Farrell Lee Smitley, 79, of Charleston, Illinois, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Monday, April 24, 2023, at Sarah Bush Lincoln Health Center in Mattoon, Illinois. A visitation service for family and friends will be held Friday, April 28, 2023, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, Illinois. A funeral service will be held Saturday, April 29, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. with Pastor Fred Harner officiating, also at Adams Funeral Chapel, followed by burial at Roselawn Cemetery in Charleston. In lieu of flowers, thoughtful donations in Farrell’s memory may be made to the organization of the donor’s choice.
Farrell was born on September 25, 1943, in Paris, Illinois to Murl E. Smitley and Thelma Claypool Smitley. He graduated from Kansas High School in 1961 and served in the U.S. Army as a cook before later serving in the Army Reserves. On June 12, 1976, Farrell and Mary Kay Hackett united in marriage in Westfield, Illinois. She survives him, as does his three daughters: Tara Boyer (Scott) of Mattoon, Illinois, Trisha Moore (Justin) of Kokomo, Indiana, and Jamie Kuhlmann (Chad) of Auburn, Illinois. Also surviving are his grandchildren Jed Boyer of Lewisville, Texas, and Addyson and Austin Kuhlmann both of Auburn, Illinois; his sister Linda (Russell) Reddick of Charleston, Illinois; friends John Kirchner of Meridian, Mississippi, Jerry Wilhoit of Kansas, Illinois, Fred Harner of Mattoon, Illinois; and several grand fur babies. Farrell was preceded in death by his parents and brothers Leland Smitley and Clifton Smitley.
Farrell attended Chicago Technical College and became a talented draftsman, working at Imperial Homes for many years before retiring from County Materials (Eastern Illinois Precast) in 2008. He was a natural handyman, building not only his own home but also helping with the homes of many family members. He took pride in maintaining his home and his meticulous yard, as well as his prized possessions: “Old Brown” his 1976 Chrysler New Yorker, and a blue Ford tractor that he owned for more than thirty years.
Farrell was a member of Harmony Methodist Church in Kansas, Illinois, as well as the Coles County Farm Bureau, and he often enjoyed spending time with friends over coffee in the mornings at the McDonalds “coffee club.” He was known for his good sense of humor and for cooking a “mean ham.” Time with family and friends was a priority for Farrell, and he regularly enjoyed sitting down for meals with his siblings and the Hackett family. He was extremely proud of his daughters, and when his first grandson, Jed, was born, his demeanor visibly changed to that of a big softie. The hole that Farrell leaves is a big one, but he also leaves many fond memories for his family and friends to cherish.
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