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Farrell W. Lewis

02/09/1925 - 08/08/2020
Interment: Reed Hatch Cemetery, Taylor, Arizona

After 95 years of adventures, Farrell Walter Lewis reached the end of this life’s journey on August 8, 2020.  He left behind sorrowing loved ones who rejoice that he has been “taken home to that God who gave him life” (Alma 40:11) and that he was welcomed by previously departed loved ones.  Farrell was always upbeat, optimistic, and ready with a joke or quip.  He was remarkably healthy and energetic until the last few months of his life, when his health deteriorated quickly.  Before that decline, if you didn’t know better you might have thought he was twenty years younger than he really was.

Farrell was born February 9, 1925 in Winslow, Arizona, the first child and only boy of six children born to Walter Larcom Lewis and Nettie Ann Hatch.  Farrell’s childhood and school years were spent in Winslow, Taylor, Snowflake, and Holbrook, and he graduated from Holbrook High School in May 1943.  Farrell’s sister, Doreen, just one year behind him in school, was friends with Irene Whiting, and soon enough Farrell and Irene were high school sweethearts.

Farrell entered the Army shortly after high school graduation, and after basic training and engineering school he was assigned to the 281st Engineer Combat Battalion.  He was ordained an elder before leaving for the Army, and holding the priesthood of God was a sustaining influence to him.  He served in the European theater in the 3rd Army under General George Patton and took part in the Battle of the Bulge.  Many lives were saved through the dangerous work of detecting and disarming landmines, and his service earned him three battle stars.  At one point when returning home alive seemed unlikely, he had a vision of several little girls that he understood to be his daughters, and this vision was a ray of light and hope in dark times.  Farrell loved this great nation and the goodness and liberty that it stands for.

In March 1946 Farrell returned home to Taylor, and a few weeks later, Irene returned from BYU to Holbrook.  On June 24, 1946, Farrell and Irene were married in the Salt Lake temple.  These were wonderful and challenging times.  Hodgkin’s disease had befallen Irene’s mother, Armina, and she was in Los Angeles receiving treatment.  But she encouraged Farrell and Irene to not wait to marry, asking only that they visit her afterwards so she could see Irene in her wedding dress.  Armina passed away just a few weeks after Farrell and Irene were married.

Farrell and Irene brought six children into their family, five girls followed at last by one little boy.  They spent nearly twenty years in Arizona, including Holbrook, Wickenburg, Snowflake, and Phoenix.  Farrell worked in various endeavors, including banking, service stations, flight instruction, and charter flights and air evacuation.  At nearly age 40, Farrell decided to go to college, starting at BYU as a freshman.  He graduated in 1966 magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree, followed by a master’s degree, a Ph.D, and finally post-doctoral work in Pennsylvania.  Farrell then joined the BYU faculty and became administrative director of a mental health center.  Despite a late start, he had a long and successful career in mental health.

In about 2003 following Farrell’s retirement, the Lewis’s moved to Mesa, Arizona, enabling them to be closer to their five daughters.  In these retirement years, Irene still referred to Farrell as her boyfriend.  Her health began to decline, and on June 24, 2006, 60 years to the day after their wedding, she passed away rather suddenly with several family members nearby.  In the years following Irene’s death, Farrell missed Irene terribly, but he treasured time with family and friends, including cruises, Lewis Lunch Bunch (aka LLB), and other gatherings in the park.

Throughout all his years, Farrell served faithfully in various Church callings, including twice as a bishop.  His faith and trust in Jesus Christ and His restored gospel never faltered, and he leaves behind a powerful legacy of devotion to God, family, and country.

Farrell was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Doreen, Thelma Jean, and Mary, his beloved wife, Irene, daughter Peggy Kennedy, sons-in-law Steve Peterson (Lynette) and Robert Priest (Karen), and granddaughter Kari Holladay.  He is survived by five children, a foster daughter (Margaret Red Elk), twenty-one grandchildren, and numerous great grandchildren.  Farrell and Irene’s children are Lynette Peterson (Steve), Karen Priest (Robert), Peggy Kennedy (John), Kristine Holladay (Hal), DeeAnn Abaroa (Steve), and Steve Lewis.  

Due to the pandemic the family will hold a private funeral service with immediate family members only.  The funeral will be available to watch live on Saturday, August 15, at 9:00 am (Arizona time) through YouTube Live at this web address:

YouTube Live at this web address: https://youtu.be/bqvJoROxL80

The recording of the service will remain available afterwards through the same web address.  Since we can’t see many of you, we would welcome condolences, which can be posted below.  In lieu of flowers, consider making a donation to the charity of your choice in Farrell’s honor.

