The Friends of Rickwood lost a true friend as Allen Farr unexpectedly died on Saturday, March 16, 2019 at the age of 72. Allen had a great desire to help his community and the Birmingham area. He did so through several organizations, but his biggest passion was preserving Rickwood Field. He was a founding member of the Friends of Rickwood.
Allen was a 1964 graduate of Ensley High School and attended Auburn and Vanderbilt, earning a degree in Electrical Engineering. He worked for many years at Alabama Power and was a line crew supervisor with the utility.
From his professional training and experience, Allen was invaluable at solving any electrical problems at the ballpark. He was always patient, kind and willing to help anyone. Allen Farr epitomized why our organization is named “the Friends”.
Former executive director David Brewer’s poignant eulogy of Allen brought tears to many in attendance at Allen’s memorial service. David recalled:
“Our dear friend was so dependably there, and so infinitely helpful, that a world without Allen Farr had never occurred to me.
Allen was a unique individual, and a one-of-a-kind friend. His extraordinary intelligence, keen analytical skills, and remarkable talents combined to bring a unique perspective to any conversation or problem at hand, whether it be electrical engineering, political analysis, social discourse, civic affairs, or even music … I absorbed only a small fraction of his intelligence and talent; I am today vastly wiser and more skilled than before [for having known Allen].”
I’d like to briefly share how I got to know Allen Farr. One Saturday I was in attendance at a wedding in Trussville, several months after becoming a Rickwood board member. The wedding began, and as the bride was walking down the aisle, I looked closely at her escort. I thought to myself, “I know that guy. He is a Rickwood board member. Allen something or other is his name.”
Allen Farr was giving his niece away! I knew then I needed to improve in reaching out to people. We should all be more open and inviting to those we know.
At the reception, I went over to Allen, introduced myself and he did the same. Allen exclaimed, “Who do you know here?” I said, “the bride.” We became friends then and could always share a story or a smile. Allen knew we are not just saving an old ballpark; we are saving people’s memories.
I was proud to serve with Allen on the Friends of Rickwood Board and will always remember him fondly.