Longtime N.S. heritage leader, decorated Navy veteran dies at 82

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NORTH SMITHFIELD – A well-known preservationist who served as president of the North Smithfield Heritage Association for decades died peacefully in his home this week at the age of 82.

Cmdr. John “Jerry” Faricy USN, of Pound Hill Road, died on Sunday, Aug. 8.

Faricy was the immediate past president of the NSHA, a role he held for 27 years. He was the husband of former North Smithfield Town Administrator and fellow heritage enthusiast and leader Elizabeth (Dubois) Faricy.

“A devoted husband, father and grandfather, Jerry was also a dedicated historic preservationist,” noted NSHA member Jody Lamoureux. “Jerry  made many contributions to the NSHA over the years as a member and president and will forever be remembered with great fondness.” 

Born on February 23, 1939 in St. Paul, Minnesota, Faricy was the son of the late John Jerome Faricy, Sr. and the late Mildred Schroth Faricy Coates.  He graduated from Creighton University, Omaha Nebraska with a bachelor’s degree in biology.  

Faricy was also a decorated military veteran, earning more than 25 service medals, ribbons and awards during his 20 year career the U.S. Navy. He joined the service in 1964 and and served with distinction, retiring January 1, 1985 with the rank of commander.

Faricy served several tours in Vietnam, including one in which he was the executive officer, second in command, of the USS Hickman County, LST- 825, providing gunfire support for ground troops along the Mekong, Bassac and Saigon Rivers. The tour took him to other Vietnamese ocean ports, Subic Bay, Philippines, Guam and Japan.

Faricy also served “in-country” for a tour, and was the department head on various ships. As a commander, he attained the position of executive officer on his last ship, the USS Blandy.  

His love was Destroyers according to wife Beth, and it was at Destroyer school in Newport that the couple met in 1970.

Faricy reportedly had many six-month deployments during his first 15 years of marriage. He also had shore duties as a cryptologist before his retirement, attending the Naval War College in Newport for an advanced degree, and finally as a long-range planner attached to Supreme Allied Commander Atlantic , which sent him many times to NATO headquarters in Brussels where he met with the military leaders of those member nations. 

After retiring from his Naval career, Faricy started and ran several businesses, and ultimately developed a second career in property management, retiring in 2007 from the First Realty Management Company of Boston, Mass. as manager of their Kent Farm Village in East Providence.

As a leader of NSHA, he secured more than $400,000 in grants for the 1897 Grange building in Slatersville and worked to refurbish and expand it with the help of Moe Bourget, Tim Mundy and Moe Caouette, according to his obituary.  The association now owns this building which offers a venue for the public to rent for private celebrations as well as provide a gathering place for NSHA’s annual dinner meeting and Christmas potluck suppers.

Besides his wife of 50 years, he is survived by their three children and their families: his son, Patrick and his wife Gina and their children James and Lauren of Potomac, Maryland; his daughter, Anne and her husband Rob Gerlach and their children Megan and Andrew of Savage, Minnesota; and his daughter Katherine, and her husband Keith Anderson and their children Keira, Soren, and Orion of Lincoln.

He was the brother of Kathryn (Faricy) Barrett and her deceased husband, Thomas Barrett of St. Anthony, MN; and James Faricy and his partner Rhonda Smieja of Mounds View, MN. He also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Funeral arrangements for Faricy have been made at Holt Funeral Home at 510 South Main St. in Woonsocket, with waking hours on Sunday, Aug. 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held on Monday, Aug. 16 at 11 a.m. at St. John’s Church at 63 Church St. in Slatersville.

Burial with Military Honors will follow at Resurrection Cemetery at 259 West Wrentham Road in Cumberland.

Both the Mass and burial services will be live-streamed by Holt.  See Holt website for specific streaming links and details. 

Due to current CDC recommendations and high local COVID transmission rates, the family respectfully requests attendees wears masks and social distance as much as possible during indoor services.  

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the North Smithfield Heritage Association, P.O.Box 413, Slatersville, RI 02876.   

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