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In Memory of Tom Farrell
Remembering a Dear Friend
Submitted by: Gary Spoales
In August, the world lost an unsung hero. There are likely very few people outside of the University College community and his personal universe of family and friends who knew and appreciated the man we called "Tom".
I was fortunate to have known someone like Tom Farrell in my lifetime. Perhaps you recognize his description even if you haven't met or heard of the man we called "Tom".
Tom Farrell served his country with honor even if his country's leaders weren't aware.
Tom Farrell served his University with integrity even if the various administrations that passed through those halls over the past 25 years hardly knew what he did or how dedicated he was to helping students.
Tom Farrell respected and loved his wife Kelly in a world where it has been easy for men to forget the meaning of their marriage vows. Tom always put Kelly first in decisions that needed to be considered which might affect his family. He was devoted to her and it was evident in how he referenced her in his everyday conversations.
Tom Farrell loved and adored Christine and Tom Jr. in a world where men abandon their families at a greater rate than the rate families are supported by husbands and fathers without legal intervention. He was dedicated to his children and their success in everything that they did. They meant the world to him. He in turn, provided a great role model and example for conducting their lives.
On a personal level, Tom Farrell was the most honest and dedicated employee that a manager could ever desire. For seven years, as Director of Financial Aid, I was fortunate to be the recipient of his loyalty, dedication and integrity. It was employees like Tom who allow managers to excel in spite of themselves. In 1989, Tom came into my life as one of many potential challenges I expected to face at University College. It didn't take long at all to discover that Tom Farrell was to become a part of the foundation for building a better department dedicated to serving students. Tom became the cornerstone for financial aid operations and continued to serve the University Community in a selfless manner until his last day.
You may not know of Tom because he never sought personal attention. He didn't brag about his accomplishments and he never created controversy in his personal or professional life. Tom rolled with life's challenges and faced them with open eyes every day. Tom Farrell was a great friend and colleague. It has been my good fortune to have known him and to have been the beneficiary of his commitment to excellence in Doing the Right Thing for his family, his friends, employer and his country. He did all of this without requiring special attention—he was a true unsung hero for those who knew him. He will be missed but he has not gone unnoticed. Perhaps most of all, he will not be forgotten. He was a hero for the everyday man to emulate by his actions and his commitment to his family and others.
Dedicated to Christine, Tom Jr. and Kelly