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William Kirby OFarrell

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William Kirby OFarrell Obituary
May 12, 1925 ~ Dec. 28, 2013
Bill O'Farrell passed away on December 28th in Cheyenne, Wyoming, at the age of 88. Bill was born on June 12, 1925 in Denver, Colorado. He was the second of nine children born to Timothy J. O'Farrell and Mary Kirby O'Farrell. He was raised in Rock Springs, Wyoming where he attended school and graduated early to serve his country. He joined the United States Navy Seabees at the age of seventeen and served in the Pacific Theatre during WWII. He was part of the Seabees Naval Construction Battalion in the Asiatic Pacific that cleared jungles, built and maintained roads, bridges, airstrips, military bases, and waterways during the war. He was proud to achieve the rank of Shipfitter Second Class and served in the Philippine and Solomon Islands, New Guinea and Guadalcanal from 1943-1946. When the war ended he returned to Rock Springs. He married Dolores DeWulf on October 4, 1952 at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church. He worked for Questar (Mountain Fuel Supply Company) for 38 years where he worked his way up from the gas fields to vice president in charge of gas control in Rock Springs and Salt Lake City. He was very active in the Rock Springs community and civic affairs. He served as the President of the Chamber of Commerce, President of the Lions Club, Western Wyoming Community College Board Member, Sweetwater County Library Board Member, Board Member and chairman of the fund drive for the Sweetwater County Memorial Hospital, Tri-State Development Committee Member, Past Grand Knight of the Knights of Columbus Council #4441, Our Lady of Sorrows School Board member and Parish Council member. Bill and Dolores moved to Salt Lake City, Utah in 1976 where he continued his community involvement. He was the past President of the Hibernian Society of Utah and was instrumental in the placement of the memorial in honor of the Irish railroad workers at Promontory Point, Golden Spike National Historical Site. He was a member of St. Ambrose Parish, a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Disabled American Veterans, and the Blind American Veterans. Bill and Dolores spent their retirement years in Salt Lake City, Green Valley, Arizona and Cheyenne, Wyoming. Bill was an active member of the Quail Creek Community, Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Arizona, Mission San Xavier del Bac, and St. Mary's Cathedral in Cheyenne. Bill was a loving husband, father, and grandfather and great-grandfather. He was known for his kindness, generosity, and wonderful sense of humor. He made the most of everyday and enjoyed the outdoors and traveling.
Bill was preceded in death by is parents, wife Dolores, sisters Margaret Jean Peggy, Catherine (Zyzda), Mary (Phillips), brothers. Jack, Ted, Bob, and Dan. He is survived by his three daughters and their families: Kathleen O'Farrell Kottenstette (Michael) of Laramie, Laureen O'Farrell Powell of Cheyenne, Colleen O'Farrell West (Charlie) of Cheyenne, son-in-law Kevin Powell of Blaine, Washington. Seven grandchildren; Sean Kottenstette, Lauren Kottenstette, Dr. Ann Marie Powell Byrd (Ross), Shannon Powell (Gordon Northcott), Laura Powell Rousey (Aaron), Andrea West Stewart (Danny) and Catherine West, five great-grandchildren; brother Dennis, numerous brother and sister in-laws, twenty two nieces and nephews, and extended family across the United States, England and Ireland.
A private family service will be held in Cheyenne with a celebration of his life at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church followed by military burial at St. Josephs Cemetery in Rock Springs, Wyoming in June. Electronic condolences can be emailed to colleenwest@hotmail.com. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his name to Cheyenne VAMC Voluntary Services or Catholic Charities USA.
Published in Salt Lake Tribune on Jan. 5, 2014
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