Liberty Middle School mourns loss of Farris
By By Thomas Tingle
Record Managing Editor
Liberty Middle School Principal Sally Bruer remembers the last conversation she had last week with her assistant principal, Stevan Farris on her cell phone.
"I was in my car driving out of town and he was in his car on his way to go see his son graduate at Fort Benning, Ga.," Bruer said. "Jokingly, he asked me how I was able to slip out of the building without him noticing."
Funeral for Major (Ret.) Stevan Eugene Farris was held Tuesday, Sept. 24, at Roselawn Funeral Home with Father Joe Culotta officiating.
Farris, 48, died Saturday, Sept. 21, of an apparent heart attack. It was his second year to serve as assistant principal at Liberty, his first administrative position.
"I found out about Stevan's death on Sunday. We called the PTA and the school board and got the word out on Sunday to as many people as possible," Bruer said. "We called the television stations and word was spread that way. We didn't want our students and faculty to come in Monday and be surprised. Some of course didn't hear about it until Monday, but we were able to spread the word quickly."
Bruer said Farris was a friend to the entire student body and faculty at Liberty Middle School. She said he was a good administrator and a good listener.
"He would always listen to what you had to say. He was very good with the students and they quickly became friends with him," Bruer said. "It's been hard on the students and very hard on the faculty. He will be missed by everyone."
Farris was retired from the U.S. Army Special Operations Forces and headed the Lawrence County Junior ROTC before coming to Madison two years ago. He served at the U.S. Space Command in Colorado and in Desert Storm and was part of the Nations Weapons Inspection Team following the Gulf War.
Under a doctor's care, Farris had had heart problems since last year.
"We knew of his heart situation, but this heart attack and his death were definitely unexpected," Bruer said.
Farris is survived by one daughter, Devon Farris of Tuscaloosa; one son, Christopher Farris of Fort Benning, Ga.
He was a veteran of the U.S. Army with 22 years of services. He received his bachelor of science degree in psychology and criminal justice from The University of West Florida and his master's degree in education from Alabama A&M University.
Memorials may be made to JROTC fund, Madison City Schools, 4192 Sullivan Road, Madison, AL 35758.