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Farwell Dunlap Smith

April 10, 1927 June 14, 2021
Farwell Dunlap Smith
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Obituary for Farwell Dunlap Smith

Farwell Dunlap Smith, 94, of Big Timber, Montana, passed away on June 14, 2021, at the ranch near Big Timber.

He was born in 1927 in Lake Forest, Illinois, to Hermon Dunlap Smith and Ellen Thorne Smith.

Farwell attended Phillips Exeter Academy, and graduated from Harvard in 1948. He served in the U.S. Merchant Marine from 1945 to 1947, and the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953.

In 1954 he married Nora Stone. The couple had four children together, Matthew, Temple, Loren and Brendan. In the same year, Farwell and Nora settled in Chicago, where he joined the office of White, Weld and Company, a New York investment bank. He subsequently became a partner and vice-president of the firm. Farwell and Nora were well known for the delicious Sunday lunches hosted at their weekend home in Dune Acres, Indiana, followed by enthusiastic conversation and a swim in Lake Michigan. In 1975, Farwell left banking and moved to Washington, D.C. to work for the Energy Research and Development Administration, the precursor to the Department of Energy.

In 1990 he fulfilled his love for the West by moving to Montana where he subsequently married his present wife, Linda McMullen. Their son, Jason, was born in 1994. Farwell took special interest in Jason’s hockey career. He and Linda shepherded Jason to his many games, making life-long friends with other hockey families. In later years Farwell and Linda traveled around the Mountain West in their RV and loved spending winters in Tucson and summers at the ranch in Montana.

He was known for his humor, wit, wisdom, and charm, always evident in his twinkling blue eyes. Farwell enjoyed practical jokes, most famously when he and his Harvard roommate, George Plimpton, crashed the Boston Marathon. Farwell ducked in just before the finish line, sprinting the last stretch with the legitimate, and horrified, runners. After crossing the finish line in third place, he jumped into the front seat of the getaway car, driven by George.

He was an ardent traveler. After graduating from Harvard, he took an 18-month tour around the world. He also took ten trips to Africa, numerous trips to South America and visited Mexico often. His travel experiences included two shipwrecks. Among his other lifelong passions were fly fishing, birdwatching, hiking and nature, in addition to his well-known fondness for chocolate desserts.

However far he traveled, he always returned to Thorne Camp, the family vacation home in Desbarats, Ontario, where he was an avid water skier. Once, after arriving on the Chicago train, he chose to simply roll up his suit pants and ski directly to the camp. The driver of the boat, his great pal Bob Myrum, decided to slow the boat before it reached the dock, and Farwell slowly sank into the water wearing his full business suit, briefcase in hand.

His life-long interest in conservation and the environment led to his board memberships on several environmental organizations, including the Environmental Defense Fund, High Country News, Nature Conservancy of Montana, Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness Foundation, American Rivers, and Open Lands. He also served as a director of the Spencer Foundation and Chairman of the Board of the Francis Parker School in Chicago, which four of his children attended. He was a skilled fundraiser and a trusted advisor in managing financial matters for the boards he served on and the organizations he supported.

Farwell is survived by his wife, Linda McMullen; his five children: Matthew Smith, Temple Smith Richardson, Loren Smith, Brendan Smith, and Jason Smith; his five grandchildren; and by his sisters, Wendy Buchen and Adele Simmons. He was preceded in death by his sister, Deborah Haight.

Plans are for a celebration of his life in Bozeman, Montana on the weekend of September 25, 2021. Memorials may be directed to the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, 215 South Wallace Avenue - Bozeman, MT 59715, or to the Northern Plains Resource Council 220 S. 27th Street, Suite A Billings, MT 59101.

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