Laconia, NH-----James D. Farnsworth, 77, formerly a longtime resident of the Lakes Region, avid bicyclist, inventor, ski-movie photographer and music maven, died November 14, 2004 of heart failure.
Mr. Farnsworth was born in Boston, Mass on August 14, 1927 to Charles Edward Farnsworth and Helen Holmes Mills. The youngest of three children, and the only son, he grew up in Brookline, Mass. His father's company Farnsworth Inc., manufactured textiles in Lowell, Mass. After briefly attending Holderness, Jim graduated from Dublin School, Dublin NH just as World War II had ended. He then graduated from Colorado University with a degree in engineering. While in Colorado, he received his private pilot's license.
During the 50's, he became part of the then new American interest in recreational skiing. Farnsworth Films was one of the three film studios making the then popular ski movies, movies illustrating the new 50's look at this previously European pastime. Jim got better shots than his competitors, by skiing backwards down the mountain while filming his subjects skiing in front of him, with his camera on his shoulders. He showed his films with a classical music background. He once appeared on the "Today" show. In the early 60's, while recuperating from a skiing accident, Jim began his love of bicycles. He developed the concept of "full throw" cranks, and incorporated this into a bicycle design he called "Farnsworth Formula" (patent pending). Wife, Carol Ashmun, and daughters Sherrel, Leslie, and Heather, all participated in his bicycling endeavors. In the early 70's, Jim shattered the record for climbing Mt.
Washington on a bicycle, starting what would later become an annual race up the mountain. Later in life, while living with his companion and later wife, Ann
Rogers Stamps, Jim also bicycled across the country. Those who frequented the New Hampshire Music Festival knew him as the person who meticulously taped the festival concerts. He and Ann both shared a love of classical music.
Jim is survived by two daughters, Sherrel Farnsworth of Brooklyn, NY and Heather Holmes Farnsworth Chang of Pacific Grove CA; three stepchildren, Jeffrey Stamps of Newton, MA, David Stamps of Laconia, NH and Susan Stamps of Carlisle, Massachusetts and his sister, Rebecca Farnsworth Avery, of Brookdale, NH. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his first wife, Carol A. (Ashmun) Farnsworth, in 1984, by his second wife, Ann Rogers Stamps, in 2000, by a daughter, Leslie Farnsworth, in 1975 and by his sister, Helen Holmes Farnsworth Worthen, in 2003.
Burial will be at the family lot at Smith Meeting House Cemetery, Gilmanton, NH on Saturday, November 20, 2004 at 10:00AM.
Following the burial, a Funeral Service will be held at 11:30AM at the Gilford Community Church, Potter Hill Road, Gilford. The Rev. Michael Graham, Pastor of the Church, will officiate.
Flowers are accepted. Memorial donations may be made to the New Hampshire Music Festival, 52 Symphony Lane, Center Harbor, NH 03226.
Wilkinson-Beane Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia, NH is in charge of the arrangements.