Marvin E. "Gene" Farrell (1917 - 2013)

Obituary
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Marvin E. "Gene" Farrell

Johnston

Marvin E. (Gene) Farrell passed away November 1, 2013 at the Bishop Drumm Care Center.

The family will receive visitors from 6:00-7:30 p.m. on Monday, November 4th at Our Lady of Peace Chapel at Bishop Drumm, 5837 Winwood Drive in Johnston, Iowa, and a memorial service will be held at Our Lady of Peace Chapel at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, November 5th. Interment of the cremated remains will be held at a later date in Fort Dodge, Iowa.

Gene was born July 5th, 1917, in Madison, Missouri, the third son of Emma Allie Clark and John Ray Farrell. He graduated from LuVerne High School in LuVerne, Iowa, where he was on the wrestling and baseball teams. After winning the state high school wrestling championship in 1935, he was recruited by Coach Hugo Otopalik to wrestle at Iowa State University where he was a two time NCAA All American including a runner-up finish.

In his senior year at Iowa State, Gene's National Guard unit was called up and he eventually served several years at the 10th Station Hospital in Belfast, Northern Ireland during World War II. While in Ireland, he met Mollie Purkis and they were married in 1947.

After the war, Gene decided to make the Army his career. He served in a MASH unit during the Korean War and was posted for three years in Northern Europe (NATO) and one year in Southern Europe (SETAF) during the 50's and 60's.

After retiring from the Army in 1962, Gene worked for the US Postal Service, retiring to Spirit Lake, Iowa, in 1979, where he lived for 21 years. Gene traveled extensively the first 20 years of his retirement and especially loved visiting England, where Mollie's son, Antony, and his family live. He was also a very proud and doting grandfather and great-grandfather.

Gene was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, J. Morris, Ottis, and Jack Duane Farrell; a sister, Mary Louise Gresham; and his wife, Mollie. He is survived by a daughter, Patricia (Dennis Lane) Farrell Peters of Indianola, a son, Brian (Annette) Farrell of Urbandale, and a step-son, Antony (Pat) Purkis of Abingdon, Oxford, England. He is also survived by eight grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, and a beloved sister-in-law, Vera Farrell Neuberg, of St. Petersburg, FL, Pipestone, MN, and Okoboji, IA, along with several nieces and nephews.

The family extends their most sincere thanks the staff of the Bishop Drumm Retirement Center including the Care Center, Martina Place and McAuley Terrace, for their loving care of Gene for the past several years. The family also thanks the many wonderful friends he made while a resident of McAuley Terrace, especially his neighbor, Leone Walton.

The family requests no flowers, but memorials may be made to Bishop Drumm Retirement Center.

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Funeral Home
Iles Funeral Home - Westover Chapel
6337 Hickman Road  Des Moines, IA 50322
(515) 276-4567
Funeral Home Details
Published in Des Moines Register on Nov. 4, 2013
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