These are tough times trudging through the height of the pandemic.

There are moments I wish I could return to the simpler, safer years of my Nashua childhood when you could leave the doors unlocked, watch the mischievous boy next door launch bottle rockets into the night sky in the middle of the street, ride your bike around the neighborhood and return when the boodang (massive air horn alarm) rang across Nashua, signaling that it was 8 p.m.

Maybe iconic golfer Jack Nicklaus said it best about the challenges adults will face: “The older you get the stronger the wind gets — and it’s always in your face.”

Meanwhile, certain people come into our lives for a reason, and they always have your back.

I was saddened to read about the recent passing of Kevin Farwell. The last time I heard from him was in August.

I first came to know this tall, kind-hearted fellow during my stumble into radio news at WSMN-AM. Kevin was already a popular on-air personality who shared a great resume with other WSMN veterans like Frank Teas, Ed Lecius, Al Rock, Ed Lecius Jr., Gerry Wood and Maury Parent.

Kevin loved the broadcasting industry and had also worked at radio stations from Manchester to Portsmouth. He was a well-rounded individual, friendly to all, and someone who would have given you the shirt off his back as the old saying goes.

He was fun to work with and had an easy laugh. At the time, WSMN was playing oldies and off-mike, Kevin would often break out in a bass tone, singing Kenny Rogers’s hit, “You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me, Lucille.”

The Farwell name is well-known with deep roots in the Gate City. Farwell Funeral Service Inc. was established in 1934 by Kevin’s grandparents, Charles and Genevieve Farwell.

Kevin’s parents, Charles Jr. and Blanche, later joined the family business. Today, Dana Farwell (Kevin’s brother) continues the legacy as a licensed funeral director and manager of the stately Victorian funeral home downtown at 18 Lock St.

Dana, his sisters Judy and Holly, and his family are polite, kind and respectful and represent every good thing you would expect from a local funeral home.

It is certainly not an easy occupation to be in, especially since COVID-19 has made life complicated for funeral homes and grieving families. The virus has not allowed for “normal” funeral services, and often, mourners will attend a service in a church and find that there’s no receiving line, no guest book to sign, no luncheon, etc.

That makes it more difficult for closure and the hugs of loved ones.

It’s a sobering time, but I know that this, too, shall pass.

Joan Stylianos is a Nashua native. Her column appears every other Thursday. She can be reached at

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