On the Passing of Joe Farina,
It is with great sadness that we at the Orange County Post share the news that one of Newburgh’s special hero’s passed last evening at about 7 pm. He was a patriot and a very dear friend to this publication’s President, Everett Smith, and our hearts go out to all of his friends and family.
The photo above was just taken a few weeks ago when he and the other Genesis Group of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor were recognized and presented with a plaque honoring their efforts.
I am sure we will have additional coverage in the coming week’s Orange County Post detailing some of the many things Joe Farina was known and respected for.
Edie Johnson, Editor
LOCAL PATRIOT AND NATIONAL PURPLE HEART HALL OF HONOR CO-FOUNDER JOSEPH FARINA PASSES AWAY
Senator William J. Larkin, Jr. (R-C-I, 39th District) announced this morning that his dear friend and fellow National Purple Heart Hall of Honor (NPHHOH) Genesis Group member, Joseph Farina, passed away late yesterday evening December 27.
“Joe was my brother,” said Senator Bill Larkin. “His drive to see his mission through to completion was awe inspiring. I know for sure that the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor would never have been built if not for his passion and never-quit attitude. This is a man who never was interested in the spotlight, only getting the job done. I will miss our conversations and our friendship. Our veteran’s community will miss this juggernaut whose accomplishments and contributions were immeasurable.”
Born on January 26th 1921, Joseph Farina was a native of Newburgh, NY. He attend ended Newburgh schools and graduated from Newburgh Free Academy in 1939. Shortly after graduation from NFA, he joined the 156th Field Artillery, New York National Guard. His unit was called into Federal Service on September 16th 1940 and stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey. When war was declared on December 7, 1941, he volunteered to go overseas and was transferred to Jackson Barracks in New Orleans to await assignment. As a high-speed morse code operator, he was assigned to a secret mission to the Philippine Islands.
Joseph was re-assigned to the Southwest Pacific Theatre of Operations under the command of General MacArthur. His initial assignment in New Guinea was as radio operator at General MacArthur’s Advanced Headquarters. He remained involved in the New Guinea campaigns for well over a year. He was then assigned to Biak Island and then on to Leyte and Luzon in the Philippine Islands. He attained the rank of Sergeant and served with honor and distinction in the Southwest Pacific and the Philippine Island in World War II. He received numerous decorations including four battle stars and two Presidential Citations.
After his experience serving America in combat, he returned to the United States. Upon his return, he became very active in veterans affairs addressing many issues of concern to veterans. He was a member of the Genesis Group, which included Lt. General James D. Hughes, Senator Bill Larkin, and Everett Smith a local newspaper publisher. These four, led by Farina’s tenacity, were instrumental in assisting with the establishment of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor. Farina twice served as Post Commander of CWV Post 386, as well as actively serving on State and National level. He also served on the Veteran’s Committee in Albany and is a member of the 156th Field Artillery Association in Kingston. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Walter T. Kunowski Award for Americanism, the Nicholas Brooks Memorial Award from the Town of New Windsor, the Zeal Award from CWV Dept. of New York and the Genesis Legacy Medal, which was established in his honor to recognize individuals throughout the country that have lived a life of service to our veterans. Farina was also selected to attend the Hudson Valley Honor Flight for his service in World War II.
Just last week a special ceremony was held at the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor. A plaque was placed commemorating the four members of the Genesis Group, including Farina. This plaque cemented the contributions made by the Genesis Group and will allow the over 20,000 annual visitors to know the contributions made by Farina and his brothers to ensure the memories of their fellow service members would never be forgotten.
Joseph Farina passed away in his home yesterday evening with his wife Elizabeth by his side. They had been married for 76 years.
“It took eleven years of planning and frustration to bring the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor to reality. I now have heartfelt satisfaction knowing it not only enshrines the names of many of my friends but also all others so deserving of this honor. This was the inspiration that afforded me the determination to continue with this effort over those eleven years. Each of the names preserved here are deserving of the honor accorded them. I feel comfort when I visit the “Hall” because I know I am among many friends.” – Joseph Farina
Caption: Joe Farina (left center in top group photo and left of center in picture below with the other recipients right to left Everett Smith, President of the Orange County Post, Lt. General James D. Hughes, Senator William J. Larkin, Jr. and Sergeant Joseph R. Farina.