Life Story

Joseph Farrell

Obituaries in Geneseo, IL | Geneseo Republic


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Joseph Edward Farrell, 92, of Altona, died at 8 p.m. Friday, January 1, 2021 at Allure of Geneseo, Geneseo.

Joe was born September 12, 1928 in Richland Center, WI, the son of Joseph M. and Margaret (Conley) Farrell. He married Mary Ellen McArdle on February 5, 1955 in Dundee. Mary preceded Joe in death on April 29, 2000. Joe is survived by three sons, Kevin (Karen) of Port Byron, Robert (Kathy) of Apollo Beach, FL, and Thomas (Susanne) of Boiling Springs, PA; three daughters, Debra (James) Larson of Altona, Connie (Joe) Novotny of Galva, and Janet Farrell of Louisville, KY; fourteen grandchildren; sixteen great grandchildren; and two sisters, Betty (Jim) Mindham of Sun Prairie, WI and Margaret (late Ron) Ritchie of Boscobel, WI. Along with his wife Mary, Joe was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Brian in 1959; one granddaughter, Annie Marie Farrell; two brothers; and seven sisters.

Joe was raised in the Boscobel, WI area, spending much of his youth farming with several teams of horses. He spent a good part of his life farming and milking cows. Joe migrated from Boscobel to Madison, to Palatine, IL, finally coming to Altona for a job milking cows. Joe went to work for Dixline Company in 1969 and retired after a 33 year career in 1992.

Joe was a faithful and active member of St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Wataga, where he served on the church council for many years. He quietly lived his faith while helping many and making friends along the way. Joe and Mary enjoyed many years travelling, camping, and fishing, along with visiting friends and family. He was a proud husband and father to his children, attending all their events and eventually attending as many of his grandchildren’s school and sporting events. Joe loved a good game of dice, cards, or marbles and enjoyed watching the many birds and squirrels that would visit his feeders.

Visitation was Wednesday, January 6, 2021 at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Wataga, with funeral mass following. Father Le Brokaw officiated.  Burial follow mass at Walnut Grove Cemetery, Altona, IL. Arrangements have been entrusted to Watson Thomas Funeral Home and Crematory, Galesburg. Memorials may be made to St. Aloysius Catholic Church or St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Online expressions of sympathy may be made to the family at

Posted online on January 12, 2021