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Robert H. Farrell
April 13, 1948 ~ October 24, 2023 (age 75) 75 Years Old
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Robert Harry Farrell, known to most as Rob, closed his final chapter on October 24, 2023, in Hartford, CT, with his wife Janet at his side, leaving the world a touch less vibrant and a whole lot less funny.
Rob was born to the late Gertrude (Harlacher) and John J. Farrell Sr in Wheeling, WV, on April 13, 1948. He spent much of his early life in Erie, PA, where he attended school, raised a ruckus, and graduated from Strong Vincent High School. This was followed by a tour of duty in the U.S. Army, where he was stationed overseas during the Vietnam War, an experience that touched his life in many ways. After returning to Erie, Rob later made his way to State College PA where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Pennsylvania State University, followed by graduate work in Forensic Clinical Psychology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. From Pennsylvania, he headed west to Lafayette, Indiana, then south to Kailua, Hawaii, finally returning north and putting down roots in Mansfield Center, Connecticut, his home for almost 40 years.
Rob was a man of many hats, or should we say, many careers. Over the years he tackled roles as a machinist, radio DJ, U.S. Army radioteletype operator, housing specialist, high school JV basketball coach, university labor relations specialist, senior center executive director, airplane manufacturing supervisor, and professional photographer. And let's not forget his role as the proprietor of Bev's News and Tobacco, where he was known to keep the best selection of cigars and the worst selection of dad jokes.
His “non work” passions were equally diverse. Rob was an airplane pilot, sports car enthusiast, and a golfer with a swing as smooth as his sense of humor. He was a football fan (and player), a guitarist, bowler, boater, and fisherman. Rob was as comfortable with a club, ball, or pool cue in hand as he was with a James Bond martini. Shaken, not stirred, of course. He was also a devoted “dad” to the canine buddies (and more than just a couple of feline buddies) who spent time in the Farrell household.
Rob could light up a room with his humor and spirit. He was interesting, funny, and spirited. He was a big man with a big personality and an endless store of anecdotes, historical tidbits, and really bad (occasionally good) jokes.
Behind every great man is a great family, and Rob was no exception. He leaves behind his wife of 44 years, Janet Barnes-Farrell, who was his partner in many adventures over the years and the toughest critic of his jokes. He was a loving father to his daughters Jessica (David) Blanchfield and Caitlin de Souza, and a doting grandfather to Thomas and Jameson Blanchfield, and Jackson, Stella, and Bia Lucia de Souza. He also leaves behind his sister, Barbara (Dennis) Culbertson, and brother, John J. (Patricia) Farrell. His extended family from the Farrell and Barnes tribes will miss his antics and his infectious laughter.
In his 75 years, Rob lived a life that was as full as his laughter and as rich as his humor. He was a man who loved deeply, laughed loudly, and lived fully. And though he may have exited stage left, his spirit and his punchlines will live on in the hearts those who knew him.
No services will be held. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Robert’s name to a local charity that is meaningful to you.