Patrocinio M. Farnell M.D.

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Patrocinio Mendoza Farnell, M.D., of Petersburg, Va., died Monday, Oct. 13, 2008 at Inova Fairfax Hopital in Northern, Va.

Dr. Farnell was born on Nov. 14, 1915 in Magalang, Pampanga, Philippine Islands.

She was preceded in death by her former husband of 25 years. Lt. Col. (Ret) Eric C. Farnell; both of her parents, Jose Mendoza and Fidela Ordonez Mendoza; her brothers, Libertado, Teodosio, Heraclio, and Nicias Mendoza; her sisters, Emerenciana M. Valencia, Araceli M. Moran, Fidela M. Henson, and son-in-law, Hobert Lawson.

She graduated from the University of the Philippines with a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1940. Throughout the years, she kept up with classmates from her graduating class, even attending her 60th class reunion in Manila in 2000. She practiced medicine in the Philippines during some of the most difficult years for the Filipinos, World War II. It was shortly after the War ended she met U.S. Army Capt. Eric Farnell, and they were married on June 2, 1945. Dr. Farnell became an Army wife and mother to their five daughters. She left the Philippines in early 1949, and was not able to return again for a visit until 1971, when about 40 extended family members met her at the airport for a joyous reunion.

Military life took the family to Italy, N.Y., and Washington, D.C., but mostly they lived in and around the Fort Lee, Va. area.

Dr. Farnell loved the United States and became a naturalized citizen in 1959. She became an avid seamstress and loved to sew for her family. She also enjoyed playing Mah Jong, Canasta, and Scrabble, doing crossword puzzles, and later took up crocheting afghans for family and friends. When she was able, Dr. Farnell loved to read, take long walks, and travel to other countries with her daughters or friends. She returned to work as a medical doctor in 1968 at Central State Hospital in Petersburg, Va., where she continued to work until her retirement in 1985. Dr. Farnell loved the Lord, was a devout Roman Catholic and attended Mass at Fort Lee military chapels for over 50 years. She prayed the rosary anytime she had spare moments, whether riding in a car or walking in her neighborhood. She is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law, Mary Anne and Fred Brewer of San Ramon, Calif.; Katherine Lawson of Springfield, Va.; Yvonne Farnell and Bob Smedley of Asheville, N.C.; Nancy and Jim Maloy of Charlottesville, Va.; and Margery and Kenny Young of Petersburg, Va.; her grandchildren, Lauren and Eric Brewer; Danielle, Eric and Jonathan Lawson; Daniel and Matthew Smedley; Jim Maloy and his wife, Stephanie; Christopher Young; great grandchildren, Evan and Lily Maloy; Andrew, Tiffany, and Eric Lawson and Jonathan Corpuz; brothers, Rene Mendoza of Chino, Calif. and Joel Mendoza of Artesia, Calif.; and step-mother, Angeles Mendoza; a large and loving extended family of sisters and brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews in the Philippines and California.

Dr. Farnell spent the last several years in the loving care of her daughter Katie in Springfield, Va. The family wishes to thank the staff of Inova Fairfax Hospital for their care of Dr. Farnell, who had several recent hospital stays during the past year, and to the staff of Leewood Health Care Center where Dr. Farnell has spent the past three months in rehabilitation and was preparing to return home later this week.

Funeral services will be conducted at noon Friday, October 17, 2008 at the Petersburg Chapel of J.T. Morriss & Son Funeral Home & Cremation Service. The family will receive friends one hour prior to service at the funeral home. Interment will be in Southlawn Memorial Park. Condolences may be registered at
Published in The Progress-Index from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15, 2008