OBITUARY

Don Farmer

September 27, 1938March 31, 2021

Don Farmer September 27, 1938 – March 31, 2021

As a little boy, Don Farmer wanted to be foreign correspondent. He began his career as a teenager, reporting for his hometown newspaper in suburban St. Louis, Missouri. At the end of his career, he had been a successful newspaper and radio reporter, a non-fiction author and novelist, national and local TV anchorman, network television political reporter and war correspondent and, of course, a foreign correspondent - trench coat and all.

Don graduated with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri in Columbia. He was completing his master’s degree when he was offered a plum job with the NBC News election unit in Philadelphia. His advanced degree was unfinished, but his journalism career was well underway.

In 1965, ABC News hired Don. “It was a dream come true. I was based in New York, a network correspondent at age 26, one of the youngest ever hired.”

On his fifth day, ABC sent him to Alabama to cover civil rights demonstrations. That began his coverage of the historic movement and assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Don’s next assignment was to the Midwest and ABC’s Chicago Bureau where his coverage included the violent anti-war riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

Given Don’s passion for journalism, it’s fitting that he met his wife of 49 years, Chris Curle in a TV newsroom. Chris was a reporter at the ABC station in Houston, Texas. Don was there as ABC’s southern Bureau Chief based in Atlanta. Their first date followed their separate coverage of civil unrest involving the Houston school district. “Hey, Chris, what are you doing after the riot?” Best pickup line ever.

They married two years later and moved to London, where Don was a key correspondent in ABC’s primary European bureau. They also lived for several years in Germany, where Don was Bureau Chief and international correspondent. “I was always going where people were fleeing.”

Then ABC moved Don to Washington DC to cover the US Congress, first the House of Representatives and then the Senate. Chris anchored at the local ABC station.

When Ted Turner created CNN in 1980, he hired Don and Chris to be among its pioneer anchors. While there, they anchored a week of historic live news programming from Cuba.

Don and Chris ended their TV news careers after ten years anchoring at WSB-TV in Atlanta. While there, Don continued reporting internationally with coverage of the onset of the first Iraq War, the Fall of the Berlin Wall, the historic Reagan-Gorbachev summit in Reykjavik and unrest in Central America.

For decades, Don and Chris vacationed on Marco Island in Southwest Florida. They retired there in 1997 but enjoyed part-time work as local newspaper columnists and radio hosts. Don also wrote two novels, murder-thrillers set in the TV news business.

In all, Don covered disasters, politics, wars and peace talks, heroes and villains in eighty-one countries on six continents: throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia, including the Vietnam War.

Don interviewed thousands of people, some of the best in the world and some of the worst, in some of the best places on the planet and some of the most dangerous. Most memorable to him were Dr. King, Jr. and the Beatles – all four of them.

Don was in the US Army Reserves for six years in the 1960s. Due to his writing and typing skills, his duties were mostly clerical.

He loved baseball - the Cardinals as a kid and the Braves in Atlanta.

Don passed away at Bentley Village in Naples, Florida and will be buried in the Marco Island Cemetery.

He is survived by his wife, Chris Curle; his daughter, Laurie, her husband Hal Thannisch and sons Cole and Cade; his son, Justin and wife Allison and children Sarah Kate, James and Wallace; his sister, Judy and her family.

Please consider donations to Avow Hospice of Naples or CurePSP. www.hodgesjosberger.com ~ www.donfarmer.com ~ chris@chriscurle.com

Services

  • Services will be held at a later date.

Memories

Don Farmer

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Mary Dodd

April 9, 2021

Loved seeing him on the news. My love and sympathies to his family

Mike McIntyre

April 9, 2021

I am sorry to read about the passing of Don. I got to know him in 1976 when he traveled with us aboard the “Minnesota Fritz” covering Walter Mondale’s VP campaign. There were many great writers and TV reporters traveling with us in that campaign. People like Mary McGrory Bill Plante, Robert Hager, Jules Whitecover, David Broder from time to time and others.
Don was well respected and a pleasure to get to know back in the day. He covered the first ever VP debate when Mondale won the night against Bob Dole in Houston. As good a reporter as he was, I am sure he was an even better husband and father. My prayers and thoughts are with you all.

