Cora Farmer says she doesn’t need much excitement in life—she just needs to stay busy.
“I’m too active to be sitting around,” said Farmer, a resident of New Community Douglas Homes in Newark.
A major part of what keeps her busy is caring for her grandchildren, she said.
Every morning, Farmer arrives at her son Andre’s home at 5:30 a.m. A single father, Andre heads off to work as Farmer prepares breakfast for her three grandchildren, does laundry, packs lunches and prepares them for school. Afterwards, she comes back to her apartment to do her own cooking, cleaning and tending to affairs as the floor captain of the seventh floor at 15 Hill St.
“My day be full,” Farmer said. “It’s a dull life but I enjoy it—it keeps me busy,” she added.
Care Coordinator Luz Toro noted that Farmer treats everyone that she encounters with a caring attitude.
“Mrs. Farmer brightens anyone’s day with her kindness and ability to help others,” Toro said.
Originally from South Jersey, Farmer grew up in Bridgeton and lived there with her family through high school.
In 1955, she came to live with her sister in Newark after finding little work in South Jersey. She grew up as one of 12 siblings. “It was fun. We learned how to share,” Farmer, now 77, said.
Early on, Farmer had enrolled in a vocational training program to become a nurse’s aide at New Community but decided not to pursue the field due to her fear of needles. Instead, she worked for 14 years in retail management at a women’s clothing store. She retired in 2004.
A mother of three grown children, Farmer said she helped to raise eight other children besides her own. “That was my life—working and raising children,” she said.
In her free time, Farmer enjoys playing bingo and cooking Italian cuisine.