Farley, Richard

Posted in Obituaries

Richard James Farley died May 6, 2008, after a lengthy illness.

Born in Johnstown, Pa., on July 27, 1937, to Mary Hilda and James Farley, Richard spent his high school years in Akron, Ohio, and then graduated with a bachelor’s degree in music education from Bowling Green State University.

In 1959 he moved to Morenci, Mich., to accept a teaching position with Sand Creek Community Schools, and shortly thereafter earned a master’s degree in music education from Western Michigan University.

In 1972 Richard became a founding member of the Adrian Chamber Brass Ensemble, playing trombone and baritone with the close knit group for the decades to follow. He also was a musician with the Adrian Symphony Orchestra for more than 10 years. Richard served as band director at Sand Creek Community Schools for 30 years, retiring in 1989 after receiving the Michigan Band Director of the Year award.

From 1977 to 1997 he served on the Stair Public Library Board of Trustees in Morenci and was the board president for many years. He stepped down after moving to Lake Seneca near Montpelier, Ohio, where he then served on the Lake Seneca Board of Trustees.

Working from his home, Richard established Farley Conducting Batons, hand-crafting from exotic woods beautiful batons which were used by symphony, choir, and school conductors here and abroad. At this time he also became an adjunct professor at Jackson Community College.

Along with his love of music and teaching, Richard enjoyed many hobbies including reading, golfing, boating, bike riding, cross-country skiing, photography, and driving foreign cars.  However, his true passion was flying and racing sailplanes, which he did across many states, even landing several times near Morenci where his glider drew a crowd.

 Richard (Dick) Farley is survived by his wife Karyl (Karlee), along with his two daughters, Christa (and Patrick) McDowell of Morenci and Lisa (and Matthew) Sevcik of Sewickley, Pa.; four grandchildren, Benjamin Farquhar, Scott McDowell, Olivia Sevcik and Ruby Sevcik; a brother, Thomas (and Patricia) Farley of Ravenna, Ohio; two nieces and five great-nieces and great-nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Services and interment in Morenci's Oak Grove Cemetery shall be attended by the immediate family. At 11 a.m. June 14, a memorial service is scheduled at Sand Creek High School.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations are suggested to the Sand Creek Community Schools Band Boosters, to be used for a scholarship fund. 

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