Major Leo J. Farrell, USMC (Retired), a.k.a “Leo the Leprechaun,” passed away on June 8, 2016 in Jacksonville, FL. Visitation was held Tues, June 21 from 6 pm to 8pm at Beaches Chapel by Hardage-Giddens, 1701 Beach Blvd, Jacksonville Beach, FL. Catholic Mass was held Wed, June 22 at 10am at St. Pauls Catholic Church, 224 5th St N, Jacksonville Beach, FL, followed by immediate escort to National Cemetery Jacksonville, FL with military honors.
Leo was born April 7, 1938 to James Leroy Farrell and Kathleen Ruth Walsh during a snow blizzard in Whittemore, IA. He graduated from Loras College in Dubuque, IA in 1961 and voluntarily joined The United States Marine Corps, where he received many personal decorations including the Air Medal w/33*, Purple Heart, and Bronze Star w/V. Leo retired from military service in 1982, settling in Jacksonville, FL where he became active in the community. He was a member of Civitan International, Birmingham, AL and served in officer positions with Florida 1st Coast Civitan and Arlington Civitan Clubs. From 2002 until his passing he was the Team Captain who coordinated fund raising for the Beaches Relay for Life, American Cancer Society, and for various years served as a committee member. He was a member of the Seely-Walsh Post #425 of The American Legion, Whittemore, IA; Lifetime member of MOAA, Mayport Chapter; Lifetime member of Women Marines Association LEGGS, FL-7 First Coast WMA; former pilot for HMM 265, USMC and participant with annual reunions. He now has earned the right to fly once again at St Paul’s Catholic Church, Jacksonville Beach, where his singing voice will be sorely missed. He was an avid reader (“Chief Read Heap Much” featured in Life Magazine Sep 29, 1947), sports fan of Jeff Gordon NASCAR, Hawkeye and Yankees.
He is survived by his wife, Major Arlene (Arddy) Cyphers Farrell, USMC (Ret); his children Deborah Haley (John), Patrick Farrell (Erin); grandchildren Benjamin Tyler Farrell, McKenna Eileen Haley, John Mark Haley, Alexandra Gratchev, and Gabrielle Gratchev; brother Tom (JoAnn) Farrell of Prairie City, IA.; and nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews who all call him Uncle Leo. Leo is preceded in death by his parents, James and Kathleen, his siblings, sisters Mary (Eddie Elbert), Emy Farrell and Celine Farrell in infancy; brothers, James (Lela) and Kenneth (Florence).
In lieu of flowers, Leo Farrell, requested donations to Civitan International Research Center, Birmingham, AL or Loras College in Dubuque, IA.
After interment at the National Cemetery guests joined the Farrell Family for refreshments at Culhane’s Irish Pub in Atlantic Beach. The crowd drank a toast (one of many) to Leo with Jameson’s Irish Whiskey, neat.