked John to join him to work for Pall Corporation based in Glen Cove, Long Island, New York, which he happily did in November 1956. John was their 81st employee in a single location, and when he retired 41 ½ years later there were over 5,000 employees scattered in plants across the world. John took a chance on a small company headed by a brilliant inventor and was at the right place at the right time.

John steadily advanced through Pall Corp. He started as Manager of Liaison Engineering for APM, was promoted to Sales Manager, then Sales and Marketing Manager, then VP of the APM Subsidiary of Pall Corporation. He then founded the Industrial Hydraulics Division of Pall as its General Manager. Then he became President of the Subsidiary which moved John and his family to Grand Rapids, MI for four years. Most of these positions required lots of travel - both domestic and foreign. John was pleased and amazed that Jo Margaret could keep up her skills as a professional violinist while taking care of four children and often managed the repair problems that so often occur when you own a home. Of course, most problems occurred while John was traveling.

John was probably best known in the filtering industry for formulating and helping to prove the concept of the "chain reaction of abrasive wear". This concept shows that when dirt and other contaminants in the hydraulic or lubrication system are circulated it creates more wear particles. These increase in number with each circulation unless fine enough filters are inserted. He wrote papers about this and lectured on this subject all over the USA, Canada, Japan, and Eastern and Western Europe. John was also very active serving on National Standards committees. In September 1980, The National Fluid Power Association awarded John their Achievement Award at their Annual Meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

Shortly after his return to Pall in Glen Cove, NY, John was appointed Pall Corporation's VP of New Market Development. In that position he researched potential new businesses for Pall and managed Pall CRADA Contracts with Dept. of Energy at Los Alamos, Oak Ridge and Sandia National Laboratories.

He retired in 1997, but Pall Corp. asked him to continue consulting for Pall, which he did for another four years - even after John and Jo Margaret relocated to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1999. Other than Albuquerque, the family lived in an apartment in Glen Cove, as well as homes in Mill Neck Estates, Oyster Bay (twice) and Huntington Station, all on Long Island, New York.

Using his GI Bill, John earned his Single Engine Land Private Pilot's License. Later the family took a vacation trip to Elmira, NY where John earned his Glider Pilot's License at the famous Schweitzer Soaring School. John enjoyed flying by himself, taking friends for rides and taking the family on trips. He occasionally also used this skill for business trips. At different times, John was part owner of four different single engine aircraft. He also earned an Instrument Rating. He towed and flew gliders as a member of the Long Island Soaring Association and the Albuquerque Soaring Club.

Everywhere the family lived, John was active in the local Presbyterian Church where he sang in the choir and served several times as a Deacon and a member of Session. When he returned to Albuquerque, he also headed the Church committee to restore the Moller Pipe Organ at the First Presbyterian Church. Most recently, he headed the committee to have solar panels installed on the Church roof which was completed in 2020.

On Long Island, he sang for many years with the Huntington Choral Society, and in Albuquerque, he sang with the UNM Chorus, the NM Symphonic Chorus, the UNM Town and Gown Chorus and Coro Lux. He also sang for seventeen summers at the Berkshire Choral Festival in Sheffield, MA. He stopped singing major works when he no longer felt comfortable standing for the length of time required to sing a major choral work. However, he continued to sing each week in his Church choir until last year.

To support his neighbors, he served for several years as secretary of North Albuquerque Acres Assoc. and also for the Ventura Estates Home Association (VEHA). As chairman of the committee he led the project to rebuild the VEHA water system. John and Jo Margaret supported a young man at Jemez Pueblo, from kindergarten to graduation from High School, under the sponsorship of Futures for Children. As part of their support, they attended almost every public festival at Jemez.

In retirement, John had time to devote much more time to his favorite hobby of genealogy. He became a specialist on how to use DNA test results to help solve genealogy and family history problems. Indeed, for several years he taught two courses every semester for seniors at the Osher program at the UNM . He became an active member of the Albuquerque Genealogical Society and served as President for one year and on their Board of Directors for several years. He taught groups all over New Mexico about DNA and weekly provided consultations at the main library.

John and Jo Margaret were also active in the Friendship Force of NM where he served as president for a year. He also led a group of twenty ambassadors on a four-week trip to Australia where they stayed with three different sets of host- families. They also participated in several other foreign trips such as to Bhutan, Nepal, New Zealand and Thailand. They also hosted guests or members in their home - typically for a week each - one to four Friendship Force Ambassadors from many parts of the world. Some spoke no English, which made hosting even more of a challenge. They also took many enjoyable trips and cruises on their own.

In 2021, John met Mary Johnson and they were special friends until his death. John was blessed with a strong faith, a great family and career, and he enjoyed a very fulfilling life.

Memorial Service for John will be held Sunday, June 23rd 2024 at 3:30pm at First Presbyterian Church, 215 Locust St. NE, Albuquerque, NM. There will be a reception to follow. All who were touched by John's life are welcome to attend.

John spent the past twenty years helping judge the senior engineering projects at UNM. Therefore, in lieu of flowers, the family prefers donations to be made in John's honor to the Marshall E. Farris Scholarship at the UNM School of Engineering. Contact Lizzy Reeves at 505-277-0664 or lizzyr1@unm.edu or visit unmfund.org to make a gift online. Please designate your donation to Marshall E. Farris Engineering Memorial Scholarship (630430).

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Sunday, June 23, 2024

3:30 - 5:00 pm (Mountain time)

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