Mary was born and raised in Klamath Falls, OR. Her adopted parents were Raymond Isaac Jones and Josephine (Rutherford) Jones. Mary’s father, Ray, worked as a millwright at Pelican Bay Lumber, and her mother was a homemaker. Both her parents were active church members and Mary’s faith in God was nurtured from a young age. Mary was close with her cousins, Janet, Cheryl and Jim, and spent summers at her Auntie Nette’s farm. Mary loved music growing up and played the piano and the organ for the Pentecostal congregation in Klamath Falls. She also played bass violin in High School, graduating in 1958.
After High School she moved to the Portland area to pursue further schooling. She attended Pacific University for a year. After that she attended and graduated from Beauty school in downtown Portland, and worked as a beautician for a number of years.
About this time, she met Willard “Bud” Farra. They fell in love and married in Jan. 1961. Their first son, William “Bill” was born in April of 1962. Bud had served in the Army in Germany, but he struggled to find work in Portland, so the young family moved to Grants Pass, OR. They lived in the area for a couple of years.
After their youngest son, Matthew “Joe” was born in Oct. 1964, they returned to Portland. Around this time, Bud was diagnosed with M.S. and Mary’s mother also passed away in Dec. 1964. Mary and Bud worked hard to support themselves, working three or four jobs between the both of them. Bud’s M.S. was acting up and he had numerous car accidents in the space of a year. Mary’s best friend, Georgia, Bud’s youngest sister, helped the family out with child care along with caring for her own three girls. Georgia’s later death in 1977 affected Mary deeply.
Once it was determined that Bud’s illness was tied to an injury received during his Army Service in Germany, the family qualified for VA disability benefits. This allowed the family to move into an apartment and later to a house in Gresham, OR, in 1970. However, soon after, Bud’s condition deteriorated, which necessitated moving him into a nursing home where he remained, in care, until his death in 1994.
Mary took care of the boys, raising them single-handedly, with her father visiting often from Klamath Falls. She provided a happy, stable home for her sons, sewing their clothes and volunteering for their activities and taking them on trips to visit family and friends in her blue Chevrolet Impala. Mary’s health took a turn for the worse when she had a heart attack just before Joe’s High School graduation. She survived a double by-pass open heart surgery, but it took a toll on her energy and stamina.
Mary remained in Gresham until her kids were grown and on their own. She got her Realtor’s license and sold homes in the Gresham/Portland area in the early 1990’s.
In 1997 Mary sold her Gresham home and moved to Milwaukie OR with her son, Bill, where she remained until the end. She enjoyed being a grandmother to Joe’s three sons, as well as great-aunt to her great-nieces and nephews, doting on the little ones with presents and bragging about them to family and friends.
Mary loved gardening and socializing with neighbors and friends. She was fun to be around and had a charismatic laugh. She was always generous and caring toward others and kept in touch with family and friends via phone calls, and mail, sending cards and gifts for birthdays and other special occasions. As many friends and family can attest, each birthday, she would call and sing the Happy Birthday Song. She was very out-going, with a spunky and witty personality and she could strike up a conversation with just about anyone.
Mary’s heart finally gave out, at age 80. She died at the hospital in Milwaukie, OR, on Monday morning, Nov. 16th, 2020 with her son Bill by her side.
Mary was laid to rest Thursday morning, Nov. 19, 2020 at Willamette National Cemetery, with her beloved husband Bud, finally together again after so many years. Due to Covid restrictions, only family was present.
Mary is survived by her son, Bill Farra, from Milwaukie, OR; son, Joe Farra and his wife, Christy, and their sons, Kendall, Jonathan and Joseph, from Seattle, WA. Her extended family includes many loving in-laws, nieces and nephews, cousins, and their respective families. Among them: Mitsy Farra, sister-in-law from Los Angeles, CA.(m. to Ed, deceased); nephew, Richard Farra, and family, from Los Angeles, CA; nephew, Don Farra, and family, from Los Angeles, CA; Lorin & Nona Weidman, brother-in-law and sister-in-law, from Kingsburg, CA; niece, Lori Arnsberger, and family from Kingsburg, CA; nephew, Dave Weidman, and family, from Monterrey, CA; niece, Julie Diaz, and family, from Kingsburg, CA; Glenn Schuermyer, brother-in-law, from Idaho Falls, ID (m. to Georgia, deceased); niece, Debbie McHenry, and family, from Bend, OR; niece, Connie Criss, and family, from Idaho Falls, ID; Sharyl Schuermyer, niece from CA; sisters: (on biological mother, Virginia Neri’s side) Naomi Bell and Stephanie Wiesenfarth, from CA; Yvonne Scheller, cousin-in-law, from Sherwood, OR; Phil Scheller, cousin-in-law, and family, from Bend, OR; Elaine Scheller, cousin-in-law, and family, from Sherwood, OR; Alan Scheller, cousin-in-law, and family, from Newberg, OR; Dawn Scheller, cousin-in-law, and family, from Vancouver, WA; Merle Adams, cousin-in-law, from Oregon City, OR; Vicky Churchill, cousin-in-law, from Sherwood, OR; DeAnna Adams, cousin-in-law, from Sherwood, OR; Suzanne Adams, cousin-in-law, and family, from Wilsonville, OR; Cheryl & Carl Hedges, from Reedsport, OR; cousins, Jennifer & Loren Wright, and family, from Reedsport, OR; cousin, Jeff Hedges, from Reedsport, OR; cousin, Janet Gray, from Laramie, WY; Melissa Gray, cousin from Laramie, WY; Mike Gray, cousin from Laramie, WY; Jim Butler, cousin, from Reedsport, OR; Stephanie Oliveira, cousin, from Grass Valley, CA. Many more of her friends and family are not listed here, or are since deceased, but they each were special to her.
So much more could be said about her life, our synopsis is not complete, by any means. If you would like to add a comment or a story you recall about her, please do so on the Tribute Wall. It will be treasured. Thank you in advance. In loving memory of a life well-lived.
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