January 1, 1931 – January 25, 2015
In Loving Memory
My wonderful father, Ted Farwell left this physical world Sunday morning, January 25. He had been diagnosed with Mesothelioma in October and had the opportunity to visit with many of his loved ones and cherished friends in the past few months. Mom (Sigrid Farwell – his wife of 60 years) and I were holding his hands at home on a beautiful sunny Colorado morning as he peacefully left physical reality for his next great adventure.
Dad’s obituary written by my mom last week (with help from her family):
Theodore (Ted) Farwell died on January 25th at his home in Longmont, Colorado at the age of 84. Ted is survived by his wife of 60 years, Sigrid Olafson Farwell, and by his three children: Meghan (Tim) Deinhard, Peter (Sue) Farwell, and Eric Farwell. He is also survived by his brother Norman (Peggy) Farwell, and sisters-in-law Barbara Farwell, Erna Olafson, and Freya Olafson as well as a number of nieces and nephews. Grandchildren are Ian (Megan) Swanson, Perrin Swanson, and Kayla Farwell. Great-granddaughter Emma Lyn Swanson joined the family in 2014. Ted’s brother David predeceased him.
Ted was born January 1st, 1931 in Greenfield, Massachusetts. He grew up in Montague, MA, graduating from Turners Falls High School in 1948. Ted attended Forestry School at Syracuse University for two years, and later completed his undergraduate work in economics at Denver University. While there he skied for the DU championship ski team before going on to Stanford’s Graduate School of Business where he received an MBA degree.
Ted developed a life-long love of the outdoors, and of skiing in particular, a love that lasted all his life. When he was a sophomore at Syracuse University he placed well enough in ski meets that he decided he could ski on the Olympic team if he quit school and trained. Thus, he traveled to Steamboat Springs, where he camped on the hillside near the jumping hill, sleeping in a hammock, and working toward his dream. He must have made the right decision in going to Steamboat; he competed in three Olympic Games: 1952 in Oslo, Norway; 1956 in Cortina, Italy; and 1960 at Squaw Valley, California. His 11th place finish in the Nordic Combined event at the 1952 games (a combination of ski jumping and cross country racing) was the highest placement for an American-born Nordic Combined skier, a record that would stand for the next 50 years.
During the early 1950’s he went through pilot training for the Air Force; after jet training he became a helicopter pilot, with active duty in Labrador and Massachusetts. He loved flying, and continued piloting small aircraft after he left the armed services.
Ted worked in the ski industry all his adult life as a consultant in planning and appraisal of ski areas. He was proudest of having designed the first National Economic Analysis of Ski Areas for the National Ski Areas Association. The NSAA still updates and uses it to this day. Later, Ted did literally hundreds of ski area appraisals which gave him a comprehensive view of the ski industry in our nation. He was recognized for his achievements in 1992 when he was inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame and the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame. Ted is also a member of the University of Denver Athletic Hall of Fame.
In 1954 Ted married Sigrid Olafson of Ithaca, New York. During their life together, they raised three children and lived in Massachusetts, California, New Hampshire, and Colorado. In retirement, they travelled all over the U.S. but lived in Idaho before returning to live in Colorado. No matter where he lived, he remained an ardent Denver Broncos fan.
Ted’s family and friends will remember him as a loving, appreciative member of the communities with which he was involved through the years: his family, his ski teams, the ski resorts for which he consulted, the communities in which he lived, and in the Unity churches to which he belonged.
A memorial service will take place at Columbine Spiritual Center at 8900 E. Arapahoe Rd., Boulder, CO on Sunday, February 8, at 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, consider making a contribution in Ted’s name to: the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame at 231 S. Frontage Road East, Vail, CO 81657 or to: Hospice TRU Community Care, 2594 Trailridge Dr. East, Lafayette, CO 80026.
When our wonderful friend (and “adopted” family member) found out the news of Dad’s transition she wrote this moving passage:
And I say to his beloved people, we must celebrate, we must cry and shout out our love for this man, lover, brother, son, father, grandfather, friend and sweet Champion. Let the universe hear of his journey, and how it has affected the consciousness of all who dwell within his personal realm, and thus the realm of all of us who are left with his sweet legacy…
Thank you Theodore Farwell! We celebrate your Life!
Mahalo, Theresa Carel
May we all look to Dad/Ted’s beloved mountains and shout out our joy and our grief and say goodbye for now.
For those of you who might want more information about my dad, Ted Farwell, there is a wonderful obituary written by Seth Masia on the International Skiing History Association website:
My brother, Peter, has put together an amazing photo gallery of Dad (and family and colleagues) through the years with two wonderful short videos, including a bit of the cross-country race in the Olympic Games in 1952. Peter has also posted an article about our dad published in Skiing Magazine, December 1967, as well as some spoken interviews with him a month before he died. Here is a link to where they are posted:
Of course one of my posts wouldn’t be complete without a few more photos, so here is a teaser of what you will see on Peter’s gallery (Peter actually captioned the photos! I was pretty lazy about my captions… 😉 ):
Thank you all for your well wishes over the past few months in the comments section of my earlier posts talking about my dad’s illness (A Virtual Vacation and Twelve by Twelve on Twelve -Part Two). I haven’t had a chance to respond to each comment, but know that I’ve read them and appreciate them very much.