Richard (Dick) Alfred Farrell, Sr.
April 22, 1939 – September 16, 2022
Family man, scientist, and golfer Dr. Richard (Dick) Alfred Farrell, Sr.’s light does not end with his death. Dick died on September 16, 2022 at the age of 83 after a courageous 20-year battle with cancer, surrounded by loved ones who continue his legacy by living life to the fullest. He loved golf, good food, golf, raucous debate, golf, butter, and most of all his family (and golf). He was a devoted and respected scientist and could “speak math” at least as well as he spoke English – but family was always where his heart was. He was a man of strong principles, deep faith, dependable character, and a dry, quiet, and persistent sense of humor. When, in the final stages of his illness, he was asked why he was moving his arms above his bed in purposeful but incomprehensible ways, he mustered a voice we had not heard in a long time to answer “I’m an Irishman, and we talk with our hands”. We will miss his “Irish hands”, and the Farrell twinkle that shone in his eyes to signal that his dry humor was about to make an appearance.
Dick was the beloved husband of 61 years to Marie Joan (Hetu) Farrell, father of Joanne Smith-Farrell of Wellesley, MA and Rick Farrell (and daughter-in-law Christine) of Ellicott City, MD, and grandfather to Ricky, Bridget, and Jay Farrell and Alana, Aveleen, and Caileigh Smith-Farrell. He leaves behind two other “Farrell boy” brothers – Jack Farrell and Ed Farrell, both of Rhode Island, and is preceded in death by his mother Frances (Hawkins) Farrell, father John Farrell and son-in-law Matthew Smith-Farrell. In addition to his cherished family, he had a wide circle of nieces, nephews, colleagues and friends whom he respected and loved, and who loved him in return.
Born on April 22, 1939 in Providence Rhode Island to John and Frances (Hawkins) Farrell, Dick grew up with his two brothers Jack and Ed. He credits his long and productive career in Physics and Mathematics to his early experience helping his father deliver bread from the bakery truck, and the hard work, entrepreneurial spirit, and practical mathematics he learned in the process. He attended Providence College and earned a BS in Physics in 1960. This was followed by a Master’s Degree from University of Massachusetts (1962), and a PhD from The Catholic University of America (1965). He then went on to a 40+-year career at The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, where he was the Group Supervisor of the Theoretical and Biomedical Problems Group, held joint appointments as an Associate Professor in the departments of Biomedical Engineering and Ophthalmology at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and was Chairman of the Engineering and Applied Physics of Biomedicine part time Master’s degree program at the Johns Hopkins G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering.
Visitation will be held Monday, September 26, from 2 - 4 pm and 6 - 8 pm at the Donaldson Funeral Home of Clarksville, P.A., 12540 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville, MD 21029. A funeral mass will be held on Tuesday, September 27, at 10 am at St. Louis Catholic Church, 12500 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville, MD 21029. Interment will follow to St. Louis Church Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Richard A. Farrell, Sr. Memorial Fund at St. Jude’s Research Hospital. Donations can be made online at http://giftfunds.stjude.org/Richard_A_Farrell_Sr. Alternatively, donations can be made to the Dr. Richard A. Farrell Sr. Memorial Fund, Memorial Giving, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN, 38105.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105