Saturday, May 3, 2008

The end of an Era: Saying Goodbye to Neddie Rose Farrington

Here in Westport, a lot has changed over the past 4 years, but some things don't change. This is a small community, everyone knows everyone, and if you need something: dinner, advice, seek out Neddie Rose.

Neddie Rose Farrington was the unofficial matriarch of the South Beach. The owner and operator of the Islander Motel & Charters for over 40 years, she was the very living heartbeat of the Marina. She was a hardworking business woman who ran a tight ship. Even after her retirement, when she visited the Islander for lunch and one of her old employees stopped to say hello, Neddie would bark "are you on a break?!"

I personally only met her a few times. I can recall her sharply criticizing the new Islander owner for having too many employees, and not working hard enough. She scolded him, going step by step in detail how she would run it in her day, stopping every few minutes to offer to come in a shape up his staff.

I had heard for years of the love story, how she cared for her husband who was injured in World War 2 for over 50 years. I have heard from countless old timers how she fed them, offered advice, or loaned some money when they were in need.

She was a beautiful woman who had lived an amazing life. The kind of woman you can only hope to be like.

Neddie's family will be holding a Memorial Service on Saturday, May 10, at Ocosta High School at 1PM. A reception will follow, to be announced at the service.