O.W. "Red" Farwell passed away at home surrounded by his family on October 2, 2012. He was born November 12, 1922, near Eagle Rock, Mo., to the late Otto Farwell and Mary Elizabeth (Mae) Ireland Farwell.
Red attended a one room school in Eagle Rock, Mo., and graduated in 1941 from Cassville High School. After graduation, he and a cousin, Wayne Farwell traveled west working odd jobs in Kansas, Nebraska, Oregon and California. In 1942, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, he joined the Army Air Corp. Red served our country as a tail gunner on a B-17 bomber. He flew a total of 33 missions over enemy territory including Schweinfurt and D-Day, although the average life span of a tail gunner in WW II was 9 missions.
On December 21, 1946, Red married Rachel Barrett, whom he met while attending Missouri University in Columbia. They moved to her hometown of Charleston, Mo. Red taught agriculture to veterans in Sikeston, Mo., and farmed in Mississippi County. He taught at the elementary school in Wyatt, Mo., and served as the principal of Eugene Field Elementary School in Charleston.
In 1966, Red and Rachel relocated their family to Plattsburg, Mo., where he was the principal of Ellis Elementary for 19 years, retiring in 1985. After retiring, Red continued working part-time as a rural mail carrier for the Post Office and measured crops and grain bins for the former ASCS office. Red always enjoyed hunting, fishing, golfing, spending time with family and friends and was an avid supporter of Plattsburg football and wrestling. During retirement, he and Rachel traveled extensively. Highlights included visiting the homes of each member of his B-17 crew and a trip to Greece to visit their daughter, Rachel, and family.
In addition to his parents, Red was preceded in death by one sister, Melba Farwell Sullivan, two brothers, Forrest Farwell and Donald Ray Farwell and one grandson, Mark Farwell.
Those who survive him celebrate his life of almost 90 years, cherish the many fond memories and will miss him greatly. They include his wife of 66 years, Rachel Barrett Farwell; five children, Gregory and Rachel Farwell Pogois, of Athens, Greece; Warren Howard and Sherry Farwell, of Kansas City, Mo.; Beth Farwell and Charles Raymond and Brenda Farwell, of Plattsburg, and Ellen Farwell and Rick Brasiola, of Neosho, Mo.; 15 grandchildren; and 21 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by one sister, Shirley Farwell Abbet; one brother and sister-in-law, Thomas Rex and Mary Farwell; two sisters-in-law, Georgia Farwell Hart and Wilena Farwell; honorary sons, Paul Tongelidis, Rick Sherman; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial service was held at 1 p.m. Saturday October 13, 2012, at the old Plattsburg High School Gymnasium. Interment was at Green Lawn Cemetery Plattsburg. Pallbearers were grandsons and sons-in-law of Red. Honorary pallbearers are his nephews. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to: Tree House, Liberty Hospital Foundation, 2529 Glen Hendren Dr., Suite G20, Liberty, MO 64068, Foundation@libertyhospital.org. Or the Veterans Council of Chatham Co., World War II Monument Committee, P.O. Box 16561, Savannah, GA 31416, www.VeteransCouncilofChathamCo.com.