Taking time to recall dear friends lost too soon

Beverly Farnham

With the COVID-19 protocols still in place there hasn’t been a lot to relate as far as community news. Unfortunately, much of what I have to report today is not the happy kind. I just learned that we have lost three more of our longtime friends and neighbors recently.

A woman I’ve known for many years quietly passed away in early March, but I wasn’t aware of it until now. Beverly Farnham and her husband Larry and their children, Janie and Jeremy, lived in one of our rental homes across from the store for more than 10 years before moving to their own home on south Territorial.

Bev was quiet and unassuming and I’ve only run into her a few times in the past several years, but she always had a ready smile and a friendly “hello.” She will be missed as will Larry who, I understand, has moved to Sweet Home to be near Janie.

A well-loved family that has lived in both Lorane and Veneta lost its patriarch, Tom Laing, on May 4. Tom and his wife Lauren (“Lollie”) raised their family of six in Lorane and later, Veneta. Tommy, Tammy, Doug and Chris attended the Lorane and Crow schools and Tom and Lollie were active in the schools, athletic programs and the communities where they lived. A veteran, Tom was a member of veterans groups and participated in veterans causes throughout his life. He will be missed by so many.

Janet Martin

Another Lorane resident, Janet Martin, passed on May 7. She and her three sons, Jason, Jeremy, and Derek, owned and operated the Farmin’ Creek events center on Siuslaw River Road in Lorane for many years. Janet was outspoken and a force to be reckoned with if crossed, but if she liked you, she was a friend forever. She helped to get a Boy Scout troop organized in the area and loved watching her sons play football in school. She was a hard worker and helped to make Farmin’ Creek a fun place to hold an event in the area. Her many “forever friends” are mourning her passing.

Jim and I extend our condolences to the Farnham, Laing and Martin families. Bev, Tom and Janet will be missed by so many of us who consider them good friends.


Some other sad, but expected, news for the community is the cancellation of the annual and very popular Lorane Ice Cream Social, hosted by the Lorane Volunteer Fire Department, and the Lorane Community Potluck, held at the Lorane Grange this year because of the COVID-19 social distancing protocols. Our hopes are that if we sacrifice them this year and do what is needed to get through this pandemic, we can all work toward making them even better next summer.


That’s enough bad news for this week … the good news is that Jim and I are doing well. We are making progress on putting our home back together after a major restoration project and we are healthy and staying active. There’s nothing like that tired feeling you have at the end of a day when you have accomplished so much. The beautiful sunny weather we’ve had has allowed us to get outside, get away from the TV and computer, and allow our minds to concentrate on something other than medical issues and the controversy surrounding them.

The rainy days have interspersed with the sunny ones, giving us time to settle in, surrounded by our fur babies who are more than willing to cuddle with us and let life drift by for a day or two.

I hope all of you are finding some of those bright spots in the altered circumstances we have all found ourselves in. Cherish what you can … our continued good health, our loving families, our circle of friends who are finding their own ways during this pandemic, and Mother Nature, who is proof of the beauty we all share.

Tom Laing

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