Beloved John Jermain Memorial Library (JJML) children’s librarian Sue Farrell died on Thursday, May 4 after a brief but courageous battle with an aggressive form of lung cancer at home with her husband Jamie Farrell and two children, Catherine Alora Farrell, 16, and James Thomas Farrell, III, 14, by her side. She was 47.
A Flanders resident, Farrell began working at JJML in Sag Harbor in 2005 and quickly became an essential member of the library staff and a much loved member of the community. She loved coming to work each day and made great efforts to enrich the lives of Sag Harbor’s many children and parents alike over the last 12 years. And through those efforts, she gathered a long list of friends, including local students who spent time at the library after school and at weekend events and activities she organized.
Library director Catherine Creedon said she was devastated by the loss and that Farrell would not be easy to replace.
Born in Trenton, New Jersey on February 11, 1970 to parents Cathy (Parcels) Matteson and Paul Matteson, both deceased, Farrell spent most of her childhood in Surf City, NJ and loved spending time with her grandparents, and on Long Beach Island, NJ.
She attended the University of Maryland and was a member of the marching band playing the saxophone, for which she was very proud. Farrell transferred to Georgian Court University in New Jersey to finish her undergraduate work, and after graduating, she began her career as a first grade teacher in the South Jersey area. During this time, Farrell met and married her sweetheart Jamie Farrell, and the couple remained together for 17 years. Farrell and her husband eventually moved to Long Island where she attended Long Island University C.W. Post in Brookville to obtain her masters in library science.
Farrell loved spending time with her children and worked tirelessly to give them a good life with her unwavering love and devotion. The family spent many good times fishing, skiing, reading, and taking pictures together. Farrell had a love of music, science fiction, ghost hunting, animals and Dr. Who, and she passed on most of these passions to her family and the people around her. She also found time to serve as president of SAVES, Inc., a service that captures feral cats and takes care of them in a safe environment until they can be adopted.
Sharing a message on their website, her fellow cat lovers at SAVES, Inc. said of Farrell: “She was the heart and soul of SAVES and will be greatly missed by us and everyone that knew her. She was a very kind, warm, generous and caring person, and always had a smile for all and a warm cuddle for all of her feline friends. Our hearts are broken but we will remember her always.”
There will be a gathering in memory of Sue Farrell at the John Jermain Memorial Library (201 Main Street) in Sag Harbor on Friday, May 19 at 5:30 p.m.
The Farrell family is also planning a memorial at Indian River County Park in Riverhead on Saturday, July 29 at 12 p.m. More details to follow.
In lieu of flowers, cards of condolence can be sent to the family at 26 Fanning Road, Flanders, New York, 11901. There is also a GoFundMe page, or donations in Farrell’s memory can be made to SAVES, Inc.