Old Saybrook - Marjorie Eileen Farrell, 92, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012, quietly at home under home hospice care.
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She was the eldest of three children born to Gladys (Barnhardt) Brown and Forrest Brown in Chillicothe, Mo. on April, 8, 1920. She spent part of her childhood in Missouri until her father moved the family to Massachusetts to pursue his studies as a young minister in the Congregational Church. Marjorie and her siblings grew up under humble circumstances, and her childhood memories included feeding her pet chicken, "Betty Grable", and learning to play the piano while wearing a hat and her winter coat against the cold in the drafty parsonages.
After spending a year of college at Mary Washington College in Virginia and later graduating from the Massachusetts School of Physiotherapy, Marjorie married Thomas Farrell, an aspiring chef. They had three children, and moved from the town of Hanson, Mass., to Old Saybrook in 1962. Marj raised the kids and also worked as a nurse's aide at the Old Saybrook Convalescent Home and spent many satisfied years as a nursery school teacher at Kiddie Care/The Childrens' Discovery Center in Old Saybrook. She also worked in Tom's briefly-owned restaurant and for years in his catering business. They each worked long hours to keep up with the bills; fortunately both Marj and Tom lived very long lives and were able to enjoy their retirement in their own frugal way.
Marj inherited her father's gift for words and enjoyed writing evocative prose and sly, comedic poems. She acted in community theater, played piano and organ in the Congregational Church and in her later years, Marj greatly enjoyed being part of a local writers group, the Red Hat Ladies, and a walking group. She also enjoyed feeding the birds, including the local flock of turkeys. Marj never met a cat she didn't like, or wouldn't feed, even if he was the neighborhood lothario of cat food.
Her husband Tom died at the age of 96 in 2010 after 65 years of marriage. Marj continued to live at home with help from family, friends and caregivers, but was faced with increasing frailty and health challenges. She was able to die at home as she wished.
She leaves her three children, Valerie Jacobsen and husband, Garry Jacobsen, of Old Saybrook, Alison Farrell and her wife, Terry Lenczycki, of East Haven, Glenn Farrell and his wife, Alicia Farrell, of Old Saybrook; grandsons, Timothy Burton of Madison and Clay Farrell of North Carolina; as well as two great-grandchildren. She is survived by her younger sister, Betty Lou Arnold of Granby.
She was predeceased by her brother, Raymond Brown of Guilford.
The family wishes to thank friends and helpers extraordinaire Victorya , Rachel and Judy, caregiver Olivia of Companions and Homemakers and the fine people of Middlesex Home Hospice Services.
Marjorie's ashes will be interred next to her husband's in the Spring.
Published in The Day on Dec. 9, 2012