Alan Dean Farner, 86, of New Smyrna Beach Florida, died January 13, 2011 of natural causes at the Hospice Care Center in Edgewater. Life Celebration will be 3:30 PM Monday, January 17, 2011 at Baldwin Brothers Heritage Place 1 North Causeway New Smyrna Beach FL. The family will receive friends from 1:30 until service time on Monday.
Alan Dean Farner was born in New York City on August 26, 1924 to Eugene and Beulah May Farner as the youngest of 4 children. He grew up in New Jersey where he attended West Orange Public Schools, participating in high school football, baseball, basketball and track. After his high school graduation he enlisted in the Marines, was stationed in the South Pacific during WWII, and served his country from 1943-1946. Following his military service, Alan worked as a physical therapist at Kessler Institute and the Veteran’s Hospital in New Jersey. He attended Panzer College in East Orange where he received his B.S. in Physical Education. He received his M.A. in Elementary Education from Newark State College in Union, New Jersey. Alan taught history, mathematics and science in Mendham and Millburn public schools for 30 years, where he also coached both football and track.
Beginning early in life, Alan’s great passion was his music. He began performing professionally at the age of 8, singing in the church choir for 25 cents. He went to the Eastern Conservatory of Music in Roselle, New Jersey and received private vocal instruction in New York City. He performed professionally in New Jersey as a tenor soloist and chorus member at St. Luke’s Church and The First Congregational Church, both in Montclair, at Christ Church in Short Hills, and at First Presbyterian Church in Tenafly.
Alan’s most significant soloist performances include: Handel’s Messiah at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fischer Hall in New York City, as well as the Symphony Hall in New Jersey; and Stabat Mater, Elijah, Requiem, The Creation, The Holy City, Love Immortal, Hymn of Praise, Hora Novissima, Song of Thanksgiving, Olivet to Calvary, The Seven Last Words of Christ, There Came Wise Men, and The Crucifixion at a variety of venues.
Among Alan’s other professional affiliations were performances with the Oratorio Society of New Jersey, Morristown Masterworks Chorus, Ars Musica, and The New Jersey Symphony – all of which were a great joy to him.
Alan’s operatic performances include roles in the operas Madame Butterfly, Un Ballo in Mashera, La Boheme, Lucia di Lammermoor, Tosca, Amahl and the Night Visitors, Romeo and Juliet, Aida, La Traviata, and The First President. His musical theatre experience consist of roles in South Pacific, Where’s Charlie?, Fiddler on the Roof, Oliver, Man of LaMancha and Damn Yankees.
In 1985 Alan retired and moved to Florida where he married Barbara Hughes on April 23, 1987. He was an avid and accomplished golfer. Some of his golfing successes were winning the Habitat for Humanity Tournament in 1990 and hitting a hole in one twice - once on the New Smyrna Beach Golf Course and once at Deltona Hills. He received a “Certificate of Merit” from the Senior Members Golf Association for extraordinary accomplishments and personal dedication as liaison coordinator for the New Smyrna Beach golfing community.
After retirement to Florida, Alan continued his musical passion by performing professionally as a soloist with the Methodist Church in New Smyrna Beach, the Seabreeze United Church in Daytona, and The First Church of Christ Scientist in New Smyrna Beach. He joined the Bel Canto Singers and the Orlando Opera Camerata Chorus and performed 3 concerts with them. Alan was selected as part of the chorus in the performance of the Verdi Requiem with the University of Central Florida Symphony Orchestra and Choir under Conductor Dorothea Tonnesen. He continued improving his voice under the direction of Gail Robinson-Oturu of Bethune-Cookman College. Alan also sang several times with his wife at the piano for the New Smyrna Beach Regional Library and at Bishop’s Glen. He had roles in three musicals with the Seaside Music Theatre: 1776, Of Thee I Sing and the Christmas Carol. In 1999, he was in the chorus of the Orlando Opera production, The Flying Dutchman.
His other passions included his political party involvement where he was an active member of the South East Volusia County Democratic Party. Alan also loved the beach and never lost his passion for the New York Yankees. Throughout his life, Alan enjoyed the Metropolitan Opera, the Orlando Opera, the London Symphony and local symphony concerts - particularly ones featuring piano concertos.
Alan is survived and will be missed dearly by his loving wife, Barbara Farner of New Smyrna Beach, and his four children from his first marriage: daughter Christine Farner of New Jersey, daughter Robin and son-in-law Joel Gillis of North Carolina, son Alan Farner Jr. and daughter-in-law Robin of New Jersey, and son Glenn Farner of North Carolina. Also surviving are grandson Donald Zayacz II, granddaughter Megan Farner, grandson Michael Farner, sister Ruth Bluhm, sister-in-law Eleanor Farner, and niece and nephew, Gigi and John Bluhm, all of New Jersey.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in Alan Farner’s name to the Hospice of Volusia Southeast Care Center 4140 South Ridgewood Avenue Edgewater FL 32141 or Habitat for Humanity, New Smyrna Beach, Florida. 3:30 at Baldwin Brothers Heritage Chapel 1 North Causeway New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169 on January 17, 2011 (map/driving directions) 1:30 to 3:30 at Baldwin Brothers Heritage Chapel 1 North Causeway New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169 on January 17, 2011 (map/driving directions) Edgewater - New Smyrna Cemetery 700 Ridgewood Avenue Edgewater, FL 32132 (map/driving directions)