Edward James ("EJ") Farrar 1951-2023

Ed’s mother was so distraught after his father died that she announced to their only child he would have to now raise himself because she couldn't. So he did. He was 11 years old. He earned a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Social Science at San Francisco State and then hopped a freighter to Africa, spending the next 18 months traveling (mostly hitchhiking) from Algeria to Ireland. Back in San Francisco, he rose from night janitor to bouncer to assistant manager at the infamous Boarding House club, where Jimmy Buffet offered him a job: he turned it down, knowing a Roadie’s life was not for him. He returned to school, earning a master's in Counseling Psychology from Santa Clara University while living in the "big house" commune (since bulldozed) in Santa Cruz, California, and began his career as an MFT, ultimately becoming known for his work with high-risk adolescents.

Ed met Susan in 1983, and they became inseparable.

In addition to private clients, his career included Family Therapist and Clinical Supervisor at Santa Cruz County Youth Services, providing live supervision of family therapy sessions; Case Manager/Group Facilitator for the Santa Cruz AIDS Project; and Consulting Therapist at a group home with a population of latency aged survivors of sexual abuse. Later, Ed was a Family Therapy Trainer/Clinical Supervisor at the Julia Ann Singer Center in Santa Monica, California, a center for SED children ages 1 to 10 (play therapy). It was there that he trained analytically oriented Ph.D. candidates in systemic family therapy. Susan’s job then took them to Seattle, where Ed worked at Seattle Mental Health as a coordinator of school-based mental health services in partnership with Seattle Public Schools.

The weather persuaded Ed and Susan to move and find a small town. They bought a 15-year-old 18 ft. RV (no bathroom!) and lived in it for seven months, traveling 28,000 miles, finally moving to rural Lakeport, California. There he partnered with a probation officer to form the two-person First Offender Program component of a new grant-funded innovative Juvenile Crime Prevention Program. They were committed to youth (and families) success on probation, at school, and in the community. It was a great success. When the grant ended, he became Head of Clinical Services at the Community and Family Network.

Ed also worked with the local parole agent for California Youth Authority: CYA required that parolees receive weekly counseling. In both the First Offender Program and CYA, Ed often decided to go to homes unannounced, undeterred by the possibility of awaiting dogs and gang members.

Outside of work, Ed had become adept at amateur winemaking, and with a 2004 move to Amity, Oregon, he was able to fulfill a dream of having a vineyard--a small commercial one at that.

Throughout his life, Ed had an interest in community action, participated in progressive political campaigns both local and national, and an insatiable desire to travel, all of which he and Susan engaged in whenever possible. Unfortunately, none was realized over the COVID years as Ed became immunocompromised. Ed died suddenly of a stroke while battling the rare Hodgkin Variant of Richter’s Transformation. Decades ago he arranged for his body, healthy or not, to be used for medical research.

Ed was a kind, smart, witty, compassionate, intuitive, insightful, generous man. A surfer (Santa Cruz champ at 15), mentor, world history buff, and cook who shared his recipes.

Most of all, he treasured his friends.

He is survived by his heartbroken wife, Susan Karp, and T.C.
Toast him with great wine…or whiskey. He’d like that.


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