Richard Farrell Obituary

Richard C. Farrell
Richard C. Farrell
Richard C. Farrell

September 16, 1937 - April 26, 2007
Born in Des Moines, IA
Resided in Des Moines, IA
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Richard “Dick” Farrell, known throughout Iowa as a tireless advocate for young people trying to get free from drugs and alcohol, died peacefully Thursday, April 26, at his home in Des Moines surrounded by a loving family. He was 69.

Farrell lived his life based on a promise he made to God 30 years ago “to do anything you want me to do for the rest of my life, if you can help me stay sober.” True to his promise, Dick was a leading figure in the recovery community of Central Iowa, and co-founder of Our Primary Purpose Treatment Center, where thousands of adolescents and their families shared their experience, strength and hope for recovery.

Dick was born on September 16, 1937, in Des Moines, Iowa to Edwin R. and Margaret (Cody) Farrell. Richard graduated from Des Moines’ Dowling High School in 1955. He attended St. Ambrose College in Davenport and also Grandview College in Des Moines.

Richard was in sales for several years before embarking on a life of counseling and serving the youth of Central Iowa to become free from alcohol and drugs. His passion was working with kids and reaching out to them through his experience and faith.

Dick believed in miracles, not only for himself but also for others. He carried his message of hope to thousands of young adults in his treatment center in the 80’s and continued to do so long afterwards in private counseling. “My philosophy with kids is that you have to love them until they are able to love themselves,” he would say.

Dick Farrell will be dearly missed.

Richard leaves behind a son, Joseph and his wife Tayla and their daughter Hope, a daughter, Missy Kinter and her husband John and their children Cody and Ella, a daughter Christina Dix and her husband Scotty and their son, Ethan. A sister, Sherry Villirillo and her husband Joe and their children Teri Nikolas, Anne Foote, Mike Villirillo and Janet Greene also survive him, as well as all the friends of Bill W.

Visitation will be held from 2 PM to 8 PM, Monday April 30 at Westover Chapel at 6337 Hickman Rd., Des Moines.

The funeral service will be at 10 AM, Tuesday, May 1st at Holy Trinity Catholic Church at 2922 Beaver Ave., Des Moines. Burial will follow at Glendale Cemetery in Des Moines.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Alano Society at 1400 Pennsylvania Ave., Des Moines, IA. 50317 or New Directions Shelter at 3001 Grand Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312


Click here to view memorial folder




Westover Funeral Home
6337 Hickman Road
Des Moines, IA US 50322
Monday, April 30, 2007
2:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Holy Trinity Catholic Church
2926 Beaver Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50310
Tuesday, May 1, 2007
10:00 AM
Glendale Cemetery
4909 University Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50311
Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Alano Society
1400 Penn Avenue
Des Moines, IA US 50316
New Direction Shelter
3001 Grand Avenue
Des Moines, IA 50312