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Dr. Raymond Mayfield Farmer, of Gainesville, GA., formerly of Anderson, SC, died Sunday, February 11, at Lanier Village Estates retirement community in Gainesville, GA, his home for the past 13 years. He was 83 years old.
Raymond is survived by his wife, Betty, of Gainesville. He is also survived by his five sons and their families: Dave Farmer (Anna Jones), of Simpsonville, SC; Gary Farmer, of Williamston, SC; Keith Farmer (Valli), of Peachtree City, GA; Chuck Farmer (Emily Sweezey), of Greenville, SC; and Bill Farmer (Barbara), of Largo, FL. He had eight grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister, Sherry Skipper, of Columbia, SC. He was preceded in death by his parents and one grandchild.
Raymond was born February 18, 1934, in Columbia, SC, the son of Otho Ray and Helen Mayfield Farmer. Growing up in Columbia and Birmingham, AL, Raymond was a committed member of the Boy Scouts of America, attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. He eventually earned every merit badge available at that time except one: Cooking. His dedication to scouting continued into his adult years, when he served as Scout Master for Troop 84 in Anderson and as a local board member.
Raymond left Dreher High School in Columbia after the 11th grade and entered the University of South Carolina. Majoring in Chemistry, he graduated in three years. While a student at USC, he met Betty Sue Davis, of Columbia, formerly of Piedmont, SC. They were married in 1954 and enjoyed together a life of family, faith, and adventure for almost 64 years. They traveled throughout the United States, as well to Europe, Africa, and Asia.
Soon after they were married, Raymond joined the U. S. Navy. After attending Officer Candidate School and receiving his commission, he studied meteorology and navigation, eventually being assigned to the Navy’s Airborne Early Warning Squadron Eleven. In 1958, already with two sons and the third on the way, Raymond left the Navy and began his medical studies at Duke University Medical School. (His fourth son was also born during his time at Duke.) He soon chose Obstetrics and Gynecology as his specialty. To help pay for his medical education, Raymond rejoined the Navy in 1961. After receiving his MD degree, he served as a physician at Naval Air Station Jacksonville (where his fifth son was born), aboard the USS Observation Island, at Bethesda Naval Hospital, and at Camp LeJeune. Raymond ultimately achieved the rank of Lieutenant Commander in the Navy.
In 1970, Raymond left full-time Navy service and went into private practice in Anderson, SC, establishing his practice as “Physicians and Surgeons to Women.” Known for his skill as a surgeon, during his 25 years in Anderson and Clemson, plus his years in the Navy, Raymond served the medical needs of countless women and brought thousands of children into the world. He served as a medical missionary to Ghana. On a trip to Russia, he assisted in the distribution of medical textbooks and shared his expertise with doctors there.
Raymond and Betty were members of Central Presbyterian Church and, later, Midway Presbyterian Church during their 35 years in Anderson. When they moved to Gainesville in 2005, they joined First Presbyterian Church there.
A memorial service is planned for Saturday, February 24, at 2 p.m., in the chapel at Lanier Village Estates in Gainesville. The family respectfully suggests that donations in memory of Dr. Raymond M. Farmer be made to the LVE Samaritan Fund, 4000 Village View Drive, Gainesville, GA 30506.
Those wishing to send online condolences to the family may do so at littledavenport.com
Little & Davenport Funeral Home and Crematory, 355 Dawsonville Highway, SW, Gainesville, Ga. 30501 is in charge of arrangements.