Published: Thursday, March 7th, 2013
Margaret Farrell was born Jan. 11, 1921, in St. Paul, Minn, the youngest child of Tom and Katie (Coyne) Joyce. She was gifted with a beautiful singing voice that she would share with others throughout her life.
A devout Catholic, she earned both her BA and BS degrees from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul. During WWII she prayed to the Blessed Mother to protect her future husband from the dangers of war.
Following graduation she taught in various schools before accepting a position with the Veterans Administration Hospital in Minot, N.D., as a librarian. She later transferred to Hot Springs (S.D.) VAMC as a librarian. One of the first persons she met was Art Donnell, who was sent down to meet her and carry her luggage up the hill to her housing.
While working at the VA she developed lifelong friendships with many. It was Carol Goddard who introduced Margaret to the love of her life, lawyer Martin P. Farrell, Nov. 18, 1948. He always told the story that theirs was a marriage meant to be because they met on the anniversary of a day he almost lost his life in the war. At the time he believed it was divine providence that saved him, only to learn later that it was probably Margaret's prayers.
Martin and Margaret were married Dec. 31, 1949, at St. Mark’s in St. Paul. After a whirlwind honeymoon in New York, they returned to Hot Springs to make their home and start their family. When Martin was recalled to active duty during the Korean War, she followed him to his stateside assignments.
Margaret was blessed with five children who all survive her—Joyce Farrell, Jane Farrell and Thomas Farrell of Hot Springs, Martin (Mary) Farrell of Rapid City, S.D., and Margaret M. Farrell of Custer, S.D.
Following her marriage, Margaret stayed home and raised her children and became active in numerous community organizations including Friends of the Library, Traveler’s Club, The Mammoth Site, Catholic Daughters and directed the church choir at St. Anthony's of Padua. She was one of the first singers for the Miss South Dakota Pageant.
Margaret was a life-long learner and active up to the day she died, reading newspapers on the internet. She was able to live in her own home, thanks to her daughter Joyce and her care companions, Rachel Davila and Diane Steele.
Margaret, a city girl and a daughter of The Depression who carved out a life in Hot Springs, died Feb. 27, 2013, following a major stroke earlier in the day. She was 92.
In addition to her children, Margaret is survived by her grandchildren, Alex (Valissa) Farrell, Theresa Farrell and Joe Farrell, all of Rapid City, Kristin (Ryan) Gross of Gillette, Wyo., Frank Ginsbach of Omaha, Neb., Katherine Ginsbach of Boulder, Colo., and Mary Ginsbach of Hot Springs; two great-grandchildren, Kylie and Connor Gross; and special cousin Mary Christine Mullen (Erick Johnson) and their sons Liam Johnson and Finn Martin Johnson of Jupiter, Fla.
Funeral services were March 4 at St. Anthony's of Padua, with interment services at Evergreen Cemetery, both in Hot Springs.
In lieu of flowers a memorial has been established to the Mammoth Site, C. Eddie Clay Legacy or Fall River Health Services to aid in the building of a long-term care unit.
Written condolences may be made at www.mccolleyschapels.com.
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