Farl Cathey Tubb knows what it’s like to overcome adversity. At the age of nine, Farl contracted polio and underwent treatment for a number of years. She went on to excel in high school and college, graduating in home economics education from Oklahoma State University in 1957. She was interested in fabrics and designing clothing for students with physical handicaps. Farl was born in Durant, Oklahoma on June 27, 1935 to James and Beulah (Oden) Cathey. Farl was raised on a small farm and attended rural schools at Cobb, Oklahoma. On February 23, 1957, after graduating from college, she married Richard A. Tubb who was also a graduate of Oklahoma State. Their first son, James Michael, was born in 1958. Farl worked as a secretary at Oklahoma State, when her husband returned to graduate school in 1959. After their second son, Timothy Steven, was born in 1961, Farl taught home economics and other classes at the high school in Marshall, Oklahoma.
Richard accepted a position at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks in 1963. Three years later, he took a new position at South Dakota State University in Brookings. In 1967, he joined the faculty at Ohio State University in Columbus as a professor in zoology. While Richard taught aquatic biology classes and worked on fisheries research, Farl worked as a substitute teacher in the middle and high schools. During these years, she saw the problems students had because of poor reading skills. She was also interested in students who needed special education classes.
In 1975, Richard joined the faculty at Oregon State University, where he became the head of the Department of Fish and Wildlife. Farl went back to school herself, earning a master’s degree in special education at Western Oregon State College in 1978. She taught special education classes at Cheldelin Middle School for the next two years. She again found the need to help students develop reading skills at a much earlier time in their lives.
In 1981, Farl formed a business that became Monograms of Corvallis. A friend owned the business, and because Farl enjoyed sewing, the friend approached her about purchasing the company. For the next twelve years, Farl built the business from small machine embroidery to using large computerized machines to design and embroider monograms and emblems on caps, jackets, shirts, and so forth. Her company made the warm-up suits for OSU’s women’s basketball team, among others. In 1993, Farl sold the business.
During her years as a businesswoman, Farl became active in Altrusa and worked for developing literacy programs in the elementary schools. After selling her business, she continued to volunteer with literacy programs, and she and her husband both volunteered for the SMART program. SMART stands for Start Making A Reader Today and involves bringing volunteers together with children to read to them and encourage the children to develop their own reading skills. SMART also gives books to children. Farl was also involved in a variety of volunteer efforts, serving as a Cub Scout den mother and a Sunday School teacher. She was on the board of the OSU Folk Club and volunteered at the Thrift Shop. She has also been a volunteer with her church, First United Methodist, and supported the Altrusa Parent Enhancement Program, helping young families with projects such as sewing.
Richard established the Farl Cathey Tubb Fund in honor of his wife. The fund supports literacy programs as well as programs for the physically handicapped through BCF’s annual grant cycle.