Nicolette Farley was by her mother’s side when her mother, Joan Farley, died peacefully at Nicolette’s home in Tucson, Ariz., on Nov. 3. Nicolette said she is grateful that in her mother’s last few weeks she was able to tell her mother she loved her.
“It was beautiful,” Nicolette said. “I was so glad to have the opportunity to be able to care for her.”
Joan Farley, 91, was known around Bellevue for her devotion and passion for Bellevue’s history. She worked as the city’s longtime tourism director, gave tours of Fontenelle Bank and the historic First Presbyterian Church in Olde Towne, served as chairwoman of the Bellevue Historical and Landmark Preservation Committee and was heavily involved with the Sarpy County Museum. She also wrote a regular history column for the Bellevue Leader.
Jim Shada, recreation coordinator for Bellevue, said Joan Farley was very knowledgeable of the city’s history and he regularly turned to her for information.
She ran the tourism department succinctly and helped people visit the city’s historical sites, he said.
“She was a very kind, caring and understanding lady,” he said.
Nicolette Farley said her mother’s love of history came from her family’s long history in the city, going back to the 1800s and her ancestors’ farm.
The farming history of her family also contributed to another one of Joan’s well-known passions: gardening. She was involved in local gardening clubs planting flowers throughout the city and opened her own 2 1/2 acre garden for tours.
The family is tentatively planning a memorial service for January.
She was preceded in death by husband of 69 years, Eugene F. Farley; daughter Kathleen Blunk; son Christopher Farley. Survived by sister Mary Jirik (Shallcross) of Gainesville, Ga.; daughter, Nicolette Farley (Rick Kiolbasa) of Tucson, Ariz.; son-in-law Dave Blunk; grandchildren, Kelsey Engels, Elly Blobaum and Ben Blobaum.