July 18, 1915 -May 17, 2017
Hilda Camille Fletcher Farrell passed away last Wednesday, May 17, at the Sanctuary at St. Paul’s in South Bend, Indiana. She was 101 years old.
She was born on July 18, 1915 in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico. The early years of her education were divided up between schools in New York and Puerto Rico. She graduated in 1937 from St. Catherine’s School of Nursing in New York, and spent most of her nursing career in various hospitals and doctor offices wherever she lived.
Hilda married the late James Edwin Farrell of Effingham, Kansas, in December of 1937. Following their marriage, and because of his work in the construction industry, they initially lived in Venezuela for eight years, followed by a number of years in Youngstown, Ohio. They eventually settled down in South Bend, Indiana, where they became ardent Notre Dame fans.
While residing in South Bend, she worked at the St. Joseph Regional Center’s cardiac care unit for 15 years, the last 12 years as the head nurse. Following the death of her husband in 1975, she spent a great deal of time traveling throughout Europe. During one of those trips, she visited Lourdes, France, where she fell in love with the sanctuary located there. For the next 16 years, until she turned 82, Mrs. Farrell returned to Lourdes each May, to volunteer her nursing services to the sick and handicapped who resided there. She was so moved by her experiences in Lourdes that, after having moved to St. Paul’s, she had a small replica of the Lourdes grotto built on the grounds of the Sanctuary at St. Paul’s. She had hoped that her fellow residents might experience the same peace and serenity that she herself felt whenever she visited Lourdes. She also resided in Rome, Italy, where she had the honor of meeting with Pope John Paul II. Being fluent in Spanish, Italian, French and English, she was fortunate enough to work as a tour guide at St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican.
Although she had no children of her own, she will be missed by her countless nieces and nephews, all who loved her dearly.
Services for Mrs. Farrell will be held at the Sanctuary at St. Paul’s in South Bend at 10 AM on Tuesday, May 23rd. Burial will take place following the services, beside her beloved husband, James, at the Chapel Hill Memorial Gardens in Osceola.
In lieu of flowers, she requested that donations be made to the Center for Hospice Care, in her memory.