I received an email yesterday from Joe Farkas, telling me his dad, John Farkas, has passed away.
John “Joey” Farkas, age 89, of South River, passed away peacefully on Saturday March 21, 2015, at Village on High Ridge, Lake Worth, Florida. Born in Nicholson Township, Pennsylvania he had resided in South River his entire live until moving to Boynton Beach Florida in 2013. Mr. Farkas was a “plank owner” on the USS Boston (CA-69) and proudly served his country during WW II in the U.S. Navy from 1943 through 1946 where he received the American Theater Medal, European Theater Medal, Asiatic Pacific Medal with 9 Stars, and the Philippine Liberation Medal with 2 Stars. After his discharge from the Navy in 1946 he remained in the Naval Reserve and was called up for service during the Korean Conflict. He was employed by the United States Department of Defense until his retirement in 1983. (obituary submitted by Joseph Farkas.)
A year and a half ago, I flew to Florida to meet John. I was working on both Volume 2 and 3 of Baked Beans at the time, and his son Joe reached out to me. His dad had some stories to tell about the Boston. John and his wonderful wife Theresa welcomed me into their home. His son Joe was there as well. John Farkas was a big ol’ teddy bear – and I instantly felt like I was visiting an uncle that I hadn’t seen in many years. He told me some great stories – and if you haven’t read the Baked Beans books – well, you ought to . . . The most poignant for me was when he spoke of the Big Typhoon – he actually broke out in a sweat and he told me he still had nightmares about it. I can’t tell you how awesome it was to meet John, to hear tales of my dad’s ship (my father never told us anything.). I can’t tell you how sad I am that we lost John Farkas.