Mr. Thomas G. Farnell, 84, of Hilts Road, Little Falls, NY went to be with the Lord on the morning of May 9, 2023, at Bassett Healthcare in Cooperstown.
Tom was born in Ilion, NY on March 11, 1939, the son of Alfred William Farnell and Marion Hinman Farnell. He graduated from Mohawk High School, class of 1959. Following graduation from high school, he attended Cornell University where he studied agriculture. Tom began fulfilling his dreams which started at a young age through helping his father process, bottle and deliver milk throughout the valley.
On September 7, 1963, he married his lifelong love and devoutly committed farm partner, Beatrice Lamphere at the First Baptist Church in Little Falls, NY. Soon after, his father created the name Merkenal Farm, (which represented “Mer”-Tom’s Aunt Meriam, “Ken”-Tom’s Uncle Kenneth, and “Al”-Tom’s father) and Tom & Bea became owners of the 220 acre dairy farm on Top Notch Road with 150 head of cattle.
Tom had a deep passion to promote agriculture and the dairy industry and desired for our country to understand the importance of where their food came from and how it was produced. He used that passion to serve on various committees, including Vice-President and Member of the Herkimer County Farm Bureau Association, a Member and Chair of the Herkimer County Dairy Promotion Committee, and Director of the Dolgeville Producer’s Co-op. Tom also desired to reach the community youth with his passion, hosting his farm annually together with his teammate Bea, for many years as a full-day teaching tool for the Little Falls Elementary Schools Grades K-6. Tours of the farm which included demonstration of the milking process would be held, equipment demonstrations given, and of course, the Herkimer County Dairy Princess would be serving dairy products and passing out souvenirs! He became a recipient of the Herkimer County Silver Cow Award, an award given for offering outstanding service on behalf of the dairy industry, dairy farmers, milk, and dairy products.
Through all of his hard work and efforts of utilizing genetics to grow an upstanding dairy herd, he cultivated an interest and love in his four daughters to appreciate raising quality show cows, as well as encouraging their participation in the 4-H dairy cattle shows every year. His ultimate love were his Red & White Holsteins and he used his genetic expertise to eventually establish a 70% Red & White herd.
A lifelong resident of the valley, he became a member of the First Baptist Church of Little Falls, serving a number of terms as a Trustee and also served alongside Bea in many outreach ministries throughout the years. He loved the Lord and will always be remembered as a person who desired and loved to encourage others. He cared for his farm neighbors and did everything possible whenever he could, desiring to be an example of what he was called to be.
He was predeceased in death by his parents, and brother, Alfred Farnell.
Survivors include his wife Beatrice, of 59 years; 4 daughters, Sandy Farnell, Barb (Farnell) and Lee Lamphere, Jennifer (Farnell) and Russell Winkler and Sharon Farnell; 5 grandchildren, Katie, Benjamin, Jacob, Andrea and Stephen; Sister-in-Law, Pat Farnell; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
The family will receive friends and relatives on Thursday, May 11th, from 5:00-7:00 PM at the First Baptist Church, 555 Albany Street, Little Falls, NY 13365. A memorial service will be held on Friday, May 12th, at 11:00 am at the church. Arrangements are entrusted to Chapman-Moser Funeral Home, 42 N. Ann Street, Little Falls, NY 13365.
The family wishes to extend a sincere thank you to the staff at Valley Health Services for the outstanding care and love that Tom and the family received while he was there.
Anyone wishing to remember Tom through a memorial contribution, please consider the First Baptist Church, 555 Albany Street, Little Falls, NY 13365.