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Susette Granter Farrell died Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013 in Lewisporte after a short battle with cancer.
CORNER BROOK — Ever since they started running together a couple of years ago, Kathryn Robinson was always trying to catch Susette Granter Farrell.
“I'll never be able to catch her — she has wings now,” Robinson said of her running partner and good friend, who died in Lewisporte on Saturday after a short bout with cancer.
She was 48.
The former Corner Brook resident, who recently moved to Gander, was an inspiration for many other runners too since taking up the sport several years ago.
“She organized all of our runs and itineraries,” said Robinson. “She was the mother hen of our running group.”
Robinson had the honour of accompanying Ms. Granter Farrell to Ottawa in May 2012 as both women completed their first-ever marathon.
“She ran an amazing race,” recalled Robinson.
With a time of four hours, 21 minutes and 34 seconds, Ms. Granter Farrell finished 90th out of a field of 219 women in her age group.
"I never wanted to do a full marathon,” Ms. Granter Farrell was quoted as saying in a post-race interview with The Western Star.
“I just wanted to be fit.”
While their friendship was largely based on their common passion for running, Robinson said it grew far beyond that.
“Running was our therapy, but we talked about a lot of things and confided in one another about many things,” said Robinson. “She encouraged me to start running and she is always on my mind when I run. She has heavily been on my mind since she became sick and now I will think about her every time I run.”
When she lived in western Newfoundland, Ms. Granter Farrell was an active member of the Rotary Club of Corner Brook, including spending a one-year term as the club’s president about a decade ago.
Longtime Rotarian Bernd Staeben said Ms. Granter Farrell took on the presidency with as much vigour as she would later take up running. He said she did not shy away from being a leader in a club in which the majority of members were men.
“She was a wonderful girl and a real volunteer,” said Staeben. “She took a hold of the Rotary Club and made something of it during her year as president.”
Fellow Rotarian John Andrews said having Ms. Granter Farrell as a member was like a breath of fresh air for the club.
“She was certainly a vibrant person who was so full of life,” said Andrews. “When she was present, she made everyone feel good and lifted everyone’s mood. She made everyone feel like they were on vacation.”
That last comment by Andrews should not be surprising, given Ms. Granter Farrell was actually a travel agent and branch manager with Carlson Wagonlit Harvey’s Travel.
“It was a big loss for our club when she got out of Rotary,” added Andrews. “It’s hard to believe she is gone. Just six months ago, we all knew she was moving on with her life and living it well.”
Ms. Granter Farrell’s funeral service will take place Wednesday in Moreton’s Harbour. Public visitation will take place at Gordon Woolfrey Funeral Home in Lewisporte from 6-9 p.m. today.