CLINTON, S.C. - Cecil L. “Wheeze” Farmer, 91, of 939 Springdale Drive, died Thursday, August 18, 2011.
He was born in Clayton, and was a son of the late Thomas L. and Eula Collenback Farmer. Mr. Farmer served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II in the South Pacific. He was part of the S.C. Upstate Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. to visit the World War II Memorial in 2010. His grandson Todd Farmer, also a Marine, accompanied him on his visit.
“Wheeze” had a stellar career as a catcher in baseball. He played semi-pro baseball in Jacksonville, Fla. and later signed a pro contract with the Brooklyn Dodgers, playing in Springfield, Mass. in the Class A Eastern League in 1943. After his discharge from the Marine Corps in 1945, he signed with the Greenville Spinners. From there he moved to Bruton, Ala. and played with the Alabama State Loop. In 1947 he came back to Joanna, S.C. to play with the Joanna Mills team. In the years after, he played with the Clinton Cavaliers and the Lyman Pacifics. In 1951 his batting average was .413 with the Lyman Pacifics and he led the league in hitting. At the same time, he also played with Simpsonville, often playing two games in the same day. His batting average was .385 with Simpsonville.
“Papa” was cherished and loved by his family, especially his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
The family wishes to thank the Langston House in Clinton, S.C. for their love and care of their Father.
Survivors include his children, James A. Farmer (Joyce), Spartanburg, S.C., Rebecca F. Edington (Barry), Maysville, and John A. Farmer (Melody), Joanna, S.C.; six grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; and his special friend and companion, Margaret Russell.
He was predeceased by his wife, Jeanette Gaskin Farmer; and his siblings, Carl T. Farmer, Claude J. Farmer and Clara F. Jenkins.
Funeral services will be conducted on Saturday, August 20th at 4 p.m. at the Epworth United Methodist Church in Joanna, S.C. with burial in Pinelawn Memory Gardens. The family will receive friends Saturday from 3 to 4 p.m. at the church. The family will be at their respective homes.
Memorials in “Wheeze’s” name may be made to the Epworth United Methodist Church, 305 Magnolia St., Joanna, SC 29351.
Gray Funeral Home of Clinton, S.C., is in charge of arrangements.