James N. Farley

James N. Farley passed away on Aug. 22, 2012, at the age of 83. James was a beloved husband and devoted father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle, friend and mentor. He is preceded in death by his parents, James N. Farley and Elizabeth Martin Farley Sanders, his dear sister, Barbara Farley Awbrey and brother, John Farley. James is survived by his loving wife of 56 years Nancy Jo (Hollabaugh); daughters Sarah Huskey (Dickerson) and Barbara Carre; sons Timothy, James (Mary) and Stuart (Katherine); 16 grandchildren, 2 great grandchildren; brother Robert and several nieces and nephews. A true family man, he will be sorely missed by his family but he will be remembered as a man of great intelligence, creativity, generosity, humor and as a mentor, particularly to the young entrepreneurial engineers he nurtured through his encouragement and philanthropy. James was born and raised in Hutchinson, Kan. Attending the First Presbyterian Church where he earned the distinction of 100th Eagle Scout in Troop 1. 


James moved to Evanston, Ill. to attended Northwestern University, beginning a lifelong affiliation with the University. He and Nancy raised their family in the Chicago area before he moved Speedfam headquarters to Chandler, Ariz. As president of Speedfam-IPEC, James was instrumental in establishing the international machine company with operations in Japan, Europe, India, Korea, and Taiwan, taking the company public in 1995. He retired from the company shortly after it was sold to Novellus in 2002.


James, a well recognized entrepreneur, took great pleasure in retirement as President of the JNF Group, LLC while founding the Farley Center for Entrepreneurship & Innovation and establishing the James N. and Nancy J. Farley Professor of Manufacturing & Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University. His community service and philanthropy extended to Scottsdale Healthcare where he served as a Foundation Trustee, the Phoenix Zoo, and the American Precision Museum in Windsor, Vt.

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