Photo courtesy of Quest Church
Don Farquharson was a regular of Quest Church's Bridge Care Center.

A moment of silence to observe Don Farquharson's life, death

UPDATE: A photo has been provided of Don Farquharson, which can be seen above, courtesy of Quest Church.

Pastor Eugene Cho dedicated a blog post to Farquharson on Saturday, Nov. 24. In it, he both mourns Farquharson's death and spends time to tell people to recognize that homeless people are people, too.

"It’s sad when a person passes away and hardly anyone notices and when done so, it’s without a name and the simple description as a 'transient.' This is my simply attempt to humanize and give dignity to a person that so many loved and respected. Yes, he was homeless ... but he was more than 'a transient.'"

Cho also published a letter sent out to volunteers written by Jill Vance (who also appears in the original story below), director of the church's advocacy center. Vance had known Farquharson as a regular at the Bridge Care Center.

"While yesterday was an opportunity to “rejoice with those who rejoice” it was also a time to “mourn with those who mourn”. I wanted to let you know that I found out yesterday that one of our regular clients of The Bridge passed away yesterday morning. Our friend Don Farquharson was found at Ballard skate park early yesterday morning. It is not a definite as to what the cause of his death was. Byron had been with him during the night and they had been drinking. He was also exposed to the rain that night and it got pretty cold. I had also heard Don had some heart issues, so it really could have been a combination of it all. Whatever the cause, this came as a complete shock to me.

For those of you who remember Don, he was always well put together. He was one of our regular Native American clients. His hair often reminded me of the 80s, with his gray pony tail and buzzed cut up on top. I hardly ever remember his without his glasses and a baseball cap on. He often had a job. He was kind and engaging to his friends and all of the volunteers at the BCC. Don truly will be missed!"

Read the full blog and letter here.

ORIGINAL: In honor of Don Farquharson, the man who was found dead in Ballard Commons Park on Saturday, Nov. 17, eight women dressed mostly in black stood in silence outside of the Municipal Court on Wednesday, Nov. 28, from Noon to 2 p.m.

Jill Vance, who works at the Bridge Care Center (1516 NW 51st St), said that Farquharson was a regular and was well loved by both volunteers and his friends who also used services at the center. She said he was always nice, gentlemanly and very well put together -- which is why it came as such a shock to everyone to learn that he had died.

A story that touched people at the center, Vance said, is when Farquharson's girlfriend came after his death to return his clothes.

She came in with a large bag full of all his clothes, which he got from the center, and said it was such a blessing to have them. Vance said that she, Farquharson's girlfriend, friends and volunteers all took a moment to stand around the bag of clothes, which served as a kind of symbol for the man who had died.

Farquharson always spoke of his friends who were homeless in a positive light and showed that they were people just like anyone else, Vance said.

"He has so many friends ... it's always so hard to see somebody pass way because you see the whole community grieve," Vance said.

Farquharson is the third person in a state of homelessness to die in Ballard this year. Armand Herd died of a heart attack in July and William Johnson, 52, died of natural causes at 52nd and 14th NW in April, according to a pamphlet handed out by the Women in Black.

The Women in Black will be gathering for a candlelight vigil honoring all of the homeless people who died in 2012.

It will take place on the Winter Solstice, Friday, Dec. 21, 4:21 p.m. (start of sunset) at the Tree of Life (Victor Steinbrueck Park, north of Pike Place Market). Then there will be a silent procession to Westlake Park (4th and Pine) where there will be a silent vigil from 5-6 p.m.

For more info, call (206) 956-0334, email wheelorg@yahoo.com or visit www.homelessrememberance.org

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