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Death Notice
  • "Mrs. Farrell's English class was the first I attended as a..."
  • "I had the privilege of working with Joan at Harker Prep..."
    - Richard Grant
  • "I so deeply admired Joan. She pushed the kids and kept..."
    - Cathy Maxwell
  • "She was my favorite teacher. She may have departed this..."
    - Chelsea Maerzluft
  • "Such a gracious & intense woman. Very fond of all she did..."
    - The Oley Family

FARRELL JOAN MARY FARRELL Joan Mary Farrell of Richmond, Virginia, passed away peacefully on October 30, 2012 surrounded by her children. Mrs. Farrell was the widow of Colonel Peter B. Farrell. Joan Farrell was born and raised in Kitchener, Ontario. As a college student at Manhattanville College in New York City, she met West Point Cadet Peter B. Farrell. They were married in the Cadet Chapel on her husband's graduation day and together they embarked on a 25-year Army career. Duty stations included Washington State, Alaska (prior to becoming a state), Okinawa, Oklahoma, Michigan, Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Virginia. After a tour in Vietnam by Colonel Farrell, the family moved to Alexandria, Virginia in the late 1960s, where the couple eventually retired, relocating to the Richmond area in 1992. As her husband served his nation in uniform, Mrs. Farrell diligently pursued completion of her education. She attended colleges and universities in four states as she moved with her husband's career, finally taking her degree from the University of New Mexico at age 40. There are hundreds of students who are thankful that she did. Mrs. Farrell was a decades' long teacher and college placement counselor, serving at schools in New Mexico, Maryland and Virginia, finishing her career three years ago at Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Catholic School in Powhatan County. She raised three children and had eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren - all of whom adored her. Her intelligence, sense of humor and engaging personality shaped not only her family's life, but many hundreds of students over her decades of teaching. She loved young people and cherished all of her students. She is survived by her children and their spouses, Sharon F. Watson and her husband, Robert, of Wicomico Church, Virginia, Thomas F. Farrell II and his wife, Anne G. Tullidge Farrell, of Richmond, and Timothy F. Farrell and his wife, Katherine Roberts Farrell, of Denver, Colorado as well as her grandchildren, Christian Armogida and his wife Annie of Pasadena, California, Lindsey, and Tommy Watson of Richmond, Cary Watson of Williamsburg, Virginia, Peter Farrell and fiancé Christie Gaskins of Richmond, Stuart Farrell and his wife Mary of Washington, DC, Katie F. Mastin and her husband Paul, on duty station in Monrovia, Liberia, and Meghan F. Callaway and her husband, Ethan, of Denver, Colorado and her two great grandchildren, twins Charlotte and Elouise Mastin of Liberia. Mrs. Farrell is also survived by her sisters, Madame Justice Janet Boland-Statten and her husband, Dr. Taylor Statten, of Toronto, Ontario, Sheila Hinton and her husband, Harold, of Mississauga, Ontario, her sister-in-law, former Congresswoman Barbara F. Vucanovich, of Reno, Nevada, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. The family would like to thank her physicians and Bon Secours Hospice for their wonderful medical care as well as her special caregivers Diana, Amanda, Alanda, Helen, Claire, Jearline, and Valerie. After a celebratory mass at Fort Meyers Memorial Chapel, she will be laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery in early January beside her beloved husband. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to the Bon Secours Hospice Foundation, 5875 Bremo Road, Suite 710, Richmond, Virginia 23226 or to Blessed Sacrament Huguenot Catholic School, 2501 Academy Road, Powhatan, Virginia 23139.

Published in The Washington Post on Nov. 7, 2012