Steve Williams

April 2, 2021

Don and Chris were great anchors at WSB-TV back in the day. I am saddened to hear of his passing and offer my condolences and prayers to Chris, Justin, and the entire Farmer family. Justin IMHO does a great job in carrying on his folks' legacy. May His holy spirit comfort the Farmer family and may Don rest in His eternal peace.

Carol Reynolds

April 2, 2021

I remember fondly Don snd Chris visiting The Foxtale Book Shoppe in Woodstock, Ga. for a book signing. DEADLY NEWS was a big hit! It was my privilege as a member of the Staff to meet and chat with the couple. Thank you, Don, for sharing your remarkable gifts with the World.

Carole Grant

April 2, 2021

Our family's deepest condolences to the Farmer family. It was a joy to watch your father, Don, anchor the news. We just realized that Don Farmer, who we loved; is the father of our absolutely favorite Justin Farmer. (We love watching Justin, and Jovida.) Thank you Justin, for sharing your father Don, with us. Now that we know Justin, is Don's son, we love Justin even more!

Hurl Taylor

April 1, 2021

I was born exactly one week before Don and I retired. from the U.S. Army in 1980 and made Atlanta my home. I only watched WSB , not only to see Monica's hair styles but also see the dashing warm co anchor. I think I met him once at a public event and told him how much I enjoyed his reporting style.
When Justin appeared many years, later, I rejoiced because I knew that I had another round of great news reporting! Well Don, I know that you have already interviewed Hammering Hank for your heavenly broadcasts from your fluffy winged studio. Continue your legendary work and see what you can do for the Braves this year? They had the one big year in 1995 or two years before you went south to the citrus state. Atlanta misses you! Hurl Taylor

Anne and John Janas

April 1, 2021

John and I are grateful for the many decades of friendship that we have shared with Don and Chris along with our friends Becky Chase and Dick Williams. So many rich memories of trips to Santa Fe, rafting in the Grand Canyon, and more. Wonderful adventures. Don was an outstanding friend - caring, attentive, engaged - and great fun to be with. And what a perfect match with dear Chris.
Chris, we send you and your family our deepest sympathies and love. We hope that the many years of beautiful memories during good times with Don will comfort you in the sad days ahead.
Love, Anne and John

Doug Scales

April 1, 2021

As a tiny kid I remember my family always watched "the news" every single night! As I grew up I also became a news viewer and it has been WSB from day one!! I could practically name every anchor and reporter since 1970!! Don was one of the greats!!! His pairing with both Chris and the legend Monica Kauffman made for absolute brilliance!!! When his son Justin became an anchor at WSB , I knew instantly who his Dad was!! And like his Dad , he has a sense of humor and likes to banter with his partner Jovita Moore. These people are like family to me and I NEED to spend time with them everyday and hear their friendly reassuring voices. Thank you Don Farmer for being part of my family!!
All my love and condolences to Justin, Chris and the entire Farmer and WSB families!! God bless you all! I am so sorry.💛🙏

Anne Lummus

April 1, 2021

My deepest condolences to Chris and all Don’s family. I remember Don and Chris at channel 2 in Atlanta, and they were my favorites. And now Justin is my favorite. And from the beginning, I said Justin looked just like his daddy, which made him even more fun to watch.
Don leaves a wonderful legacy of news reporting. And I am very thankful to have been in Atlanta to watch his career.
I will be keeping all the Farmer family in my prayers, and please know I share in their grief.
My most sincer sympathies,
Anne Lummus

Beverly Molander

April 1, 2021

Thanks to Don for his contribution to WSB/Atlanta television news. He and Chris were a fixture in Atlanta for many, many years. Condolences to Chris, Justin, and the rest of the family.

FROM THE FAMILY