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Francis X. Farrell

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Published on May 2022

Francis Xavier Farrell died peacefully on May 10th surrounded by his beloved wife and children.

Fran was born in 1958 in Pittsfield, MA, to Dr. Joseph and Annemarie Cowhig
Farrell, the fifth of nine children. He was a graduate of Taconic High School in Pittsfield and Saint Michael’s College in Colchester, VT. Fran moved to New York in 1980 to pursue a career in publishing, which included roles at Food & Wine and Travel & Leisure, as Publisher of The Sporting News, National Geographic Adventure, and Men’s Journal, and as CEO and President of Turnstile Media Group.

Fran believed he found his true vocation as a husband and a father. He provided unrelenting encouragement, love, and adventure for his family. An avid skier, biker, hiker, and accomplished runner, Fran was spontaneous and cherished any chance to get lost. Finding solace and joy in the natural world made him a passionate environmentalist.

Fran’s accomplishments and accolades are numerous and impressive. Even more noteworthy is how he managed to leave such a profound positive mark on the world and those in it: Fran’s ability to see and celebrate the best in all people and situations generated an abundance of joy he delighted in sharing with others, even in difficult times.

In 2012, Fran was diagnosed with ALS. From the start, he was adamant that while the illness may shorten his life, it would not define it. As his body weakened, his inquisitive mind, his faith, and his commitment to gratitude did not. An eye gaze-controlled tablet allowed him to read, play several chess games simultaneously, meditate on his daily devotionals, and communicate with family and friends. He continued to ski, bike, hike, and run vicariously through his loved ones,
and to remind his 27 nieces and nephews: “Don’t let anyone have more fun than you.”

His practice of gratitude gave Fran a knack for finding the perfect words of affirmation at the perfect time. It helped him provide the exact guidance you were looking for, or a quirky and thoughtful gift you didn’t know you needed. Gratitude made it such that the twinkle in his eye and his sense of curiosity and mischief never dimmed. Even in his final years, he marked the first snowfall of each winter with a barefoot walk in the fresh snow. His favorite saying was “who’s got it better than us?” Fran looked for and found beauty and joy everywhere, and he inspired anyone he met to join him.

Fran is survived by his wife of 38 years, Denise, and children Timothy (Annamaria Barbuti), John Cowhig “Jack”, Anna (Dominic Green), Claire (CJ Laiacona), and Grace; his siblings (whom he considered to be his best friends) Joe, Mary, Anne, Kate, Tom, John, Margaret and Jane and their families; Denise’s family, which he loved as his own, including her mother Lorraine Sabert, her siblings Nancy, Jackie, and George and their families; Aunt Adelene Quigley; six cousins; and six beloved godchildren.

Fran is predeceased by his parents, upon whom he doted, and his beloved father-in-law George Sabert.

Calling hours will be 4-7 PM Thursday, May 19th, at the pavilion in Croton Point Park. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held at New Saint Patrick’s Church in Yorktown Heights on Friday, May 20th, at 11 AM.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Compassionate Care ALS.

Thursday, May 19, 2022
4:00PM – 7:00PM
Pavilion at Croton Point Park
1 Croton Point Avenue
Croton-on-Hudson, NY 10520

Mass Of Christian Burial
Friday, May 20, 2022
New St. Patrick’s Church
137 Moseman Road
Yorktown Heights , NY 10598