Condolences

  • Stephen and Carolei Phelps

    We loved Farrell and Irene and each of their six children, each of whom we consider dear friends. Farrell’s grandson, Corey Kennedy, married our 5th child, Merilana, and Carolei and I live with them in an apartment attached to their home in Gilbert. So we have been vicarious beneficiaires of much happiness of the Lewis family through Corey and his five aunts… particularly Lynette who remains the dearest of friends ever. We love each member of this family, and extend our love to each of you.

  • Candace Greer and Jack Gibbons

    My dad, Jack, loved your dad. They were great friends and close cousins. Your dad was a true gentleman and a sharp dresser! He was a pleasure to be around and he will be missed. Love to all of you.

  • Corey and Merilana Kennedy Family

    A loss for this world, a gain for the heavens. How we will miss Grandpa Lewis and his warmth, wisdom, and wit. And we can’t wait to hear a joke from Grandpa when we meet again…surely something about St. Peter and/or the pearly gates! We sorrow together with family, friends, and all whose lives he touched. We rejoice together that he is reunited with his sweetheart, Grandma Irene, and so many other loved ones. Thinking of Grandpa’s life and all he stood for inspires our family to choose to hold fast to the faith that he held dear.

  • Kristine & Hal Holladay

    Dad had a big personality and a big heart. He was a gentleman and insisted on always holding the door, even with a cane in his hand. He appreciated good service and made friends wherever we went for a meal. There was the darling Maria at iHop; Rosco, the owner of Knuckle Sandwiches; Chemo at Cafe Rio; and Lorrie at Applebee’s. Dad said Mom was the outgoing and friendly one, but I think Dad picked up where she left off. May the heavenly celebrations be everything Dad hoped for. At the end of every conversation I would say, “Dad, I love you.” He would respond, “I love you, sweetheart.” And finally I’d say, “Bye for now.” Until we meet again…..

  • Amber and Tim Peterson and kids

    Grandpa Lewis will be greatly missed!! He was always happy and upbeat! I loved his jokes and he kept us smiling. I am proud to call him
    Grandpa and thankful for his example. I am thankful for the knowledge of eternal families and know that Grandma, my mom and so many others were reunited in heaven with him. Until we meet again Grandpa! Love you always!❤

  • Tricia Holladay Martin

    Oh how I will miss you! I am grateful for the love and the adoring way you always looked after me as a child and as an adult. You always knew my children and called them by name. You supported Ryan and I when we moved so far away from you and “caught Potomac fever” living here in Washington DC. You shared your home with us. You feed me so many Sunday dinners and every holiday in-between. But, most of all you were my constant example of faith, love, and dedication to our family and the Lord. I am grateful that you will be there with the Savior (many years from now) to welcome me “home”. Love you always!

  • Oh Grandpa Lewis – what a wonderful man and epic legacy he left behind! Spending Sunday dinners and many, many summer nights with cousins in the backyard of Provo are are my fondest memories. I’ll miss hearing his bagpipe music, his famous stories/jokes/songs, the twinkle in his eye when he laughed, and the way he loved his pup, Miss Priss! I am so inspired by his vision, determination, and devotion. I miss him terribly already, but picturing Grandma & Aunt Peggy greeting him on the other side brings me such peace and joy. We love you, Grandpa!

  • Farrell was a wonderful thoughtful neighbor and such a gentleman. He always had a smile for you!
    I was privileged to also know Irene. How wonderful for them to be together in heaven.

  • Kevin & Angie Kennedy Family

    I will miss my Grandpa Lewis. I remember spending time with him & Grandma in Provo many years ago. I was little (probably 4 or 5). My love and admiration for him began then, and it has continued all these years. I noticed how he was always kind to Grandma. He taught me through his actions how a gentleman should act. I could tell he was very smart, but I also noticed he was pretty good about being humble. I appreciated over the years that he never seemed to take himself or situations too seriously. In the last 10 years of his life, occasionally I would have the opportunity of going to lunch or breakfast with him. The same stories and jokes would usually be told each time, but they were still good every time. But most of all, he would take the time to tell me that he knew there is a loving God in Heaven, and that Jesus Christ is the way to peace and happiness. His actions throughout the years reinforced his testimony. I have no doubt he is reunited with Grandma, and with a loving Heavenly Father and his Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you Grandpa for your many years of showing me what a follower of Jesus Christ looks like. I love you and miss you!

  • Lynette Peterson

    Thank you for the many kindnesses shown our family during this time.

