John P. “Doc” Farrell, Jr., 67, a longtime resident of Thurman, passed away Friday, December 27, 2013 at his home.
Born September 13, 1946 in New York City, he was the son of the late Jack and Mildred Farrell. John graduated from Suffern High School and SUNY Plattsburgh.
He taught at Lake George High School for more than 30 year before retiring in 2001. As an educator, John inspired excellence in his students as shown by outstanding results on their Regents exams. He was an avid outdoorsman, enjoying fishing, hiking and hunting, and was an active member of the Sciota Hunting Club.
John’s greatest passion was the historical and archaeological study of events associated with the French and Indian War. He was a founding member and trustee of Bateaux Below and a participant in numerous underwater archaeology projects, including the mapping of the 1758 Wiawaka Bateaux, the discovery and mapping of the 1758 Land Tortoise radeau shipwreck, as well as underwater archaeology projects in New Hampshire, Florida, and Rhode Island. He was a master ship modeler and many of his ship and shipwreck models have been displayed in museums, historical societies, and art galleries around the area including the Fort William Henry Museum and Restoration. John was a trustee of the French and Indian War Society, a former board member of Rogers Island Visitors Center, and former Vice President of the Adirondack Chapter of the New York State Archaeological Association.
He worked with Bateaux Below in 1993 and 1994 to set up Lake George’s Submerged Heritages Preserves, an underwater state park for scuba divers to visit historic shipwrecks; the first underwater park of its kind in the Empire State. He also assisted Pepe Productions and Bateaux Below in the production of two documentaries on Lake George shipwrecks.
John was an archaeological digger and crew chief at Fort William Henry, Fort George, Fort Edward, the Glen Mitchell Hotel Site, Wiawaka Holiday House, and sites in Whitehall, NY, Maine, and Burren, Ireland.
Recently, The French and Indian War Society unanimously adopted a resolution to recognize John for his many years of service to archaeology, local history, Fort William Henry, and the French and Indian War Society by renaming the Fort William Henry archaeology room currently exhibiting the "The Sunken Fleet of 1758", The John Farrell Archaeology Exhibit.
He is survived by his son, John P. Farrell III (Tina), his granddaughters, Kaitlyn , Annaliese, and Katiana, all of Thurman; his twin brother, Joseph P. Farrell (Nancy) of Newtown, CT; a niece, Jennifer Farrell Gilbert (Josh); great-niece, Juniper of Seattle, WA; nephew, Stephen (Mizuho) Farrell of Mt. Kisco, NY; and his loving companion, Claire Griffith of Queensbury, NY.
Friends may call on John’s family from 11 am to 1 pm, Saturday, January 4, 2014, at Alexander-Baker Funeral Home, 3809 Main Street, Warrensburg.
A memorial service to celebrate his life will follow the visitation at 1:00 pm, Saturday at the funeral home with Sister Linda Hogan officiating.
Burial will take place privately, at the convenience of the family.
John fought a long, courageous battle with cancer and this difficult time was gently eased by the extraordinary care and compassion of the staff of The Glens Falls Hospital Oncology floor, the C.R. Wood Cancer Center, Dr. Sponzo, Jean, and Trish, Dr. Cooper, the Warren County Public Health Nurses, Interim Healthcare, and most especially, Bonnie Cameron.
In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may take the form of donations in John’s memory to the Southern Adirondack District 9 Sub-council of the New York State Retired Teachers Scholarship Fund, 92 McEchron Lane, Queensbury, NY 12804.
Please visit www.alexanderfh.net for online guest book, condolences, and directions.