Robert Farnsworth

Obituary of Robert Farnsworth

Robert “Bob” Farnsworth passed away peacefully on March 14, 2017 at home surrounded by his family after a long battle with cancer. Per Bob’s wishes, cremation rites have been accorded.

An informal gathering for family and friends will be held Sunday, March 19th from 1 to 4pm with a time of sharing stories and memories beginning at 4pm at the Gay & Ciha Funeral Home. For a more complete obituary, an opportunity to share a memory, thought or condolence please go to the funeral home website @ In lieu of flowers, please consider directing a memorial to Iowa City Hospice, Iowa City Boys Baseball or the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in Bob’s memory.

Bob was born on January 20, 1944 in Iowa City to Robert and Evelyn Farnsworth. He graduated from Iowa City City High in 1962. Bob went onto the University of Iowa and graduated in 1968 with a teaching degree. In 1979, Bob received his Master’s degree from the University of Iowa. Bob was a teacher in the Iowa City Community School district for over 30 years. He spent the majority of his career at Helen Lemme as a physical education teacher. In addition to teaching, Bob held several coaching positions. He was a wrestling, football, baseball, and tennis coach at the local junior highs and high schools. Bob was a master at a developing relationships with students who others might overlook, especially disadvantaged children and children with special needs.

Bob enjoyed playing racquetball as well as cards at the Legion, gardening, traveling the U.S., birdwatching, cooking and watching the Hawkeyes, Chicago Cubs and Bears. Bob loved dogs and trained several hunting dogs. He was especially proud of his children and grandchildrens’ accomplishments and loved attending their activities.

Bob is survived by his seven children, Robert (Roseann) of Cicero, New York; Tim (Mick) and their son, Will, of Iowa City; Phebe Hammes (Lyle) and their children Sophia and Ben of Ames, Iowa; Jenn of Iowa City; Tom (Sarah) and their daughter, Addie, of Iowa City; Abby Longwell (Dustin) and their children Jacob and Lexie, of Iowa City; and Ryan (Sarah) and their son, Cooper, of Iowa City. Bob is also survived by his sister Sue Rojohn of Grinnell, Iowa; sister Dorothy Farnsworth of Iowa City, and sister-in-law Jo Farnsworth of Solon, Iowa and their children.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; sisters Karen and Barb; and his brother Dave.

Our family would like to thank our sister, Jenn for the excellent care she gave our dad. In addition, we extend our thanks to Dr, Feeley, Dr. Ashby, Dr. Nicknish and his nurse, Connie;, Dr. Schomer, and their staffs; as well as the caregivers at Iowa City Hospice especially Dawn, Heather and Chelsea.

Dad lived by the motto “You can only do the best you can do” we believe he was the best!