Wednesday, April 25, 2018
News Roundup

Four-term Massachusetts legislator Vern Farnsworth dies at 80

ST. PETERSBURG — If 80-percent of life really is just showing up, Vern Farnsworth had a head start on most people.

Mr. Farnsworth, a former Massachusetts legislator and a St. Petersburg civic leader, could be counted on to be where he said he would be on the dot.

"His big thing was to dress well, speak well and always be on time," said Connie Bladon, his daughter. "For him, it was showing respect."

Mr. Farnsworth, a Republican, won a seat in the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1964, serving a western portion of the state. He was proud of stopping cigarette advertising on television and for making it harder to cheat the welfare system.

He was re-elected three times. Mr. Farnsworth enjoyed campaigning and had mastered the art of the "mix and mingle," as he called it. In his free time he lectured on the Constitution or attended the theater or the opera.

Vernon R. Farnsworth was born in Springfield, Mass., April 18, 1934, and raised by a single mother. The Boys Club taught him to resolve disputes without getting into fistfights, his daughter said. Mr. Farnsworth later lived in Beverly Hills, Calif., with actor Wendell Corey, an uncle who played the police lieutenant alongside James Stewart and Grace Kelly in Rear Window, and other memorable roles with the likes of Katharine Hepburn, Jack Palance and Elvis Presley.

Mr. Farnsworth sang in nightclubs from a young age. "I think that's where he got his confidence," his daughter said.

He married Constance Drewry in 1956 and started a family. Mr. Farnsworth worked as a financial analyst, a career he maintained through his terms in the legislature. He was constantly interacting with people from all levels of society, from working class constituents to people at the highest levels of government.

Former U.S. Attorney General Elliott Richardson, one the few of President Richard Nixon's lieutenants to emerge unscathed by Watergate, was a close friend.

Massachusetts Gov. Francis Sargent later appointed Mr. Farnsworth to the state's Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.

His marriage ended in divorce after 26 years. Mr. Farnsworth moved to France in 1984 with Elise Morin, a native of Montreal whom he married in 1985. They later moved to Pinellas County.

He worked as a spokesman for Capitol Marketing Concepts in St. Petersburg and counseled consumers for the National Foundation for Debt Management. Mr. Farnsworth also served on the boards of WEDU-Ch. 3; Florida Blood Services Foundation; and the YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg. He and his wife were also members of the Academy of Senior Professionals at Eckerd College.

Bladon, 56, the executive director of Florida Hospital Foundation, said her father taught her to "be able to present yourself in front of people and also just really appreciate who people are and what they have to offer."

Mr. Farnsworth had been weakening from cancer and other health issues in recent weeks, but still was working out in the gym, his daughter said. He died at home under hospice care the morning of April 18, his 80th birthday.

Comments
Lightning to face Bruins in East semifinals

Lightning to face Bruins in East semifinals

The Bruins beat the Maple Leafs 7-4 in Game 7 of their first-round playoff series Wednesday night and will face the Lightning in the Eastern Conference semifinals beginning Saturday at Amalie Arena.Here is the semifinal schedule:Saturday: at Tampa, 3...
Updated: 0 minutes ago

High school scoreboard for April 25

Wednesdayís scoreboardBaseballCanterbury 5, Shorecrest 4SoftballClass 6A, District 6 Semifinal: Springstead 10, Citrus 0
Updated: 2 minutes ago
Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

Bucs draft scenarios: Would this guy be their lucky pick at No. 7?

TAMPA – This is the Rubiks Cube of NFL drafts. It can be twisted and turned it in any direction. Not many know how everything will line up.For the Bucs, the puzzle is simple.  Since they have the No. 7 overall pick, they need four quarterb...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Comeback doesnít come close to describing Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays

Comeback doesnít come close to describing Jonny Venters return to majors with Rays

BALTIMORE — First, think of what you were doing on Oct. 5, 2012, and how much has happened in your own world since then.That will give you a time frame.Next, think of the challenge of rehabbing from two Tommy John surgeries and a third procedur...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Softball: Boca Ciega edges Tarpon Springs for 6A-9 title

Softball: Boca Ciega edges Tarpon Springs for 6A-9 title

DUNEDIN — It's hard to believe that we'll see a more emotional, more exciting game than this one throughout the rest of the postseason.Top seed Tarpon Springs and No. 2 Boca Ciega were fearless with the Class 6A-9 title on the line Wednesd...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Rays Journal: A win over ex-mate Cobb, and in a record way

BALTIMORE – The Rays knew there would be all kinds of mixed feeling seeing longtime former teammate Alex Cobb pitching against them in Orioles orange.And they made sure he didn't enjoy it.The Rays knocked Cobb out in the fifth inning, and rolle...
Updated: 2 hours ago
VA nominee considers withdrawing as new allegations emerge of drinking, wrecking government vehicle

VA nominee considers withdrawing as new allegations emerge of drinking, wrecking government vehicle

WASHINGTON ó White House physician Ronny Jackson has grown frustrated with the nomination process to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs and has told colleagues he may remove his name from consideration, two White House officials with knowledge o...
Updated: 2 hours ago
A religious group has settled in a big pink house in Clearwater. Neighbors arenít happy.

A religious group has settled in a big pink house in Clearwater. Neighbors arenít happy.

CLEARWATER ó The first thing John Trevena noticed about his new neighbors was the color of their house: Pepto-Bismol pink.It didnít worry Trevena, a criminal defense lawyer who moved into the three-bedroom rental home next door in 2015."I knew it was...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Pasco corporal who took down student on video now cleared (w/video)

Pasco corporal who took down student on video now cleared (w/video)

LAND OíLAKES ó Kayla PeŮa filled up her water bottle then returned to her lunch table at Sunlake High School when she heard a commotion in the cafeteria on Tuesday afternoon.A female student was riled up, walking back and forth, PeŮa said, screaming ...
Updated: 4 hours ago

Updated: 4 hours ago