Heather was a precocious Valley youngster who wanted two things: to go to Catholic School and play golf. She would achieve both of these desires with her admittance to Xavier College Preparatory and making the golf team. This accomplishment also put wheels into motion that would result in a beautiful friendship and an unbreakable bond, now spanning four decades, between two women brought together by both loss and triumph.
Those women are Heather’s sister, Missy Farr-Kaye, and Sister Lynn Winsor, the coach who guided both of them at Xavier.
Missy recalls her first encounter – as a sixth grader – with the energetic and inspiring Sister Lynn.
“Sister Lynn was wearing a track suit and Nike shoes and I remember being shocked that she was a nun and the golf coach,” Missy said.
Heather exceled as an athlete and showed an amazing talent for golf. With her on the team, Xavier’s standings in the sport soared. Two years later, Missy started at Xavier, showing an equally impressive gift and drive for golf. During Sister Lynn’s time coaching the sisters, she became very close to their family.
“I really got to be friends with all the girls and their families,” said Sister Lynn. “We’re like a family within a family. They were a fun group of kids. Maybe sometimes a little too much fun.”
Missy echoes the sentiment, “As a coach, she made being on the team fun, but she also taught us to be tough and compete hard. Never give up!”
Never would Sister Lynn’s words be truer than when Heather, that fun-loving, athletically gifted student, now a woman, was diagnosed with breast cancer. Finding themselves battling the greatest of all foes, Sister Lynn and the Farr family grew extremely close. They leaned heavily on values that had always sustained and fortified them, namely faith and family.
Heather would lose her battle with cancer, and the disease would take her father several years later. Missy would even fight her own battle with cancer.
“Mrs. Farr and Missy and I continue to have a great friendship,” Sister Lynn says. “Even through their loss, they’ve been valiant and strong.”
Fast forward to today; Missy Farr-Kaye is the head women’s golf coach at Arizona State University, with multiple national championships under her belt, both as a competitor and a coach, and Sister Lynn is Xavier’s athletic director, a role she’s proudly and willingly held since 1979.
Despite differing roles and ages and backgrounds, Missy and Sister Lynn developed profound respect and appreciation for one another during their 40 years as friends. And it all started with a girl named Heather, who wanted to go to Catholic school and play golf.