Dr. Edward J. Farley Print E-mail

Dr. Edward J. Farley


Life-long Lowell resident; Retired Tewksbury School Administrator

Lowell—Dr. Edward J. Farley, 87, joined his beloved wife in heaven on Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015.  For 56 years he was the devoted husband of Margaret “Peggy” (Griffin) Farley, who predeceased him in 2011.
Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, July 6, 1927, the son of the late John and Emma (Vachon) Farley, he was known as a kind, patient and gentle man who was deeply loved and respected.
As a lifelong learner and educator, Ed spent much of his life in educational pursuits. His early education was at St. Patrick Boys School in Lowell and then on to Miramar Seminary in Duxbury, MA.  Following graduation, he entered the novitiate in Techny, Illinois and attended St. Paul’s College in Iowa.  Ed then returned to Lowell to complete his undergraduate degree in English at Merrimack College.
Upon graduating from Merrimack College, Ed served his country in the United States Army 261st Signal Company.  Following his military service, he was grateful to be able to further his education through the GI Bill. He earned his Masters Degree in Education in Public School Administration from Boston College. He continued his studies while teaching and raising his children and earned his Doctor of Education degree from Boston University.
Ed began his classroom teaching in 1955 at Varnum Junior High School in Lowell and continued on to Lowell High School as a Latin and mathematics teacher.  In 1959, he began his proud 31-year administrative career in the Tewksbury School System and served as Principal of Tewksbury Junior High School, Principal of the Heath Brook School and as Assistant Superintendent of Schools for Curriculum and Instruction from 1965 until his retirement in 1990.
Upon his retirement, Ed combined his love of church, learning and education by becoming a founding member and later President of the Massachusetts Chapter of International Thomas Merton Society (ITMS). He was a scholar of ITMS for over 20 years and amassed a large library of works of Thomas Merton. In 2001, Ed was honored to receive The ITMS Society Award for Distinguished Service.  He was also an active member of LIRA (Learning in Retirement Association at UMASS Lowell). Ed and his wife traveled the country in the Elder Hostel program.
Ed was a communicant of St. Patrick’s Parish and later Immaculate Conception Parish. He was a choir member and, with his wife, led younger couples in Pre Cana and Marriage Encounter. In his final months he attended Mass at the D’Youville Senior Center Chapel. 
A loving father, Ed, is survived by his seven children: Margaret Lombardi and her husband Norman of Tyngsboro, MA; Edward Farley, Jr. and his wife Robin of Tewksbury, MA; Maura Farley and her husband John of Lexington, SC; Kathleen Vargeletis and her husband Richard of Ashby, MA; Sheila Gibbons and her husband Michael of Derry, NH; Daniel Farley and his wife Suzanne of Mooresville, NC; and Thomas Farley and his wife Karlene of Lowell, MA.
Also surviving him are his 16 grandchildren: Allison and Steven Lombardi; Robert and Corie Farley; Grace, Rosemary and John Farley; Emily, James and Brendan Vargeletis; Anne, Mary, William and Daniel Gibbons; Ryan and Elizabeth Farley.  Ed is also survived by his brothers: Francis Farley of Yarmouth, MA; Fr. John Farley SVD, of Techny, IL; his sister Sr. Joan Farley SND of Manchester, CT and three nieces and two nephews.  His sister Lillian Farley of Lowell, MA, predeceased him in 2012.
Ed’s family would like to thank the staff of D’Youville Senior Center, Commonwealth Nursing, Lowell General Hospital and Circle Health Hospice for their exceptional love and care.
Friends may call at the O’DONNELL FUNERAL HOME 276 PAWTUCKET ST. from 4 to 8 P.M. Friday. Relatives and friends are invited to attend his Funeral Mass to be celebrated Saturday morning at the IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CHURCH (Lower Church) in Lowell at 11 o’clock. Burial in St. Mary Cemetery in Tewksbury.  E-condolences/directions at
www.odonnellfuneralhome.com. Those wishing may make contributions in his memory to the Immaculate Conception Church Building Fund, 3 Fayette St, Lowell, MA 01852. Arrangements by Funeral Directors James F. O’Donnell, Jr. and John W. Crane (978 or 866) 458-8768.


Condolences (10)
  • Deborah Carlson Miller
    Dear Farley Family, I am so sorry for your loss. I have such treasured memories of the entire family. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I hope the Lord has eased the pain of loss with joy filled memories.
  • Joann Forzley Hefner  - My condolences
    My condolences to the entire Farley family. Ed and Peggy were dearly loved, life-long friends of my parents and our family. May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
  • Patsy Farr  - y
    Maura, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this difficult time of loss..
  • Learning In Retirement Associa
    Dr. Farley was an active member of our organization for many year. He contributed much of his talents as an educator to further our goals toward continuing education in retirement. We offer our deepest sympathy to his family.
  • Joel Reid
    A Great Man ,who dedicated His Life To His Family,His God And His Friends.
  • Eileen Horan  - So sorry
    Dear Tommy and family, Please know you are all in my thoughts and prayers at this time. I'm sure your Dad is with your Mom in Heaven, and they are so happy to be together again! Love, Eileen
  • Harriet and Fred Huiet
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. Please know how much we care.
  • Harriet and Fred Huiet  - condolences
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Please know how much we care.
  • Sheila Hughes  - Friend of Maura
    All my condolences go out to Maura & her family in the death of her father. May the love & support of family & friends help them all through the grieving process. It is always difficult to say good-bye to those people we hold dear. Prayers go out to the entire Farley clan.
  • Elaine Salie  - Sheila and Family
    So sorry to hear of your father's passing. What a genuinely nice man with a wonderful smile. God Bless you all. Elaine and Eddie
Write Condolence
Your Name:
Please input the anti-spam code that you can read in the image.