We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Brennan & Brennan Funeral Home, Inc.
At home surrounded by loving family, Thomas Patrick Farrell passed into eternity on November 16. Born in Carbondale in 1928, son of the late Clement and Isabelle Carden Farrell and husband for 63 years of the former Ellen McGowan, Tom cherished the neighborhood of his youth and considered himself a West Sider.
Always a powerful presence in any setting, Tom was a natural-born leader, full of energy, humor, strength, courage, and charisma. Tom possessed great generosity of spirit and love, always at the ready to brighten anyone's day with a smile, joke, and quick helping hand.
Educated in Carbondale schools, he served as president of his Benjamin Franklin High School class. He was employed as foreman by Gillen Coal Company during the historic mine fire years, as superintendent at Portland National Cement in Bath, PA, and retired as crane operator from the Delaware & Hudson Railroad. Until the time of his illness, Tom was a daily communicant at St. Rose of Lima Church, where he was a memorable lector. Tom had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother and the Holy Rosary. For many years, he was a volunteer caretaker of the Lady of Lourdes Shrine at St. Rose Church. From garden rocks, braced forsythia, and a myriad of lights, he created a unique Marian shrine in the backyard of his Lincoln Avenue home. It was fitting that he passed on the Feast of St. Gertrude the Great, who was devoted to prayers for the release of the souls in Purgatory, as was Tom. Tom served honorably in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War. Offered the opportunity to remain in Texas as an instructor, Tom chose instead to go directly to Korea. There he served as Ground Crew Chief for fighter jets at Taegu Air Base. After the war, Tom served several terms as Commander of the American Legion Post 221, Carbondale.
For more than 20 years after retiring, Tom organized and led a weekly group sing-along at the Carbondale Nursing Home, serving as emcee, lead singer, and fill-in piano player. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus (fourth degree), the Columbia Hose Company #5, Carbondale Historical Society, Volunteers of St. Francis of Assisi Kitchen in Carbondale, Tower of David prayer group, Divine Mercy prayer group of Jessup, and the Cursillo movement.
In addition to wife Ellen, with whom he graced many a dance floors, he is survived by three children: Attorney Kathleen Grochala (Richard), Maureen Salitsky (George), and Thomas Patrick Farrell, Jr. (Joanne); grandchildren: Attorney Kelly Coveney (Joseph), Molly Grochala, Attorney Claire Kreiger (John), Mae Kenna (Nick), James Salitsky, Jack Salitsky, Maria Salitsky, Joseph Salitsky, Katrina Salitsky, Thomas Patrick Farrell, III, Maura Farrell, and James Farrell; and great-grandchildren Maximillian Kenna and Francis Kreiger; brothers: Joseph and Leo Farrell (Mary Grace); and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, sister Peggy, and brothers Jack, Robert, and James.
The family extends gratitude to compassionate caregivers Audrey, Nancy, Kirby, Stephanie and Marcia; and the entire VNA Hospice team, especially Nurse Rose Ann and special aide and angel Kellie Johnson.
The funeral will be Saturday from the Brennan & Brennan Funeral Home, Inc. 55 Lincoln Avenue, Carbondale, with a Mass of Christian Burial at 9:30 am in St. Rose of Lima Church, Carbondale. Interment with military honors, Our Mother of Sorrows Cemetery, Finch Hill. Friends may call Friday, from 3 to 6 pm.
Memorial donations may be made to the St. Rose of Lima Church Restoration Fund, 6 N. Church St., Carbondale, PA 18407 or the Carbondale Historical Society, 1 N. Main St., Carbondale, PA 18407.