    Dad was a 4th generation Arizonan and a very proud American. He taught us so many important lessons…….I will try to be the kind of person he would be proud of. Dad taught me to fly an airplane but I was afraid to “Solo.” Now, without him to encourage me I will try and learn to gather my courage and file my flight path alone.

    To know Farrell Lewis was to have a new friend. We will miss him but are grateful for the Legacy of goodness he left.

  • Debbie and Sterling Pitts and kids

    Uncle Farrell was such a joy to be around. Whenever we saw him at extended family gatherings he would make a special effort to talk to both me and Sterling. He was always interested in our lives and ready with advice and a smile. I will miss him. Our love and condolences to all the family.
    Debbie (Kerry, Mary Lynn)

  • Jim and Louisa Hench

    We adored Irene and Farrell! They taught us so much as new members of the church in the 1970’s, we will forever be grateful for the amazing friendship that will go on forever. So happy they’re together again. Our love and support to all the children left behind. Wish we could be there with all of you.

  • Heather Banbury

    We are going to miss our Grandpa Lewis so much! We have been so blessed to have him in our lives and to have been able to see our kids get to know their Grandpa Great. He truly was a great one in so many aspects of his life! I am thankful for his example of his love for God, family and country! He always had a good joke or story to share. I am grateful for so many wonderful memories of Grandpa and Grandma! They were a great example of true love and devotion! I love you Grandpa and can’t wait to see you again!

  • Bryce, Tiffany, Hannah, Callie, Isaac & August Holladay

    Grandpa Lewis will be missed! I know he loved me as a kid, but it was inspirational to get to know him as an adult. I would be in awe as we’d talk, and I’d listen to stories of his military service, running businesses, flying for the fire service, working as a pilot instructor, or testifying as an expert witness for the state of Utah. It was like listening to someone who had lived several lifetimes and had a wealth of wisdom and experiences to share. It was a living testament to the value of hard work and courage. Even with a decorated past, he was a still a man in the present that knew each one of my kids’ names and asked about and cared for them individually. My heart aches to know I don’t get to listen to his stories anymore in this lifetime, but I celebrate with the rest of the family for his reunion with his dear wife, his sweet daughter, and the rest of heaven.
    We love you Grandpa Lewis!

  • Keith Blomquist

    Farrell was,not only, my bishop when I lived in Holbrook from 1961-63, he was also my employer, my mentor, and my friend! I was a shy 16 year old that moved to Holbrook with my parents , who had been called on a mission to serve in the mission presidency of the Southwest Indian Mission. I was privileged to work for him at his service station in Holbrook. Since my father spent almost all his time traveling throughout the mission, Farrell became a surrogate father to me. I went flying with him….even to general conference in Salt Lake City. The Lewis family home was a regular “hangout” for many of the youth of the ward. I remember when he decided to go to BYU, I helped him load the uhaul trailer for the first trip to Utah. He asked me to drive the VW ” bug” and follow him. We only made it halfway to Winslow, when the Chrysler and trailer began swerving badly(we didn’t distribute the weight correctly). So, we pulled over on the side of Route 66 and unloaded and reloaded the trailer and continued on to Provo. Farrell and Irene were both a perfect example of true followers of Christ!! Although he will be sorely missed by family and friends, I’m sure there is a glorious reunion, with smiles, hugs, and jokes all around. I was privileged to be called ” one of his boys”!!!

  • What an amazing man Farrell Lewis was! I am so grateful I was able to know him for as many years as I did. Farrell and Irene were the first family members of Dave’s I met after we got engaged. They were so warm and welcoming; I loved them both instantly. I have many happy memories of being in their home, visiting with them. When we found out we were expecting a girl, Farrell commented that he wished someone would name their daughter after his great grandmother, Emily Jennison Holman. He told us a little bit about her, and we decided it was a great idea. We will miss him – his wit, his steadiness, his stories. We love you Grandpa!

  • Cindy and Blair Packard

    What a great man your dad and grandpa is. The obituary was so well written and the funeral was beautiful. All of you a great legacy to your parents and grandparents. The love you show to each other and to others speaks volumes about who you are and what you have been taught. We love you all so much and our hearts are with you today. Blair and Cindy

  • Wilson & Wendy Martin

    What a wonderful tribute to an amazing man. We’re so glad that we had the chance to know this great soul. Blessings of comfort and healing to you all as you carry on that incredible heritage.

  • Quince dale Hatch

    Farrell was my first cousin and a wonderful friend. I listened to his stories with great interest when Bob and Jack Gibons and myself had lunch together. It was my pleasure to know Farrell.

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