July 12, 2001 11:00 pm
Don Farnam ().
Don Farnam ().

By The Observer

A civic and business leader who was instrumental in the building of Grande Ronde Hospital and La Grandes Optimist Field has died.

Don Farnam died Thursday at his home in La Grande. He was 73. A celebration of life is planned for 2 p.m. Monday at Daniels Chapel of the Valley.

He made countless contributions to the La Grande community, often without people realizing it.

He did an awful lot for this community, said Frank Cooke of La Grande, a longtime friend. He did not seek publicity; he just wanted to get things done.

It took very little to persuade Farnam to help.

All you had to do was ask and he was ready to go, Cooke said.

Farnam was active in projects such as the building of the new Grande Ronde Hospital, which opened in the mid-1960s. He served on a committee that successfully raised funds for the construction of the hospital.

As a member of the Optimist Club, Farnam helped create Optimist Field at Pioneer Park. The field is used for Little League and high baseball games.

He loved sports, especially baseball. He would go out of his way to give kids a chance to play baseball, Cooke said.

Farnam also helped develop the economy of the region. He served on a La Grande-Union County Chamber of Commerce committee that worked to get manufacturing firms to come to the La Grande area.

Farnam was co-owner of Roy Farnam Supply for many years and later became district manager for the northeast district of the state Economic Development Department.

I dont think he had any enemies. He was one of those guys who always remembered you after you met him, Cooke said.