Cover photo for William David Farson Iii, Ph.D.'s Obituary
William David Farson Iii, Ph.D. Profile Photo

William David Farson Iii, Ph.D.

February 11, 1943 — February 16, 2023

Overland Park

William David “Dave” Farson III, Ph.D.

Dave's life began along the Ohio River. Throughout his life he often reflected on the river as metaphor.  He shared stories of his youth sitting atop a wall looking both up and down the Ohio, musing on the movements of water and vessels.  He imagined his life in the distance of time and space.  Curiosity about “upriver” and “downriver” was born.  His journey as a writer was indeed influenced by the relentless current, traveling ever onward to the ocean.

Dave was born in Ashland, Kentucky near the end of  WWII.  Shortly thereafter, the family moved across the Ohio River to Ironton, Ohio.  His father, Bill Farson, served in the U.S. Navy and when he returned home, he went into the wholesale produce business.  The family was complete when his two sisters, Jane and Beth, were born.

The Farsons moved to Columbus, Ohio in 1957.  They first lived in the "South End" where Bill started a Super Duper grocery store.  Dave attended Columbus South High School where he excelled in sports, especially football.  Although he won honors and scholarships on the football field, he was singled out by an influential English teacher who told him he had special talents in writing and should protect his brain!  It took a few more years of ups and downs to realize that teacher's suggestion and it proved a turning point in his life.  His mother, Sara, had always instilled in him a love of "words" so he was always reading, writing and choosing the "right words."  He carried 3x5 note cards in his books to capture and record new and interesting words. This habit persisted the rest of his life.

Dave's studies continued at Warren Wilson College, a work-study-community service liberal arts program in Swannanoa, North Carolina. Suburban Dave was assigned to the Farm crew.  His favorite story was being tasked with confirming that the bull had "serviced" the cows.  Eye-opening for sure!  After two years, he transferred to Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota where he pursued a B.A. in Political Science. It was here that he met June Cramer who would become his wife of 56 years.  The culture of the Twin Cities excited him but the COLD did not so after graduation, he moved to the Bay Area to pursue graduate studies.  June soon joined him and they set up their first home in the rear "rented" rooms of Russian immigrants. June biked to school and Dave took a part time job at "The Tides" bookstore in the town of Sausalito, located at the northern end of the Golden Gate Bridge. This unique store was an iconic and colorful literary haven for the artistic folks of the 60's.  Dave met many of  the inovative thinkers, poets, writers and musicians of  the Bay Area who hung out at The Tides. Dave and June made memories climbing Mt. Tamalpais, sharing meals with friends and walking in Muir Woods or on the white sands of Stinson Beach. Dave eventually joined June at Dominican College in San Rafael to pursue a Masters in History.  He was the first male student in the then all female college.

With degrees in hand, Dave and June set out on interesting travel adventures doing Peace Corps training in the South Pacific and backpacking for 6 months in Europe.  They finally "settled down" and began their decades long careers in the teaching profession, Dave at Shawnee Mission North High School and June at Shawnee Mission South.  Dave served his school community in a personal and impactful way, really "seeing" his students and fellow staff  members and "listening" always to their stories.  While still teaching, Dave completed two more degrees, a Masters in Counseling from Emporia State and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the Union Institute & University, Cincinnati, Ohio.

In 1975, Dave and June's world expanded with the birth of their son, Jeffrey David. His arrival added a new dimension of love and life never imagined before and influenced all future decisions, plans and "words".

Dave continued to build on his literary skills.  He and co-author Kenneth Cinnamon published the book "Cults and Cons, The Exploitation of the Emotional Growth Consumer" in 1979.   And in 1982, he wrote "Better Than Necessary: A Celebrational History of Shawnee Mission North High School" on the occasion of the high school's 60th anniversary.

Dave was so many things, a true Renaissance man.  He loved running, then jogging, then walking.  He loved listening to June sing with the Kansas City Symphony Chorus. He loved going to art museums. He loved greeting people and welcoming them into his world. He loved playing with his granddaughter Ella.  He loved conversations with his daughter-in-law, Leah.  He loved father-son trips with Jeffrey. He loved "the simple life."   Dave spent his life writing words of guidance, inspiration, humor, history, philosophy, hope and love as a gift for his family and friends.  Words were his canvas and are now his everlasting legacy.

A Memorial Service is scheduled for March 9, 2023 at 11:00 AM in Wesley Covenant Chapel at the United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, 13720 Roe Ave., Leawood, Kansas 66224.

If you unable to attend Dave's memorial service you may watch it online by CLICKING HERE .

Memorial gifts can be made in Dave's name to the church, designated for the Children's Music Ministry and KIDSCOR.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of William David Farson Iii, Ph.D., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Thursday, March 9, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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United Methodist Church of the Resurrection

13720 Roe Avenue
Leawood, KS 66224

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