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Judge Philip Charles Farman

Napa, Napa County, California, USA
Death 19 Oct 1995 (aged 96)
San Diego, San Diego County, California, USA
Burial Napa, Napa County, California, USA
Memorial ID 55567821 · View Source
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San Diego Union-Tribune, The (CA) - October 24, 1995
Deceased Name: Philip C. Farman
, 96 retired judge, athlete

As a javelin and discus competitor in the 90-and-older division of the statewide Senior Olympics, Judge Philip C. Farman simply outlived those he couldn't out-throw.

A retired administrative law and workers' compensation judge, he died of congestive heart failure Thursday in his Ocean Beach home. He was 96.

Judge Farman, who walked up to three miles a day he until he was 95, won two gold medals each in the 1993 and 1994 state Senior Olympics.

He took up the javelin and discus in 1992 when he heard about the opportunity to compete against fellow seniors.

"All I had to do was outlive the competition," he said of his back-to-back victories in the most senior of the age-group divisions.

"I read about the games a few days before the registration deadline and decided to sign up. Then, of course, I had to show up."

An injury Judge Farman sustained when he fell in a hole while training at Dusty Rhodes Park in Ocean Beach prevented him from trying to extend his win streak in May in the national Senior Olympics in San Antonio, Texas.

Judge Farman, a football lineman and baseball catcher at USC, "just kept on keepin' on," said his wife, Joan, never allowing himself to be sedentary for very long.

He moved to San Diego in 1960 from Los Angeles, where he began his law career more than 70 years ago. After his retirement from the bench in 1962, Judge Farman turned his attention to conservation and environmental issues affecting his Sunset Cliffs neighborhood.

In 1971, he was instrumental in organizing a community campaign to stop an extension of the Ocean Beach jetty, a project that would have obliterated Dog Beach and created a boat channel in the San Diego River extending from the ocean to Mission Valley.

Judge Farman helped found the Sunset Cliffs Preservation League, which grew to include 1,300 members.

"He fought long and hard to save the cliffs from erosion through the implementation of the most environmentally sensitive method of minimal sea-wall construction, low-impact hiking trails and the planting of drought-resistant natural vegetation," said attorney David Diehl.

Judge Farman was born Jan. 3, 1899, in Napa, where his father, a Swedish immigrant, had brought the family from Illinois at the time of the California Gold Rush.

While growing up in Napa, Judge Farman played rugby at the local high school. He delivered mail from a horse and buggy before World War I.

During the war, he served as an infantryman in the Army.

He then enrolled at USC, where he played tackle and guard on the freshman football team coached by the legendary Elmer "Gloomy Gus" Henderson.

After earning his law degree, Judge Farman practiced in Los Angeles, specializing in oil and mineral rights, then labor law. He belonged to the California Bar Association for 74 years and was a judge for about 20 years, his wife said.

Six years ago, after turning 90, Judge Farman celebrated by driving to Montana for a two-week canoe trip down the Missouri River, camping at night under a canopy of cottonwood trees.

After taking up the discus and javelin, he told a Peninsula Beacon reporter that one of the keys to his extraordinary longevity and vitality: "I love being back down on the playing field, with the green grass and the other fellows around."

His wife of 35 years, Joan, is his lone survivor.

A celebration of life was held Saturday.

Family Members

Gravesite Details Burial is unmarked.





  • Created by: ACSwanson
  • Added: 28 Jul 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 55567821
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Judge Philip Charles Farman (3 Jan 1899–19 Oct 1995), Find A Grave Memorial no. 55567821, citing Tulocay Cemetery, Napa, Napa County, California, USA ; Maintained by ACSwanson (contributor 47094290) .