Robert Joseph Farrell of Cushing, OK, died Wednesday, November 18, 2009, in St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, OK, at the age of 71, after fighting prostate cancer for over a year. He was much-loved and will be sorely missed by family and friends.
Bob was born in Kingfisher, OK, on August 17, 1938, the fifth of nine children born to William Thomas Farrell (Willie or W.T.) and Reeda Pearl (Conover) Farrell (“Sue”). His family moved to Cushing, OK, in 1945. After graduating from Cushing High School in 1957 he worked various pipelining jobs before marrying Sabra Lee Deason in Cave Springs, AR, on July 6, 1959. They lived in Cushing while he attended Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, graduating with an Associate of Science in Mechanical Engineering in the spring of 1962. Bob and Sabra began their family before he graduated from OSU, eventually having three daughters, one each in 1961, 1963 and 1967 (one even being born on his 25th birthday).
Bob began his professional life in 1962 as a Lube Oil Sales Representative with Sinclair Oil Company, being hired prior to his college graduation, finishing his studies while he worked. He moved into management in 1967 with Sunray DX Oil Company (later acquired by Sun Oil Company) until 1976 when his entrepreneurial and innovative spirit blossomed. After many years of having earned numerous awards, prizes and promotions as a top-rated employee, he purchased a bulk plant in Little Rock, AR, and became an Independent Oil Distributor for Sun Oil Company. Over the years he and his wife, Sabra, also created and managed other successful family businesses, including gas stations, convenience stores, car washes, a liquor store, rental property and more. After divorcing in 1986, Bob returned to Cushing to live, while maintaining businesses in both Arkansas and Oklahoma with the assistance of his special friend Betty Jones.
Being formally educated, as well as self-taught in many diverse subjects, Bob always emphasized the value of education and a strong work ethic with his children. The high standards to which he held his children served them well as they began their own adult lives and families. He delighted in creative problem-solving, and was known for his many visions and ever-present and on-going projects; and he passed on his passion to create and inquisitive mindset to his girls. For all of this his children are ever thankful. He also expressed a strong desire to assist his grand- and great-grandchildren to pursue educational goals with the generous assistance of his hard-earned resources. His philanthropic spirit is much appreciated and emulated by his daughters.
He is survived by his eldest daughter LaDayne (Farrell) Hardage (“LD”) and husband Terry (Washington, OK), middle daughter Teresa (Farrell) Jordan (“Terry Berry”) and husband Wayne (Little Rock, AR), and youngest daughter Penny (Farrell) Simmons (“Penny Pooh”) and husband Toby (Little Rock, AR); along with their mother, Sabra Farrell (Little Rock, AR). He was also blessed with 11 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
His grandchildren include LaDayne’s children, Joshua, Caleb, Abby and Emma; Teresa’s children, Jessica (Fulton) Wilson and Farrell (Fulton) Wilson and husband Stephen; and Penny’s children, Sabra (Simmons) DeCicco and husband Mike, and Kate, Jamie, Molly and Maggie. His great-grandchildren include Jessica’s children, Joshwa, Alexzander, Michael and Nicholas; and Farrell’s daughter, Zoe. Two grandchildren and one great-grandchild carry on with the name Farrell as either a first or middle name. Within his family are three sets of twins: his younger sisters Doris and Dorothy, grandchildren Joshua and Caleb, and great-grandchildren Michael and Nicholas.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, his eldest brother Bill Farrell, his older sister Barbara (Farrell) Rice and husband Larry, his younger brother Doyle Farrell, and two nephews. Surviving siblings include Keith Farrell and wife Fredia (Odessa, TX), Bonnie (Farrell) Morton and husband Jim (Kansas City, KS), Doris (Farrell) Patterson and husband Delbert (Cushing, OK), Dorothy (Farrell) Cross and husband Orvin (Parkville, MO), and Charlotte (Farrell) Deering and husband Gary (Plattsburg, MO). Bob also has many surviving nieces and nephews and their children.
Other special friends surviving Bob include his significant other Betty Jones; Betty’s children Missy Hogrefe and husband Joe, Adam Ross, and Toni Verner; Betty’s grandchildren, including Adam’s children Alahna, Elizabeth, and Kylie, Missy’s children Jordan and Jared, and Toni’s children Alex, Shayna and Breanna; nephew Walt Farrell; and many others in both Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Bob opted for cremation; therefore no formal service will be held. However, family and friends are invited to attend an informal gathering to share memories at the Davis Funeral Home, 402 E. Broadway, Cushing, OK, on Saturday, November 28, 2009, from 1-3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in honor of Robert J. Farrell to the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation online tribute page at http://tinyurl.com/RJFarrell or send donation directly to 825 NE 13th St., Oklahoma City, OK, 73104-9930; OR send a donation directly to the St. Francis Hospital Hospice, 6600 S. Yale, Ste. 350, Tulsa, OK 74136.