Thomas L. Nied Funeral Home
7441 Washington Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15218
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1924 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
It is with tears, laughter, and storytelling that we shared in the passing of James "Hooks" Farrell, October 22, 2017. He was preceded in death by his best friend and wife of 46 years, Roseann (Williams) Farrell. Hooks was born in Oakland, on April 24, 1924, to Joseph Farrell and Mary Stephens. Hooks was one of five boys born to Joseph and Mary. There were numerous cousins, neighbors, and friends who grew up in their welcoming and loving house on Dawson Street in the heart of Oakland which exemplifies the saying that "it takes a village." He insured that his own life and family lived that way too. Whether it was packing 20 kids into the back of the station wagon and taking them to a basketball game, or stepping over bodies on the living room floor full of the kid's friends or anyone who needed a place to sleep. Sometimes he didn't even know their names, but was happy that they had a roof over their heads. In his later years, he got the most enjoyment taking part in his grandchildren's lives and telling them stories of "when I was your age" and that's not how we did it "when I was a Navy Seal" (which he wasn't). Hooks was preceded in death by his brothers, Joseph (Nan), Richard (Bernice surviving), Jack (Jacqueline), and last surviving brother, Gene (Susie). Hooks and Roseann were married in December of 1951 after he came back from the Navy. They both grew up in Oakland, Hooks on Dawson Street and Roseann on Frazier Street. One of Hooks' favorite sayings was that Roseann married up- he moved her from lower Oakland to Dawson Street. It was said in love and was a favorite part of a rich and heartwarming story telling and love story. They shared a life of family, friends, ttravel and adventure. Hooks' basketball life took them on trips all over the country where they made memories and friendships that are lasting to this day. Hooks and Roseann had seven children, James (Paula Gibson); grandchildren Jennifer, Colleen, Caitlin, and Casey; Tommy (Juliette Banas); grandchildren, James, Kyra and Thomas; Barbara (Michelle Amato); grandchildren, Darlajia and Keyona; John Paul (Lisa Soltis); grandchildren, Ali and Lauren; Patrick (Cathy Cubelic); grandchildren, Brandon, Jessie, and Kylie; Earl David (Patricia Campolongo); grandchildren, Jake and Justin; Joe (Gina Clair); grandchildren, Clair, Davey and Joey. He is also survived by seven great-grandchildren, Joseph and Marcus (Jennifer Farrell), Madelyn and Zachary (Colleen Farrell), Ella, Lucas, and Jack (Casey Farrell). Hooks was also a man of the town and helped build a better Pittsburgh and Community. He was a graduate of Central Catholic High School where his six boys followed in his footsteps. He also was a graduate of Duquesne University where, not only did he star on the basketball team, but played in the NCAA playoffs, coached the Dukes basketball team and started the 1st golf team. He played basketball with his friend, the famous Chuck Cooper who was the first African-American player to be recruited by the NBA. Later Hooks had a scholarship named after him through the Chuck Cooper Foundation. Hooks was inducted into the Western Pennsylvania Hall of Fame for Basketball, Duquesne University Hall of Fame. He was on the board of directors and inductee of the Dapper Dan Charites, President and Founder of Dukes Court at Duquesne University, along with buddie, Mossie Murphy, and was a founding board member of the Ozanam Cultural Center. He also had a rich life in public relations and was appointed to sit on the State Ethics Commission from 1987-1991.Those of us who had him in their lives could never get enough of his stories, famous sayings, and impeccable knowledge and memory of just about any subject. He was the go-to guy for almost anything you could think of. Hooks was the fixer… He knew a guy, who knew a guy, who knew a guy! And it got done. We will miss you and your rich and full life. It was a treasure map. The world is an emptier place with you not here. Who's gonna fix my ticket? We love you Hooks, rest in peace. Give Roseann a hug from all of us. Viewing will be at the THOMAS L. NIED FUNERAL HOME, 7441 Washington Ave., Swissvale, PA 15218, 412-271-0345, Wednesday, October 25, 2017, from 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Mass of Christin Burial will be at St. James Church in Wilkinsburg, 7818 Franklin Ave., Wilkinsburg, PA 15221, Thursday October 26, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. Interment is private. Memorial contributions can be made to the Parkinson Foundation Western Pennsylvania, 575 Lincoln Ave., Bellevue, PA 15202, www.pfwpa.org.
Published in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Oct. 24, 2017
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