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Richard D. “R. David” Farley, 75 of New Bethlehem, passed away peacefully on the night of September 24, 2023 surrounded and comforted by his family.
Born July 25, 1948 in Logan County, West Virginia, he was the son of Richard N. Farley and Mary Rock Farley of Farrell.
Raised in Farrell, David graduated from Farrell HS in 1966. He attended The Slippery Rock State College, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education in 1971 as well as a Master’s degree in Education in 1974. In 1977, he attended Reading University in Reading, England as a part of his Doctoral training where he studied the British Education system. And in 1979 he received his Doctorate in Education from The University of South Carolina.
He began his early career in Kingstree, SC where he taught a non-graded classroom administered by the University of South Carolina. Then in Lake City, SC he taught kindergarten and first grade. During this time, he was given the opportunity through South Carolina Public Television to teach handwriting and math to primary school-aged children. This elevated David’s position within the education community which enabled him to advance to Assistant Principal and then Principal of the Florence County School District 3 in South Carolina.
In 1980, he was offered a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities at Cornell University and in 1981 he received an additional grant from the Elementary Principals Association to study Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Houston in Houston, TX. In 1983 he made the move to higher education as the Director of the Lab School and Professor of Child Psychology at Towson State University in Baltimore, MD. David and his young family then moved to Bluefield, WV where he became the Assistant Superintendent of Mercer County Schools. His final position came in 1986 as the Superintendent of the Redbank Valley School District where he remained until his retirement in 1998.
He was proud to have served on the boards of the Florence County Ballet, the Bluefield, WV and Clarion, PA hospitals and the New Bethlehem Borough Council. He was a member of the Clarion Rifle & Pistol Club, American Legion, VFW and Fraternal Order of Eagles in both New Bethlehem and Clarion as well as The Moose Family Fraternity Lodge 366. He was also a member of St. Charles Catholic Parish.
Throughout his life he enjoyed many rounds of golf with friends and family. His love of fly fishing was fostered by his father-in-law and nurtured by his children and Brennan family uncle and cousins. He continued to remain active with the Iron Furnace Chapter of Trout Unlimited. He loved spending time with friends telling stories (some tall tales) over a deck of cards or around the campfire. He liked attending sporting events for his children and students, and coached youth baseball. David also remained committed to the local high school organizations and had always supported students in excelling at their talents- on and off the field. His favorite moments were visiting and enjoying time with his children and 3 granddaughters.
David is survived by his wife of 51 years, Ann Rodgers Farley, and their 3 children; Lauren (Aaron) and granddaughter Ruby of Waterbury, VT, Ryan (Lori) and granddaughter Hannah of Warriors Mark, PA and Gordon (Chelsea) and granddaughter Iyla of Athens, OH. As well as his sister Connie (Chuck) Manning of Benton, AR, their 3 sons and children. He is also survived by his Uncle Gerald (Patty) Brennan of Charleston, WV and numerous first and second Brennan and Rock family cousins.
Preceded in death by his parents, Richard N. Farley and Mary Margaret Brennan Farley (biological), and his younger brother Charles N. Farley and mother Mary Rock Farley (adoptive).
Family and friends will be received from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. Friday, September 29, 2023 at the Rupert Funeral Home and Cremation Service chapel, 233 Penn Street, New Bethlehem.
A funeral service will be held the following day, Saturday, September 30, 2023, at 11 a.m. in the St. Charles Catholic Church, 201 Washington Street, New Bethlehem. Father Samuel Bungo, parish priest, will serve as celebrant.
A celebratory gathering will immediately follow in the church’s social hall.
Friends and family are welcome to remember David and send condolences through the Rupert Funeral Home and Cremation Service website, https://www.rupertfuneralhomes.com/obituary/DrR-Farley
Any memorial donations would be appreciated for the Redbank Valley Band and Music programs and can be mailed to the RV Music Boosters, 910 Broad Street, New Bethlehem, PA 16242
Redbank Valley Music Boosters
910 Broad Street, New Bethlehem PA 16242