BRANDON - Frank A. Farnsworth, age 90, died Jan. 30 at the home of his son in Brandon. He was born June 4, 1919, in Manchester, N.H. He was the son of Frank A. and Claudine (Miller) Farnsworth.
A graduate of Manchester High School, he continued his education at Colgate University and Harvard University.
Dr. Farnsworth taught economics at Colgate from 1941 until he retired in 1987. While at Colgate, he also served as chair of the department of economics and directed one of the first economics study groups to London in the 1960s. He was also a Fulbright Professor at the Norwegian School of Economics in Bergen.
Throughout his career, research took him to many interesting and unusual places such as: two trips to Soviet Russia to visit Collective Farms and other industries; coal mines in Pennsylvania and Nova Scotia; various mining sites at Cobalt, Ontario; commercial fishing boats in Norway and logging camps and paper mills in northern New England. Since his retirement, he devoted much of his time to research on silver and other mining activities near Brandon.
His students were the most important part of his career and he worked tirelessly to find new ways to help them apply their classroom learning to real world situations. Alumni who had been successful in business and industry came into his classes. and often provided internship opportunities at their companies.
The family-owned Poolville Country Store served as a learning lab for students who were expected to run every aspect of the business. Giving back to the community was always important to Farnsworth and he included this in the country store course by requiring that the students donate all profits to a worthy cause of their choice.
During World War II, Frank instructed naval units at Colgate in both aerial navigation and physics. He did consulting work with small businesses in New York State and Canada.
In 1990, he was honored by the Soil and Water Conservation District as "forester of the year," for his stewardship and management practices on his mixed hardwood tree near Hamilton, his dedication to forestry and many years of cooperation with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. He served as a member of the Board of Directors for Great American Supermarket and the N.Y.S.& W. railroad.
Frank was a 50+ year member of the Masonic lodge in Hamilton and had sat in lodge in Brandon as recently as January 2010.
He was a member of St. Thomas and Grace Episcopal Church in Brandon at the time of his death.
Farnsworth is survived by his children, Frank of Brandon, Vermont, Ruth Eldridge of Clay Springs, Arizona, and John of Bonita Springs, Florida; his stepchildren, John Martire of Hopkinton, Massachusets. Amy Martire of Worcester, Massachusets, and Beth Cutter of Ithaca, New York; and nine grandchildren. He was predeceased by his first wife, Ruth Coburn, his second wife, Elizabeth "Libby" Martire, and daughter, Nancy.
At Farnsworth's request, there will be no formal services. He donated his body to the Dartmouth Medical School and, when his final teaching assignment is completed, family and friends will take him to join both Ruth and Libby who await him on Mount Chocorua in his beloved White Mountains of New Hampshire.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in his name may be made to the Ruth Coburn Farnsworth Scholarship Fund through the Stewardship Office at Colgate, or to a worthy cause or charity of choice.