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Former Times Reporter editor Dick Farrell recalled as advocate for news gathering

From The Times Reporter

As an editor, Richard J. Farrell never shied away from controversy and helped oversee the daily chronicling of the history of the Tuscarawas Valley.

Farrell, known to most as Dick, died early Thursday at the Cleveland Clinic after a long illness. The Dover resident was 67.

"Dick was a longtime friend as well as co-worker and eventually my boss, who evolved from a reporter fresh out of college into an editor who was well-read and open to other opinions," said Kathy Vaughan Ellwood, a retired T-R city editor. "When I edited his comments in The T-R, our conversation was a give-and-take, and one of respect."

Farrell joined The Times-Reporter in 1973 as a reporter after graduating from Kent State University. He went on to become city editor, managing editor and then, in October 1990, he was named editor. He held that job until August 2009.

“We were a good team,” Farrell said of the old T-R newsroom, which bustled with staff working through the night on elections, local news and many major stories, including the Gulf War -- which included a special extra edition -- and 9/11. Many times he would say, "Hang in there." Or on election night, eager to wrap up the edition, he encouraged the staff with, "Let's put this baby to bed."

"He encouraged fledgling writers, many of whom have gone on to become outstanding journalists in different media," Vaughan (Ellwood) said. "It’s safe to say he had many followers of his blogs and columns, and the community will miss his voice of reason, sense of humor, and support for education and local and Cleveland sports."

A native of the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood, Farrell said at the time of his son's birth that he came into the world talking about the Cleveland Browns' draft choices. Chris went on to become a standout football player for the Dover Tornadoes.

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