James R. O’Farrell, 80, a native of Orting and a former Pierce County commissioner, died Friday night [September 25, 1953] at his home in Orting.
His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Robert O’Farrell, were pioneers in area, taking up a 120-acre homestead in the Puyallup Valley in 1870. Mr. O’Farrell was the last of four sons of the pioneers. He married Lena Bruce of Tacoma in 1898 and they set up housekeeping in Orting.
For many years he was active in community and political affairs. He served at various times as mayor, councilman and school director in Orting and from 1916 to 1922 was a county commissioner.
From 1924 to 1940 he served as manager of the Bureau of Credit and Collections for the Caterpillar Tractor Co. in Peoria, Ill. In 1940 he became assistant secretary for the Caterpillar Military Engine Co. in Decatur, Ill. He spent the latter years of the war with the War Production Board in Washington, D. C.
In 1946 Mr. O’Farrell returned to Orting to take up active management of the Orting Funeral Home, which he had owned for more than 50 years. Since his retirement in 1949 he has spent much time traveling about the country.
Survivors include his wife, Lena; two daughters, Mrs. Ruth E. Fair of Denver and Mrs. Edna Mendonca of Richmond, Calif.; a son, Norman of Bellevue and three grandchildren.
Services will be held Tuesday at 2 p.m. in the Orting Methodist Episcopal Church with the Rev. J. L. Woodford officiating. The Masonic Lodge will conduct graveside rites at the Orting Cemetery, where the Orting Funeral Home will be in charge of the funeral.
Contributed by: Shelli Steedman