Known affectionately as "the Mayor", Marie Joan (Hetu) Farrell never met a person she couldn't engage through her well-developed "gift of gab" (she'd kissed the Blarney Stone multiple times, which may have amplified her innate conversational gifts to near superhuman status). Marie was a devoted wife, mother, and grandmother. She was also a devoted cat enthusiast, master story-teller, amazing dancer (even making her late husband, Dick, look good on the dance floor), and playful spirit who took great joy in chasing leprechauns with her grandchildren on St Patrick's Day, writing letters from a shoe that got left behind when her daughter took its "mate" to college, and participating in all forms of mischief (e.g., her grown children were appalled, then delighted, when they learned of neighborhood-wide competitive "hide and seek" matches that she sometimes instigated -- flashlights and all -- after all neighborhood children had gone to bed).
Marie (aka Joan) died on May 9 at the age of 84, surrounded by family, friends, and cats who continue her legacy by living with joy, humor, and passion.
Born on March 1, 1939 in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, Marie met the love of her life, the late Dr Richard Farrell, Sr, at a dance at Providence College when they were both 19. After a near-miss (she accidentally gave him her best friend's phone number rather than her own), they fell hopelessly in love, bonded over hot fudge Sundays after church, and became engaged. They were married for 61 years, and had 2 children, Joanne Smith-Farrell, PhD of Wellesley, MA and Rick Farrell (and daughter-in-law Christine) of Ellicott City, MD. Marie taught her children to love deeply, the way she did, and to live with passion, feeling, and honesty. She taught the same to her 6 grandchildren - Ricky, Bridget, and Jay Farrell and Alana, Aveleen, and Caileigh Smith-Farrell. Her hilarious sense of humor had seemingly unlimited outlets, as did her generosity (she saw a need, she met a need -- with no fanfare or complexity about it). She was a faithful and caring friend to many, including her neighbors in Hammond Village, her church community at St. Louis of Clarksville, and her home community at Brightview Senior Living.
In addition to her devoted son and daughter-in-law, daughter, and grandchildren, Marie had a wide circle of in-laws, nieces, nephews and friends whom she loved, and who loved her in return. Marie is preceded in death by her husband, Dick, two sisters, Irene (Hetu) Fortin and Theresa (Hetu) Stamp, parents Rene and Catherine (Fitzpatrick) Hetu, and son-in-law Matthew Smith-Farrell.
Marie was not ready to leave us, and had many plans for a future with her friends, children, grandchildren, and cats. We are not ready for her to leave us either -- but no amount of time would have been sufficient. Marie loved life, and would have loved it if each person reading this notice would do something playful in her name, to bring joy to someone who needs it in this moment.
A visitation will be held on Sunday, May 14th, from 12:00 pm- 3:00 pm at Donaldson Funeral Home of Clarksville, P.A.,12540 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville, MD 21029. A Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, May 15th at 10:00 am at St. Louis Catholic Church, 12500 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville, MD 21029.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Marie Joan Farrell Memorial Fund at St. Jude's Research Hospital. Donations can be made online at https://raise.stjude.org/fundraiser/4702516
Alternatively, donations can be made to the Marie Joan Farrell Memorial Fund, Memorial Giving, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.