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Michael H. Farny

1934 - 2019
Michael H. Farny Obituary
On September 26, 2019, Michael Holt Farny, loving husband of Ethel Farny and father of five children, passed away at the age of 84. Mike was born on December 23, 1934 in Geneva, Illinois to Phyllis and Cyril Farny. A man of deep faith, Mike was known to all as a passionate, engaging, and vivacious person. Mikes family moved to Craftsman Farms in Morris Plains, New Jersey in 1946. Mike and his three siblings were raised to care for farm animals, run tractors, and ride horses and bicycles. His experiences working as a teenager with his brother Dave on ranches in the west, combined with his familys love of the outdoors, shaped his lifes direction. As a young man, Mike had many adventures out west, including working as a stunt double in western films, running a horse-guiding business in Aspen, and working for Dave at Ashcrofters, a mountaineering camp for boys. He received his AB in American History at Princeton University in 1956. Subsequently, Mike studied at the Harvard School of Design for two years before going to California to work for an architect. He later served as a Captain in the United States Marine Corps, first stationed in Okinawa, later training winter warfare skills in northern California. Mike taught American history at Pomfret School, worked in the Admissions Department at Princeton University, and led biking, hiking, and canoeing trips for students and peers. He received an MBA from the Harvard Business School in 1968. Mike worked as a planner for the New England River Basin Commission from 1968-72 before starting his own business, Lincoln Guide Service, that operated from 1972 until 2000. He formed Charles River Canoe Service in 1973 and complemented it in 1974 by founding Weston Ski Track, one of the first cross country ski centers to make snow in an urban setting. Mike pursued these endeavors out of his love for human-powered vehicles and his passion for teaching outdoor skills to anyone he met. He believed that the triangular relationship of technique/fitness/environment would lead to greater public health. Based on his group bike tours, Mike wrote a cycling guidebook, New England Over the Handlebars. In 1997 he founded Pro-Motion, a bicycle shop in Bedford. Mike met Ethel in Cambridge, where they were married in 1968. They raised their family in Lincoln and loved sharing the experiences of camping, hiking, biking, canoeing, and skiing. Mike loved music. He grew up playing folk guitar and was proud to see his five children become classically trained musicians. Mike was an enthusiastic chaperone on their international youth orchestra tours. He sang for over 40 years in the Trinity Episcopal Church Choir and later, in the Concord Chorus. Mike and Ethel sang choral works in thirteen summer sessions with Berkshire Choral International, in western Massachusetts and Salzburg, Austria. Mike is survived by his wife Ethel; his daughter Suzannah Chalick and son-in-law David; his daughter Natasha Farny and her partner Adam Sikora; his son Nathaniel and daughter-in-law Vanessa; his son Caleb and daughter-in-law Natalie; his daughter Evelyn Wadkins and daughter-in-law Melanie; his brother David Farny and sister-in-law Sherry; and seven grandchildren: Gabriel, Aden, and Jocelyn Chalick; Bennett and Wesley Farny; and Cecilia and Miguel Wadkins. Funeral services will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, 81 Elm Street, Concord, MA on Saturday, Oct. 12 at 2 p.m. Officers of the Marine Corps will present military honors at the beginning of the service. Concords Town Flag will fly at half-staff on Oct. 12 in recognition of Mikes honorable service to his country. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the (www.act.alz.org). Arrangements are under the care of Dee Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Concord. To share a remembrance or to send a condolence in Mikes online guestbook, please visit www.DeeFuneral Home.com.
Published in Concord Journal from Oct. 1 to Oct. 10, 2019
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