Friend, Businessman Southworth-Milton’s Farmer Dies at 68

Wed August 27, 2003 - Northeast Edition

Rudy Farmer, special accounts manager of Southworth-Milton, died recently at the age of 68.

He spent his life working in the construction industry and the past 10 years at Southworth-Milton.

In his early years as a college student at Syracuse University, Farmer played on the school’s football team in the 1957 Cotton Bowl. Throughout his life he maintained a competitive spirit.

Rudy began his career in New Jersey, first at Houdille Materials, and later at Foley Machinery, the local Caterpillar dealer. While there, he developed a reputation for being knowledgeable, straightforward and always keeping the customers’ interest in mind. These qualities earned him unwavering loyalty from his customers.

In the late 1970s, Rudy and his Foley co-worker, Bob Williams, bought a John Deere dealership in White River Junction, VT, and named it “New England Equipment.” The dealership grew into one of the country’s top John Deere performers, winning several excellence awards.

After selling the dealership 10 years ago, Rudy joined Southworth-Milton, the Caterpillar dealership in Scarborough, ME.

Although competitive, Rudy had a way of making everyone feel special, said Larry Cutliffe, marketing director of Southworth-Milton. “He could have been talking to a room full of people, and every person in the room felt Rudy was paying particular attention to him,” he said.

Williams said, “He put you on a pedestal.”

Green machine salesmen, savvy business people, owners of large and successful construction companies, co-workers — all tell the same story … how Farmer’s strength was to make people feel good about themselves.

“He affected people very positively,” said Denny Taylor, Rudy’s Southworth-Milton manager.

Rudy passed away not as a quiet retiree, not even winding down, but as a top performer, who never stopped being disciplined, competitive and caring.