Vernon Alan Farrens went to be with our Lord on May 27, 2023, after a long and courageous fight against cancer. His final moments were spent surrounded by his loving family. Al was born on September 24, 1948, to Vernon F. Farrens and Ida L. Farrens and grew up on his family’s farm/orchard near Tonasket, Washington.
After graduating from Tonasket High School in 1967, he joined the U.S. Army and earned the rank of Sargent E-5 before he was sent to Viet Nam in 1969. Al was assigned to be a security guard and courier for the office of General William Westmoreland. Al received several commendations during his time in country. He returned to the States in 1970 and was released from active duty immediately upon his return.
When he arrived home, he took very little time setting about resuming his life as a civilian by courting and marrying Mary Marlene Nelson of Okanogan on May 29, 1971. Their marriage lasted 52 years and produced a son, Michael Alan Farrens, and a daughter, Kristina Marie McIntosh, both living now in Okanogan.
Al was a quiet man but he loved his family and his friends. One special lifelong friend was Dennis Brown of Tonasket.
Al worked at the Crown Zellerbach Mill in Omak, and the Okanogan Police Department as a dispatcher before starting his real career as a Forestry Technician for the U.S. Forest Service in Twisp and Winthrop. He worked in the woods where he was the happiest. He fought forest fires and provided the fieldwork for the production of timber sales and was respected for his experience and knowledge on a variety of subjects. Al retired from the Forest Service in 2009 and went home to enjoy the remainder of his life with his family, especially his new grandson.
He volunteered his time with the Okanogan Wildlife Council and was on the Board of Directors for many years, including being a past President.
Al was preceded in death by his parents, his father-in-law Linvel Nelson, his brother-in-law Richard L. Nelson, and his nephew Douglas Nelson. He is survived by his wife, Marlene and his son, Mike; daughter, Kristina and his grandson, Ryder P. McIntosh all of Okanogan. He is also survived by his sister, Anita McCormick (Calvin) of Post Falls, Idaho and brother-in-law, Chet Nelson (Sandy) of Omak, also numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.
Per Al’s wishes, a graveside service will be held at the Okanogan cemetery on June 17, 2023, at 11 a.m. A potluck luncheon will follow at the Okanogan Eagles Lodge for friends and family to share stories and memories in his honor. The family would like to thank the employees of Confluence Health Oncology and Enhabit Home Health and Hospice for all their expert help and loving care. In lieu of flowers, please send a donation in Al’s name to either the Okanogan Wildlife Council or the Wildland Firefighter Foundation. Both of these organizations meant a great deal to him.