Celebrating the Life of Mama Mac
Margaret Grace Farrell, a leader to hundreds, a mentor to many and an example to all. At the age 74, Margaret died peacefully with the hands of her family upon her in her home on August 11th, 2020 in DuPont, Washington. The qualities that best described Margaret were trust, kindness and love. Margaret lived her life as an ethical woman, she was our family’s and her beloved company’s moral compass.
She is survived by her beloved husband John Farrell, her four daughters; Ann Farrell DeNully, Katie Farrell Rogers, Jacquelyn Farrell Smith, Lizz Farrell Lewis, her four son-in-law’s, her six granddaughters, one grandson and five great grandchildren, her siblings Mary, Pat, Ann, Dan and Chuck. Margaret was preceded in death by her Mother Janet McNamara Farrell, her father John Edward McNamara, her second father Jack Farrell, her beloved sister Catherine and niece Julie, brothers Jim, John and Bill. Her family was her greatest joy in life and the fuel that lit her fire.
Margaret graduated from Aquinas Academy in Tacoma creating lasting friendships for a lifetime. She met John Farrell in 1963 and they married September 1, 1966 at St. Patrick’s Church in Tacoma. John and Margaret worked in the hospitality business, living in Colorado, Idaho, Oregon, Hawaii and putting down roots in Washington. Margaret loved to travel, she shared a passion for time on the water and boating, she was a photographer, she could play a mean scrabble game and loved rooting on the Seahawks. She had the eyes and hands of an artist. She was an artistic creative force in this world. The art she made was beautiful. She was gifted with a graphic design talent which she used to found her first company, “TypeSetting to Go.” She carried these skills into our new family restaurant concept, Farrelli’s Wood Fire Pizza. She embarked on the launch of this new concept with daughter Jacque and husband John in 1995. She helped to design menus and create an environment that was welcoming for all. She maintained the candy machines for two reasons, first the kids deserved the best as well as few surprises and secondly it gave her the space in each store to be present and available to get to know her crew. She loved her working family as much as she loved the one she made. Everyone has a story she’d say, take the time to listen and care for others, and always be the voice for someone who is not able. She is our Mama Farrelli, for those of you who’ve had the Mama’s Salad or the Fire Sticks we can thank her!
Margaret was honored at John F Kennedy Center in Washington DC in 2010 for the National Neighbor Award. She created a Farrelli’s overseas in a mess hall for the Triple Nickel Brigade by sending neon signs, banners, shirts and anything else that would ship so the soldiers could feel a piece of home. She did not seek recognition. But she got it… she was honored for her work with the military by being inducted into the Civilian Hall of Fame on Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the LTG William H Harrison Service Award with her husband in 2016.
Margaret had many passions outside of Farrelli’s. She invested 10 years on the Bonney Lake Park board, where she was able to design the first skate park in our area. She was a mother mentor for underprivileged teenage moms. She was with CASA (court appointed special advocate) for foster children. Every child assigned to my Mom was taken care of; once she got her baby or child, she did not let go until she knew they were safe in their forever home. She was honored by each of those organizations independently with “Mother Mentor of the Year” as well as “CASA of the Year” for Washington state. She did her work quietly and accepted praise humbly. If she could make a difference for even one child, she said, this was her soul’s work.
Margaret would like her work in this lifetime described as done with care, concern and honesty. The qualities she did her best to show up with were love, kindness and trust. In all her roles she was most proud of her ability to be present, listen and observe what others were not seeing. She would like to be remembered as a person who not only could make a change, but help others find their voices. She taught us all that love and kindness will carry each other far. Her family, working family and this world will feel the impact of her lifetime of work indefinitely. Margaret Grace Farrell was more than anything loved and respected and will be missed.
You will be able to live stream her service at www.stleoparish.org by logging in at 10:50 am on Monday the 17th. The link will be available and service starts at 11 am. Due to pandemic, service is limited to family only per Government mandates. In lieu of flowers please pay your respects through donations to www.thewomensalzheimersmovement.org or volunteer your time to someone in need. Remember, be useful and be kind.