Rite of Reception of His Body
Sunday, March 27, 2022
1:00 PM to 6:00 PM EDT
St. Monica Church
4408 S. Westnedge Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
A Rosary will be recited at 6PM.
Life Story Visitation
Monday, March 28, 2022
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Food, drinks, and stories will be shared.
Mass of Christian Burial
Tuesday, March 29, 2022
11:00 AM EDT
St. Augustine Cathedral
542 W. Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
His body will lie in state beginning at 9AM.
Visit diokzoo.org/live and click on the “live stream” video to view Fr. Lawrence Farrell's Mass of Christian Burial.
The Mass will also be simulcast to the Diocese of Kalamazoo and St. Augustine Facebook pages as well as the diocesan YouTube Channel.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Farrell Family Scholarship Fund
5293 Green Pine Lane
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
The scholarship fund is to assist current and future children attending St. Monica School and to carry on Fr. Larry's legacy of giving.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Witty, wonderful, and wise, Reverend Lawrence Farrell was a humble servant who lived a life rich in faith, family, and friendship. A typical Irish man, he possessed a candid personality and terrific sense of humor. Always prepared to embarrass his kids in public or whip out a fart joke, he inspired welcome levity and much laughter. Father Farrell lived an unwavering call to a life of service, never hesitating to quietly help countless people. He listened with compassion and grace, reflected the goodness in others, and often afforded much-needed sanctuary in the face of life’s challenges. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, friend, and priest, Father Farrell will long be remembered and so very missed.
1944 marked a time when the war effort in Europe directly impacted all American lives. While countless young people actively served in the trenches of WWII, those who remained stateside poured their energies into supporting the war effort in any way they could. As Americans welcomed the end of meat rationing and began planting Victory Gardens, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the G.I. Bill and soon became the only U.S. president to be elected to a fourth term. As the nation looked toward peace, Lawrence and Catherine (Hughes) Farrell celebrated their own hopes for the future as they welcomed their son Lawrence into their hearts and home on August 25, in St. Louis, Missouri.
Growing up in the iconic city along the Mississippi River during the 40s and 50s, Larry’s early years were filled with family values. While his father worked as an engineer, his mother dedicated herself to creating a loving and supportive home for the family. It was during his early years that his lifelong love for the Cardinals was born and grew as he worked at the ballpark.
He attended Most Holy Name of Jesus Catholic School in St. Louis and graduated from St. Louis University High School before continuing his studies at St. Louis University (1962-65) and St. Louis University Law School (1965-67). In time, Bob and Madonna Harper gifted Larry with the introduction to his future wife, Jane Marie Brosnan. Despite Jane’s mother’s insistence on referring to him as “the one who came crawling back, out of the woodwork to marry Jane,” he knew his good fortune at meeting his beloved. The couple happily married and welcomed three children: Lawrence III, Maura, and Andrew, to their family. While Larry supported the family as a distinguished businessman and actuary, Jane committed herself to caring for the children and home. An easy-going, great provider, Larry supported all his kids’ endeavors and with Jane afforded them many adventures.
In 1972, the family moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan, where Lawrence took up golf to advance his business career and became a gifted golfer. Though he never had a hole in one, he enjoyed being a member at the Kalamazoo Country Club for 35 years. A very active member of the club, over the years, he served on the board and on the Invitational committee. As a result of his work, he successfully brought top college athletes to play in the invitational tournament.
After nearly 30 years of marriage, Jane preceded him in death in 1995. Following the death of his wife and a distinguished professional career as a businessman and actuary, Larry felt the call to a vocation in the priesthood. Inspired by his golf buddy and close friend, Father Consani, he ensured his business was in a good place and soon told his children, “I’m going in the seminary and becoming a priest.” They couldn’t believe it, asking, “How can you get in?” Happy and supportive of their father, they shared his joy in being accepted, at the age of 52, as a seminarian for the Diocese of Kalamazoo. He attended Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, earned his Master of Divinity, and was ordained to the priesthood on April 21, 2001, for the Diocese of Kalamazoo.
As Bishop Paul J. Bradley once articulated, “While Father Farrell’s journey to the priesthood was unique, he drew upon his own rich experiences to journey alongside his parish families. Additionally, Father was unwavering in his commitment to the protection of unborn babies and cultivated a strong devotion within his Parish community.” In addition to his 21 years as Pastor of St. Monica Parish, Kalamazoo, Father Farrell also served in various diocesan roles, including Parochial Vicar St. Monica Parish, Director of the Propagation of the Faith, Chairman of the Priest Retirement Board, Diocesan Presbyteral Council, and Chaplain for Catholic Committee on Scouting. He also served as the Canonical Pastor for St. Mary Parish and Hackett Catholic Prep.
Though his vocation as a priest kept him busy, he never missed his children’s and grandchildren’s birthdays and attended all of their special events. Always available and supportive when needed, he proved a steadfast source of strength and encouragement for those he loved. As his son stated, “He lived two great lives” and used his gifts to touch, move, and inspire all who were blessed to share time with him.
After several months of being challenged with declining health in recent months, Father Farrell entered into eternal life on March 20, 2022. In the words of Bishop Bradley, “We pray in a special way for peace and consolation for his children and their families, and for the St. Monica Parish community he so lovingly served for the last 21 years. May God grant him the Heavenly rewards of his labors here in the Vineyard of the Lord.”
Reverend Lawrence Farrell, age 77, Pastor, St. Monica Parish, Kalamazoo, entered into eternal life on March 20, 2022. Preceded in death by his wife Jane Farrell in 1995 and daughter-in-law, Janice Farrell; he is survived by his children: Lawrence III (Jennifer) Farrell, Maura (David) Kunz, and Andrew (Carly) Farrell; grandchildren: Margaret, Aidan, Rowan, and Iris Farrell; brother, James (Judy) Farrell; sisters, Cathy Carroll and Mary Ann (Jim) Hoff; in-laws: Clare (Peter) Genovese; many cousins, and a multitude of family and friends.
The Rite of Reception of the Body will be held following the Noon Mass Sunday, March 27, at St. Monica Parish, 534 W. Kilgore, Kalamazoo. Father Farrell will lie in state at St. Monica’s until 6 p.m. The Rosary will be prayed at 6 p.m. A Life Story Visitation will be held Monday, March 28 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. where food, drinks, and stories will be shared, at Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday, March 29 at 11 a.m. at St. Augustine Cathedral, 542 W. Michigan Avenue, Kalamazoo. He’ll lie in state from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. A private burial will be held immediately following the Mass at Mt. Everest Cemetery. Visit Father Farrell’s webpage at BetzlerLifeStory.com to archive memories, photos, and sign his guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to the Farrell Family Scholarship Fund to assist current and future children attending St. Monica School and to carry on Fr. Larry's legacy of giving.