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Farewell to the unforgettable Paul Farley

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Death is never easy to accept. When someone dies after a long illness, there is some comfort that death brought an end to pain. Sudden deaths are much more difficult for us to understand.

Paul C. Farley died in the early morning hours of Thursday, Dec. 19, at his home in Evington. Paul's obituary in the News Advance states that he is survived by his mother and stepdad, his companion, Joanne, and many cousins.

Paul's brother and father preceded him in death. A funeral mass will be held for Paul on Monday, Dec. 23, at Paul's mother's church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Meherrin, Va.

Whether you knew Paul from St. Thomas More Catholic Church, the United States Marine Corps, the Mended Hearts, Meals on Wheels or one of the other organizations Paul served, you knew he was a kind and generous person who was always ready to help those in need.

Paul was an outspoken advocate for animals, children and those who were less fortunate. Paul's loyalty went deep, as did his pride in the country he served as a Marine.

His laughter could brighten any room and his booming voice could often be heard involved in a spirited discussion with a coworker. Paul had strong opinions about nearly everything and was always willing to share his opinions and challenge yours in a friendly manner.

I first met Paul when he transferred to the Lynchburg Post Office from New Jersey about 20 years ago. Paul joined my church. Since his retirement, Paul has been involved in many ways at our church and the community.

Those of us who were blessed to know Paul found him to be a friend who lent a hand anywhere he was needed and always gave encouragement to those who were dealing with difficulties.

Each year, Paul was instrumental to the success of the American Red Cross blood drive at the post office. Paul would go from person to person, asking if they planned to donate blood.

If your answer was no, Paul never hesitated to ask why not. Many no responses were changed to yes after a lengthy discussion with Paul.

Many of Paul's friends, fellow parishioners and former coworkers learned about his death on Facebook and shared memories of Paul over the weekend.

The same words and phrases came up over and over again to describe Paul: devoted friend, kind, considerate, always there to help, encouraging, vocal, high spirited and one of a kind.

Paul lost nearly everything he owned in a house fire some years ago, including his beloved cats. Even while grieving the loss, Paul was ready to help others who were going through hard times.

Conversations with Paul always began with Paul asking about your parents, children or spouse. He remembered names and details about the people who were important in the lives of his friends.

A beloved son, cherished friend and a living witness to God's great love for all of his children, Paul was unforgettable. May Paul's memory shine bright in the hearts of all who knew him and live on in the kind deeds you do for others in his name.

Rest in peace, Paul. As we each remember special conversations and memories, you will be missed by all of the friends you have left behind. Thanks for the memories.

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