During the most peaceful part of early morning darkness on Monday, October 18th, Edward James Farrell departed this life to reunite with those who found peace before him. Passing away at the age of 86, this life was lucky to have a man of such gentle wisdom and care, love and commitment, creativity and humor, generosity and honesty for as long as it did.
Edward was born in Denver, CO on the sixth of March 1935. Under the loving care of Anne Farrell (Lettengarver-deceased) and Frank Farrell (deceased), Ed and his big sister, Patricia, spent their youth in Denver attending Blessed Sacrament and East High School. These were the days of adventuring at the Ranch with cousins and making lifelong friends at school, where Ed earned his nickname, Moose.
After high school, Ed joined the Navy and later transferred to the Army where he spent his 2 years of active duty. After his honorable discharge in 1957, Ed enrolled at Denver University where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in the spring of 1962.
Shortly thereafter Ed began his career with the State of Colorado. This path led him to the truest love story and his beautiful wife Maureen O’Reilly. After winning her heart with spicy food and good humor, they were married in 1965 In Hibbing, MN. It would be far from adequate to describe Ed and Maureen’s relationship as simply marriage. It was and will forever be everlasting care, commitment, friendship, stability, dedication, and unwavering enjoyment magnetizing these two souls. Their life together produced more fond memories than one mind can remember. Whether it was honeymooning across Colorado, eating too-hot-to-eat chili with friends, bowling in their league, traveling to California/Minnesota/Arizona/Louisiana/Nebraska/Texas, these two created a life rich with smiles, friends, cherished laughter and love.
In 1967 Ed and Maureen purchased their house in Washington Park. This home is where they would raise their 3 children (Brandon, Shannon and Bridget) and host 35 years of St Patrick’s day parties. Ed would spend hours tinkering and creating in his garage, raising chickens and building coups, getting his hands dirty in his garden, taking daily walks in the park, and sitting on the back porch enjoying a good thunderstorm.
During this time Ed also purchased a property in Silverthorne, later deciding to build a cabin with his good friend Doug. This cabin is a place that continues to give the family reprieve from the city and has always provided great stories of the antics that went into building it.
Ed worked in both the Colorado Department of Labor & Employment and the Department of Personnel before retiring in 1994. Being out from behind the desk gave Ed the opportunity to try his hand in other professions. In the years before Maureen retired he found work doing a variety of things - mowing golf courses, dumping mail over the Holidays for the Post Office, selling gear at Gart Sports and Sears, and finally working on the grounds crew for the Denver Water Department. In this role, Ed found true joy in being outdoors, learning horticulture, growing native prairie winecups, and finding all sorts of good food located all over the city.
After retiring from Denver Water in 2001, Ed and Maureen filled their retirement with walks in Wash park, road trips to visit friends and family, and trips to the cabin. All the while Ed nurtured his biggest enjoyment of building a family - his four joyful grandchildren.
While there are many things that he did, here are the things that he was.
Ed was an incredibly authentic person and that made it easy to like, honor and respect him. He could be a man of few words, using little words like Neat encompass all the enthusiasm he had.
He was a student that took on carpentry, bread-making, wine making, cardiology to study his own health, composting and excel spreadsheets.
Ed was a thinker, often bringing up a topic you had spoken about days or weeks before so you could revisit it with an idea he had.
He could be called on for anything from knowing the best empanada in town to helping build a cabin.
He loved to laugh and find humor in any situation. His sense of humor was lovely and dry and could catch you completely off guard. He was incredibly gracious and was sure to thank any person that helped him.
Ed provided fully to his life and family. His investment in loving and caring for Maureen, and his children was at no end and with no limit.
Ed was an involved father that coached his son’s baseball team, his daughter's soccer team, carted any number of kids around town in the Green Machine, opened his home to their friends, and always had an ear to listen and a bit of heartfelt advice to give. He was equally as involved with his grandkids by taking them to skate parks, out to eat, or swim lessons. He would build them play houses and make sure to have a routine schedule to spend time with them.
Edward was Jim, Big Ed, Moose, Slim, Mr. Farrell, Sweetheart, and Dad.
And although no arrangement of words can capture all the wonderful pieces of Edward James Farrell, his large heart and gentle hand, his wit and clever mind and tongue, his creative hobbies and skill, his love and commitment, his void of judgement and complaint, his veracious appetite for cherry pie, and his generosity toward others and all, will be terribly missed but forever impressed in our lives and hearts.
Edward is survived by his wife Maureen (O’Reilly) His sister Patricia Garofalo. Children: Brandon Farrell (Chauntelle Aguirre). Shannon Woodley (Peter), Bridget Farrell (Marc Schulte). Grandchildren: Ireland and Rocket Farrell, Paige and Rhys Woodley. His nieces Terri Rinaldi and Lisa Garofalo. His nephews Bert Robinson, John Garofalo and Brian Garofalo and other extended family members. He is preceded in death by his parents Frank and Anne Farrell, brother-in-law James Garofalo, and niece Renee Robinson.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, please consider a donation to Denver Hospice. https://thedenverhospice.org/giving/give-donate/#:~:text=Giving%20by%20cash%2C%20check%20or%20credit%20card%20is,deduction%20for%20the%20full%20value%20of%20your%20gift.
Ed would also recommend a bowl of green chili and a slice of cherry pie with those you love.