Bryan "BJ" J. Farmer, January 30, 1921 - September 27, 2018

Bryan "BJ" J. Farmer
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BJ Farmer passed away on Thursday, September 27, 2018 at the age of 97. He will be remembered for his passion to give back to his community and as a wonderful husband, father and grandfather.

BJ was born in the small town of Mulberry, Arkansas. He graduated from the University of Arkansas with a degree in business, which was quickly followed by enlistment into the military during World War II. He became a B-24 pilot in the Army/ Air Corp (which later became the US Air Force).  BJ was based in the Central Pacific where he flew 40 missions.

After the war, BJ was stationed in Denver, where met his future wife, Bea, whom he was married to for 70 years.  BJ and Bea found their way to Eau Claire in 1948, through his friendship with Dave Bugher, BJ’s navigator during the war and later his business partner in the real estate business.

BJ’s involvement in Eau Claire included such organizations as the Eau Claire Community Foundation, the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce, the Grace Lutheran Foundation, the UW-Eau Claire Foundation, the Chippewa Valley Boy Scouts, and Luther (now Mayo) Hospital.

BJ and Bea loved to travel the globe, visiting 125 countries during their adventures. His love for a good game of tennis or a full day of skiing or piloting his own small plane added to his enthusiasm for life.  His family will remember him for his high principals and expectations, his generosity, and his ability to look into the future in order to chart the course that best serves his family and community.

BJ is survived by his wife, Bea Farmer, his three children, Craig Farmer, Doug Farmer and Linda Zimet; four grandchildren, Chris Farmer, Adam Helgesen, Erika Santiago and Josh Helgesen; and five great grandchildren.

A private service will be held for family members. 

In Lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the following:

The BJ and Bea Farmer Family Fund. Online donations can be made at Checks can be made out to “ECCF” and mailed to ECCF, 306 S. Barstow St. Suite 104, Eau Claire, WI 54701.

The UW-Eau Claire Foundation for the BJ and Bea Farmer WAES Scholarship Fund, Box 4004, Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004.

The Grace Lutheran Foundation Grace.  Checks or money orders should be sent to Lutheran Communities P.O. Box 287 Eau Claire, WI 54702.

Friends and family may offer condolences online at

Hulke Family Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 3209 Rudolph Road, Eau Claire, WI 54701 is assisting the family with the arrangements.


  1. Wilhelmina Fischer October 13, 2018

    Such a loss for Eau Claire, a true philanthropist.
    Our sympathies to the entire Farmer family.
    We have such fond memories of them skiing at Copper Mountain, Co., and then enjoying the evening with them at their condo for some wine. Truly good and kind hearted, with a vision for Eau Claire,
    He will truly be missed.
    Ted and Wilhelmina Fischer

  2. Jon and Maureen Homstad October 9, 2018

    To the family of BJ,
    We extend our sympathies to all of you. Your father was truly a wonderful, caring person with whom we had some great times.
    Your parents, Bill and Ona Nelson, Lee and Mary Markquart, Walter and Gloria Gold, Charlie and Kathy Lasker, Jerry and Betty Schwartz were all of our guests at Pine Lake for our annual Ribs and Corn dinner. We always had such a great time and now most of them are missing from our circle of friends.
    We are all getting older and look up to your parents and all these friends who were role models to us. The Eau Claire community would not be what it is today without all of them.
    Your father will be missed by many. May God give you comfort and strength as you face the days to come. It is never easy losing a parent but it is the way life goes. Our love to your mom, Bea, too.
    Jon and Maureen Homstad

  3. Sue Johnson Sivertson October 8, 2018

    Linda - thinking of you with the passing of your father. My dad died 12 years ago and it still seems like a month ago. Offering prayers and strength.

  4. Eileen Biegel October 1, 2018

    I was so sorry to hear of his passing. B.J. was on the Board of Directors of Luther Hospital (now Mayo) for many years as its Chairman. I had the pleasure of watching him work. He was amazing as we went through many challenges with the health care system. Rest in peace.

  5. Charles Enwald October 1, 2018

    To the Farmer Family,
    I send my condolence and sympathy to your family on the passing of Mr. Farmer. He was a good friend of my father Vernon. Mr. Farmer gave me sound business advice at a time I was having problems for which I am very grateful. He was patient with me. He certainly left and admirable legacy.
    May your family find peace and comfort during this difficult time. God Bless.
    Charles Enwald

  6. Dave and Kathie Ambers September 30, 2018

    We are sorry to hear about the passing of your Father. He lived a long full life. Cherish the memories! God Bless.

  7. Janique ‘Jan’ Moe September 30, 2018

    I had the pleasure of working at Farmer Bugher in the mid-70’s, downtown EC!

    Many great memories of BJ! He was a fantastic real estate developer. He was a kind and caring employer and had a good sense of humor! I loved my time with Farmer-Bugher!

    My sympathies to his family!


  8. Patti Pritchard (Voss) September 29, 2018

    Dave, I am so sorry for the loss of your dad. I will pray for you in the days & weeks following as you grieve for him. ???????????? with warm blessings, from Patti ????

  9. Bob McCoy September 28, 2018

    I'm sorry to hear of BJ's passing. I have so much respect for him and we will all miss him. He has done so much for Eau Claire. You are all in my prayers.