We will be having a memorial brunch for friends and family to remember Dave on Sunday, October 6, at 12:30. We will gather at the Elbow Room, our favorite Pittsburgh restaurant for almost 40 years, located at 5533 Walnut Street, Shadyside, 2nd floor (with an elevator.) No Steelers that day, so come with your memories of Dave and share food and libations with those who worked and played with him.
Friends and family return Dave to the beach on Assateague. He would have loved this.
At the end of the memorial gathering, musicians Conor (my nephew) and Tony lead a second line of friends and family through the sunbathers and down to the sea.
We will be celebrating Dave’s life, particularly his life at the beach, on Saturday, September 7, at 2:00. The location is the Chincoteague Cultural Alliance Building (formerly the Senior Center and the Cafeteria), at 6309 Church St., Chincoteague Island, Virginia. We will remember Dave with personal memories, tributes, photographs, live music and laughter. Dress is beach casual. Wear your loudest and brightest shirt, Hawaiian or otherwise, shorts and sandals if you wish. I hope you will share your own Dave story with us, in person or by mail. Chincoteague is about 3 hours from DC, Baltimore, and Philadelphia. We can make motel reservations for you if you wish and provide directions. September is the best month here, still warm enough to swim, without the crowds.
There will be a second memorial in Pittsburgh later in the fall, date to be announced.
Thanks for all of your kind words in the last 3 weeks. They have helped to keep me smiling.
Dave’s favorite PG reporter, Rich Lord, has written a great obituary with the dry humor and irony that Dave used himself.
Dave Farley, of Pittsburgh, Chincoteague Island, and Washington DC, passed away peacefully and quietly on Monday, July 1, 2013, at his home near the sea. He was 66 years old, and had bravely fought brain cancer for 27 months. With him at death was his wife of 45 years, Patricia Elmes Farley, and Rudy, the cat. In addition to his wife, he is survived by his brother Dennis Farley, his wife Mary Miller, of Washington DC, and nephew Patrick Farley of Boston. Also surviving are Rob and Martha Elmes of Vermont, and Mike Elmes and Anne Winslow of Massachusetts, and nieces Anna Spalding of New Hampshire, Katie and Sarah Elmes of Massachusetts and nephew Conor Elmes of Brooklyn.
Dave was born in Newark NJ and grew up in Maplewood where he attended Columbia High School. He graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1968 and received his Master’s Degree from the University of Pittsburgh in psychology. In between, he served two and half years in the Navy, including a year in Vietnam, a war he came to protest and work against.
Dave spent much of his professional career with the City of Pittsburgh, becoming a mayoral appointee under Mayors Caliguiri, Masloff, and Murphy. He retired from the City in 2006 and worked as a consultant to various non-profit organizations, including the Pittsburgh World War II Memorial, and the Pittsburgh Regatta. In 2007 he returned to public service and worked for the Inspector General of the General Services Administration in Washington DC, until 2012. Dave had a passion for politics, and the potential for politicians to do good work on behalf of the people who elected them. His favorite moment as a City employee was when, as a representative of the Mayor’s office, he joined with neighbors and police to sing Christmas carols outside a drug house, until the dealers moved on. He was a life-long proud liberal who until the very end worked against intolerance, unfairness, and ignorance.
Dave loved to garden, and plants thrived under his care. He also loved the beach, the sand, the rhythm of the waves, the laughing gulls. Screaming children, not so much, but on his beautiful Assateague beach there were miles to walk. If he had his way, he would have been a surfer guy, and he was sent off on Monday evening wearing his favorite beach attire, and a pair of socks knitted by his wife. Dave also loved music, ranging from Chopin and Hendrix to Miles and Yoakum, and of course his beloved Beach Boys. He grew up in a family that made frequent visits to New York and loved the theater and art museums and restaurants of that city as well as Pittsburgh and Washington.
Last night his friends gathered at his home on Chincoteague Island, and toasted him, his humor, his wisdom, and his dignity and grace in coping with his illness.
There will be future memorial services on Chincoteague Island and in Pittsburgh. If friends or family wish to make a donation in Dave’s name, he asked that these organizations be considered:
Hospice and Palliative Care of the Eastern Shore, 165 Market St., Suite 3, Onancock, VA 23417 http://www.hpces.org
Chincoteague Cultural Alliance, P.O. Box 257, Chincoteague Island, VA 23336 http://www.chincoteagueculturalalliance.org
VoteVets http://www.votevets.org (not tax deductible)
Friends of the Riverfront, Inc., 33 Terminal Way, Suite 333, Pittsburgh PA 15219 http://www.friendsoftheriverfront.org