Mr. Thomas Francis Farrell, 71, of Frederick, died on Tuesday, July 1, at Frederick Memorial Hospital after a brief illness.|
The son of the late William Farrell and Florence Walsh Farrell, he was born on August 23, 1942, in Orange, New Jersey, and grew up in nearby East Orange. After graduating in 1960 from St. Benedict's Preparatory School in Newark, he began to prepare for a life as a Benedictine monk and continued his education at colleges in Minnesota and Alabama before earning his bachelor's degree from St. Benedict's College in Atchison, Kansas. Later, he would get a master's degree from Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey, and begin doctoral studies at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey.
His true calling was found in a classroom rather than in a monastery. He started on what would be a lifelong career as a teacher and administrator in Catholic education, and met his wife, Maryanne Healey of Kearny, New Jersey, while working together at East Orange Catholic High School.
Thomas and Maryanne married in 1976 and moved to Frederick, where he taught at St. John's at Prospect Hall for 24 years and then St. Maria Goretti High School in Hagerstown for the past 14 years. He is survived by his wife and family: daughter Carey Anne Farrell, 35, of Chicago, and her husband, Neal Shankman; son Kevin Farrell, 34, of Roanoke, Virginia, and his wife, Lily Corwin; and son Liam Farrell, 32, of Laurel, his wife Lisa (Beisel) Farrell, and their seven-month-old daughter, Molly. Thomas is also mourned by brothers William Jr., Robert, and Michael and his wife, Mary Alice, who all live in New Jersey, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A loving son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather, Thomas dedicated his life to the ideals of Catholic education and the pursuit of truth and beauty, be it in the pages of a book on Greek philosophy or the view of the mountains from the back porch. He enjoyed day trips to Civil War battlefields and vacations in Newport, Rhode Island, and Ocean City, New Jersey. Later in life, Thomas and Maryanne would take near-annual trips to Ireland with family members, delighting in their ancestral country's history and humor.
His quiet demeanor belied a deep appreciation of social gatherings. Thomas would lead the prayer at Thanksgiving dinner, smile while sharing a beer and stories on a summer afternoon around his brother's pool, and laugh on Christmas while sneaking food to his daughter-in-law's dog and giving his newborn granddaughter a noisy toy he couldn't turn off. His greatest joy was simply witnessing love take root and grow in his home.
A viewing and remembrance of his life through stories, music and poetry will be held on Sunday, July 6, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Stauffer Funeral Home, 1621 Opossumtown Pike, Frederick, Maryland. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 am on Monday, July 7, at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 118 E. Second St., Frederick, Maryland.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Colleen and Erin Marlatt Scholarship Fund, which supports the education of the children of Catholic school teachers and administrators in the Archdiocese of Baltimore, at colleenanderin.org.
Online condolences to www.staufferfuneralhome.com.
Published Online in The Frederick News-Post on July 4, 2014
Published in Print in The Frederick News-Post on July 4, 2014