John A. Farrell, 86, of Alton, passed away at 3:35 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015, at his home under the care of BJC Hospice, his wife and children.
He was born in Edgar County, Ill., on Feb. 27, 1929, the son of the late John E. and Bessie (Houston) Farrell.
John is survived by his wife, Loretta (Richey), of 56 years; four children, Toni K. and Jonathan Farrell-Higgins of Topeka, Kan., Daniel E. and Alejandrina of Raritan, N.J., Michael J. and Joan Farrell of Colleyville, Texas, Jenifer A. and Trevor Farrell-Dreilich of Charleston, S.C.; 10 grandchildren, Elise, Clare, Meredith, Jade, Alexa, Eric, Shane, Ian, Riley and John; two great-grandchildren, Giana and Eden; a brother, Max Farrell of Punta Gorda, Fla.; and sister, Mary Napolis of LeMesa, Calif.
John was a Korean War Veteran (U.S. Army Staff Sergeant) who trained as a Radio Operator (Signal Corps) and served as a Company Clerk in Eritrea, North Africa. His service ended in 1952 after “3 years, 5 months and 18 days.” He is an alumnus of the University of Illinois with a BS in Accountancy. After graduation (1955), John served in the Civil Service for the IRS working as a Field Agent and later as an Estate Examiner. While John continued his civil service, he attended Law School at Saint Louis University, earning his degree of Juris Doctor in 1961.
John was Senior Partner at Farrell, Hamilton & Julian P.C. in Godfrey for 48 years and a longstanding member of the Illinois State, Madison County and Alton-Wood River Bar Associations. John’s writing appeared in publications related to continuing legal education and estate planning. He was Treasurer of the Fosterburg Fire Department, a member of the Board of Directors for Mid-America Bank of Alton and an active member of his local community. John and Loretta were active members of 12th Street Presbyterian Church for 40 years, where he served as an elder and treasurer. After the church closed, they became members at Evangelical UCC Church in Godfrey.
John lived a principled life grown out of the Great Depression; he strongly valued personal responsibility and commitment, service to society, education and the practice of law. He admired the “sole proprietor” and appreciated those who understood what it means to “meet payroll.” John delighted in the subtleties and aesthetics of language and regularly told stories to illustrate ideas; he was known to recite favorite passages of poetry and literature, sometimes with great emotion. He often sang songs remembered from his childhood and Army days to his children and wife. For many years, John attended a weekly Bible study group. He grew a vegetable garden and stomped through briars to pick blackberries.
After retirement in 2013, John thought a lot about going back to work and often worried about having the “best answers.” He sent a weekly mailing of jokes to friends and family, wrote letters, was consulted regarding the practice of law and mentored with the SCORE Program. In the last years of his life, John was cared for by Loretta, got hugs from his kids and grandkids, attended Bible study and wondered about what comes next. John was loved and admired by family and friends and will be missed by everyone who knew him.
In addition to his parents, John is preceded in death by two brothers, William and James Farrell; and a granddaughter, Shelby.
Visitation will be from 10 a.m. until the time of the Memorial Service at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, at Evangelical UCC Church in Godfrey.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Crisis Food Center or OASIS, both located in Alton.
Elias, Kallal and Schaaf Funeral Home in Godfrey are in charge of arrangements.