Colonel (Ret.) Henry Ransaville "Rance" Farrell

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Farrell, Colonel (Ret.) Rance
Colonel (US Army Ret.) Henry Ransaville "Rance" Farrell 71, passed away on July 17, 2014 due to complications arising from a severe neck injury suffered in the surf at Newport Beach, California on the 4th of July. Everyone who knew Rance spoke of his strength - strength of body, mind, personality, intelligence, humor, and dedication to country; he was Army strong. Thus, it is sad but fitting that Rance was ushered out of this life in a blaze of sun, sand, and the great waves of the mighty Pacific Ocean. Rance lived in Phoenix, Arizona and is survived by his lovely wife, Susan; his children JoAnne Farrell Tobias, Thorsten Ransaville Farrell, Wendy Weichel Murawski, Amy Weichel Casey; and his brother, Dan Farrell. He has 7 grandchildren. He has too many dear friends to name, though his favorites shared his love of the Army, good books, red wine, single malt scotch, cigars and golf. Rance was born in Harrisburg, PA and attended Bishop McDevitt High School. He enlisted in the Army, went to the USMA prep school and then attended West Point. He was a member of the renowned Class of '66, of The Long Grey Line fame and was captain of his track team. After West Point, Rance's long and distinguished career included: Battery Commander in Germany; Aide de Camp at NATO in Holland; Battery Commander and Forward Observer in Vietnam; Teaching English and Philosophy at West Point; Politico-military planner, European Division, Directorate of Strategic Plans and Policy (J-5), Joint Staff, the Pentagon; United States Army element, Central Army Group (Germany); Battalion Commander of the 96th Civil Affairs Battalion at Fort Bragg, NC; Military Attache´ to Switzerland. Rance's continuing military education included: Ranger course, Master's degree from UVA, Defense Language Institute for both French and German, Foreign Area Officers Orientation course, Infantry Officer Advance course, Armed Forces Staff College, Jumpmaster Training achieving Master Parachutist wings and the Canadian Defense College. His medals and awards of distinction included: Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star 1st OLC, Defense Meritorious Service medal, Meritorious Service Medal 1st OLC, Air Medal 6th award, Air Medal w/2 Valor devices, Joint Service Commendation medal, Army Commendation medal 1st OLC, Army Good Conduct Medal, National Defense Service medal 2nd AWD, Vietnam Service medal w/4 service stars, Joint Meritorious Unit award, Army service ribbon, Overseas service ribbon w/num 2, Republic of Vietnam campaign medal, Master parachutist badge, Aircraft crewman badge, Ranger tab, Joint Chiefs of Staff identification badge, Air medal valor - 2V. His international medals include das Ehrenkreuz der Bundeswehr in Silber from Germany and de L'Order National Du Merite from France. Rance retired in 1993 from the Army and then went to work for Lockheed Martin as a Director of International Business Development. He enjoyed guest speaking for schools and organizations, and and even was a substitute teacher in the areas of English and History, bringing these subjects to life for high school students at Phoenix Country Day School. Never inactive, Rance has continued to serve his country volunteering for a number of military associations. For many years, he has been on the boards of Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) and Military Order of World Wars (MOWW). He served first as VP for Membership and then as President for the Arizona Chapter of the Association of the United States Army (AUSA). For the last three years, he has been 7th Region President for AUSA. He also served on the board of the Arizona Heritage Project and was a 2012 inductee into the AZ Veterans Hall of Fame. Rance's memorial service will be held at 1100 hours, 14 November 2014, at the National Memorial Cemetery in Phoenix, Arizona. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that those who wish to do so, donate to the Wounded Warriors project ( or join AUSA ( in Rance's honor. Rance was always trying to get new AUSA members; why stop now?

Published in The Arizona Republic on Aug. 3, 2014
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