Michael J. Farrell, 89, of Bernardsville, Peapack-Gladstone and Sarasota, Fla.
Michael J Farrell died peacefully on March 8th near his home in Sarasota, Florida. He was 89.
Born in 1929 in Rosedale, Queens, NY, Michael was one of six children and a twin with his brother Hugh. The family spent summers at their vacation home on Candlewood Lake, near Danbury, Connecticut, which was owned by the Farrells for more than 70 years before it was sold in 2015.
A gangly young man right into his 20s and 30s, Michael once joked that if you drew a picture of his torso you would need only a single vertical line. He embodied the greatest in the Irish personality -- funny, passionate and creative. A great storyteller, he typically laughed harder and longer -- an infectious and loud belly chortle -- than the person he was sharing a story with. His passion was mostly for his family and their well-being, but he also railed about news of the day, especially politicians and celebrities overstepping their bounds. His creativity showed most when hardship hit, always seeing a silver lining in even the worst of situations.
Michael graduated Saint Bonaventure University In 1951. From there he entered the U.S. Army where he would achieve the rank of second lieutenant. After his service, he began work on Wall Street at. Paine Webber Jackson and Curtis. He would spend the next 40 years trading insurance stocks, mostly at the brokerage firm Legg Mason. For years, he made the daily trek from central New Jersey into Manhattan via the Erie Lackawanna Railroad, a white-shirted daily warrier planted in wicker seats and reading the morning newspaper headlines like so many others.
He met his sweetheart, Dolores Dunworth, of Park Slope, Brooklyn, in 1954, and they married on October 6, 1956. They moved to Bernardsville, NJ, in June of 1960, and relocated to Peapack-Gladstone, NJ, in 1968, where they would stay until 2005. The house was a sprawling estate in the middle of horse country, a perfect setting for Dolories and Mike to raise their six children. They eventually retired to Sarasota Florida. He cherished his new life in the south with Dolores. Once asked if he missed living in the Northeast, Michael said “not once.”
Mike is survived by his wife Dolores, daughters Nancy, Kathleen and Maureen, son James, 12 grandchildren, as well as daughter-in-laws Karin Helland Farrell and Maryanne Sullivan Farrell and son-in-laws Michael Bertuch and Robert Platzer. He was predeceased by two sons, Michael and John.
There will be a graveside ceremony in New Jersey on May 18th at St. Bernards Cemetery, 60 Washington Ave, Bernardsville, NJ.
Donations in Michael’s memory may be sent to Tidewell Hospice Philanthropy 5955 Rand Blvd. Sarasota Fl. 34238 and or Heartworks 19 Morristown Rd.Basking Ridge NJ 07920a 501c3 Acts of Kindness Group in Basking Ridge, NJ that continues the kindness that began on September 11,2001. The foundation was created in memory of Mike’s son John.