James O’Reilly ‘Jim’ Farrell Sr.

Published 7:47 pm Monday, January 6, 2020

James O’Reilly “Jim” Farrell Sr. was born on Dec. 8, 1938, in Greenwood and died Sunday, Jan. 5, 2020, at Legacy Nursing and Rehab in Tallulah, La., at the age of 81.

He graduated from Greenwood High School in 1956 and earned his civil engineering degree from Mississippi State University in 1961.  He started his engineering career in 1961 with Bureau of Reclamation in Rio Grande Valley, Texas.

In 1962, he transferred to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station Hydraulics Laboratory, then Vicksburg District Engineering Division.  He retired from the Lower Mississippi Valley Division Water Control in 1993.

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After retirement, he was an adjunct math instructor at Vicksburg Branch, Hinds Community College for 13 years, where he was awarded star teacher.  He was a charter member of St. Michael Catholic Church.

An avid hunter and fisherman, he was a member of Tallulah Hunting Club in Fitler, North American Hunting Club, and a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association.  He served as a volunteer hunter safety instructor for the state of Mississippi for 18 years.

He was a registered professional engineer in the state of Mississippi and a member of the Mississippi Track Club.  While in Texas, he served on active duty with the 49th Armored Division during the Berlin Crisis.  He also served 6½ years with the 412th Engineer Command, Vicksburg.

James was preceded in death by his parents, Thomas Rocco Farrell and Mary O’Reilly Farrell; two brothers, Thomas (Tom) Rocco Farrell Jr. and Joseph Patrick (Pat) Farrell; and a sister, Mary Ann Fanguy; and brother-in-law, Roy Fanguy.

He is survived by his wife of  54 years, Betsy Howard Farrell; a son, James O’Reilly Farrell Jr. “Jimmy” and wife Channing of Madison; a daughter, Susan Farrell Ramsey and husband Bradley of Vicksburg; eight grandchildren, Chelsey Farrell Williams (James Ryan Williams), Karley Farrell Hayes (Brett Alan Hayes), Collin O’Reilly Farrell, Jaxson Cheramie Farrell, Stone Caden Switzer, Madison McReynolds Powell, Mary O’Reilly Powell and James Robert Powell; five great-grandchildren, Hunter Ryan Williams, James Huck Williams, Hank Daniel Williams, Kyndal Kohl Williams, and Jack Harrison Hayes; a niece, Janet Marie Fanguy of College Station, Texas; and nephew, George Thomas Fanguy of Austin, Texas.

Visitation will be 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, at Riles Funeral Home.  Funeral Mass will follow at 11 a.m. at St. Michael Catholic Church.

Interment will follow at  Cedar Hill Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Bradley William Ramsey, James Ryan Williams, Brett Alan Hayes, James Robert Powell, Stone Caden Switzer, and Wallace Powell.

Honorary pallbearers will be members of The Supper Club and members of Tallulah Hunting Club.

In lieu of flowers, memorial may be made to St. Michael Catholic Church, 100 St. Michael Place, Vicksburg, MS  39180; St. Jude Children’s Research Center, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN  38105; or to Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital, 2500 North State Street, Jackson, MS  39216.