BRUNSWICK - We said goodbye to Donald Gordon Faragher, 82, in the quiet of the evening at Mid Coast Hospital on November 30th. His oldest daughter Emily was holding his hand. He had carefully managed serious heart conditions for many years. He faced his death with acceptance, peace, and good humor in his last days, and spent loving time with his daughters, grandchildren, and many other friends and family members who visited and called.
Don was born on October 6, 1933, in Woodbury, New Jersey. He was the son of Blanche Carson and William Faragher. Don described his mother as his "guardian angel." During Don's youth, his mother worked at a movie theater for a time, and Don had the chance to see thousands of films. In Don's middle school years, his mother remarried and Don gained a kind stepfather, "Dinny" Redfield. Don graduated from Woodbury High School, then worked in the library at Temple University while taking classes there. He studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, where he met Anne Perry of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Their teacher advised Don and Anne to go to Maine to paint. They married in 1965, went to Mount Desert Island, built a home in Bar Harbor, and had three daughters, Emily, Sarah, and Kate. Don worked as an estate gardener, and Anne and Don founded a free school called Small Change. Although their marriage ended in the early 1970s, they remained understanding of each other.
Don moved to New York City, where he lived for over 35 years. He worked at Carnegie Hall, NBC News, and Blum & Weprin Associates. Don had an artist's eye and was a painter and street photographer in his younger life. Don loved his city and said, "The best thing about New York is a thousand new faces a day." He is remembered as an intellectual and reader, and revered art, literature, music, and film. He spent many hours with friends sitting in parks and coffee shops in New York City talking over the nuances. He was moved by works of the imagination, and reread Lewis Carroll's "Alice" books every year of his adult life. Don was known for completing The New York Times crossword puzzles neatly in ink. He took pride in the creations, careers, and families of his daughters, and found great meaning in connecting with his daughters and grandchildren. Don was a faithful correspondent with family and friends.
In 2012, Don's daughter Emily asked him to return to Maine to make a home closer to her, and he did. He settled in at a modest apartment in Brunswick, where he lived peacefully until the time of his death. Don's radio was always tuned to classical music stations. He spent significant time at the Curtis Memorial Library, researching directors, actors, composers, conductors, musicians, artists, and poets. Both in New York City and in Brunswick, Don was recognized as a memorable gentleman-about-town.
Don is survived by: his daughters, Emily Weir and her daughter Rose Edwards; Sarah Faragher and her husband Ryan King; and Kate Faragher Houghton, her husband Matthew Faragher Houghton and their sons Colby Houghton, Noah Faragher Houghton, and Arlo Faragher Houghton; Anne (Perry) Weir and her partner Thomas Godfrey, Jr.; four half-siblings, Robert Faragher, David Faragher, Steve Faragher, and Judy Scull, and their families; two special cousins, Jean Roll and Mary Lynn Carson, and their families; and his many friends.
Don's family extends gratitude to the stellar staff of Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, particularly the ICU Nursing Staff.
Donations in Don's name and memory may be made to Don's favorite senior center, The Caring Community, Greenwich House, Center on the Square, 20 Washington Square North, New York, NY, 10011, or to National Public Radio's "From the Top," 295 Huntington Ave., Suite 201, Boston, MA, 02115 or at fromthetop.org. Don, with his love of music and kids, enjoyed this program every Monday. From the Top empowers young classical musicians through scholarships.
A memorial service honoring Don's life will be held in the spring of 2016. To share memories, stories, or photographs online, please visit www.brackettfuneralhome.com.
Photo credit: Guillermo Hung