John R. Farrell, age 95, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his loving family on April 16, 2021. He was born on May 14, 1925 in Green Bay WI, son of the late Thomas and Lulu (Fournier) Farrell.
He attended West High School for only two years. Seeking adventure, he worked his way out to the West Coast. John returned to Green Bay and on his 17th birthday, enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving in the Scouts and Raiders, the precursor to the Navy Seals, during World War II. At war’s end, John met the love of his life. He married Elaine Sandman Farrell on Thanksgiving Day 1948. They shared 70 happy years of marriage.
In 1947, he joined the U.S. Army and served as a Master Sergeant in the Korean War. Eventually, John returned to his education completing a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. He worked as a Game Warden, as a ROTC instructor at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo and as a teacher and coach at Casco High School in Casco WI. He went on to work for the Federal Government and retired after twenty-two years.
After retirement, John and Elaine continued their adventure, buying a sailboat, learning to sail and sailing around the Florida Keys. He and Elaine enjoyed spending winters at their home in Treasure Island, FL and summers at their cottage on Point Comfort in Wisconsin. They both were intrepid travelers. John continued to water ski and deer hunt with his family well into his 80’s, setting an example of how to enjoy life every day. He encouraged a love of history, poetry and all outdoor activities. John was a true inspiration and wise advisor to all who knew him.
John is survived by his three children: Thomas (the late Carol) Farrell, Jennifer (William) Voss and Anne (Wes) Musselman; seven grandchildren: Anna Lee, Amy, Mitchell, Cynthia, John, Claire and Grace and six great-grandchildren: Ellen, John, Grayson, Brady, Lauren and Hannah; brothers: Michael (the late Jane) Farrell, Jeremiah (Jean) Farrell, Gary (Shirley) Farrell and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Elaine, an infant daughter, Cynthia, a sister, Dorothy (Joe) Obecunas, brothers, Tom (Jean) Farrell, Patrick (Marian) Farrell, an infant brother, James: sister-in-law, Marjorie (John) Schumacher, and brother-in-law, Darrel (Alice) Sandman.
According to John’s wishes, the service will be private. A celebration of his life will be held this summer. Memorials in John’s name can be made to Veterans of Foreign Wars, www.vfw.org. The family would like to thank the wonderful staff at Brookview Meadows, Home Instead and a special thanks to his devoted caregiver and friend, Jessica Riste.