'I found a home in Palm Coast': U.S. Navy veteran reflects on 20 years of military service, countless local volunteer efforts
After Linwood “Nemo” Farmer joined the U.S. Navy in 1942, he didn’t know he would spend the next 20 years on and off ships across the Mediterranean Sea and the Pacific and Atlantic oceans as he fought in World War II and the Korean War.
“I was a fire control technician,” he said. “I worked on the equipment that control that guns. That was my job for 20 some years. And, of course, I went on up in ranks, and when I retired, I was a top enlisted chief petty officer.”
Nemo remembers crossing the equator on Nov. 13, 1942. He celebrated by adding to his tattoo collection, which grew to a dozen over the years. Later in life, he was awarded a medal for the Legion of Honor, which is the highest French order of merit for military merits and is given to a few hundred non-French citizens each year.
“She’s the one that takes care of me and keeps me straight,” Nemo Farmer said.
“He’s high maintenance,” Patsy Farmer added with a smile.
After he retired from the Navy in 1961, Nemo worked in electrical engineering for 25 years in Maryland and Virginia and then began another life’s work: volunteering.
“I drag him with me. I started all that. I’ve volunteered all my life,” Patsy Farmer said.
The pair moved to Palm Coast in 1989 and built their home in the C-section. They’ve now been married for 68 years.
“We just like to spend time together,” Patsy Farmer said. “During the time ‘we’ were in the Navy — I have to say ‘we’ because although I wasn’t officially in, I was there — we spent a lot of time apart, he did a lot of six-month cruises: Mediterranean, Japan, Korea. And so, I was alone with two kids and a dog a lot of the time. So, after he retired, we decided we’d do everything together.”
Since then, the Farmers have kept busy volunteering all around Flagler County, including together or individually at: Washington Oaks Gardens and State Park, the Christmas Giving Store, Florida Hospital Flagler, Marineland Dolphin Adventure, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8696, Daytona State College Palm Coast campus, Flagler Auditorium, the Emergency Operation Center during Hurricane Matthew, the local gun club, president of the Homeowner Association for times, adult volunteer Boy Scout leader and more — many of which through Flagler Volunteer Services.
“It is a home for me; I don’t intend to ever move,” Nemo Farmer said. “I found a home in Palm Coast.”
At age 93, Nemo can still be found around town greeting people at Florida Hospital Flagler, fulfilling honor guard duties with the VFW Post 8696 and, during hurricanes, at the Emergency Operations Center volunteering his efforts.
The pair is proud to have a son who is a retired U.S. Navy full commander and a grandson who is still serving in the U.S. Navy — both following in Nemo’s footsteps.
“We’ve got a good life,” Nemo Farmer said.
Patsy Farmer added: “We’ve got two sons, five grandchildren and nine greats, so we have a big family now.”