Richard Charles Farye – Grand Forks Herald

Richard Charles Fary, 68, died at his home in Botetourt County, Virginia, on June 12, 2022, after being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) one year earlier.

Rick lived a great life and was generous with his love and talent. Born in Lynch, Harlan County, Kentucky on April 9, 1954, he moved to Cumberland, Kentucky a few years later. Born to Elizabeth “Lieb” Fary Bull, he was then adopted and brought up by his grandmother Elizabeth Urs Fary. He attended St. Stephen’s Catholic Church and School before graduating from Cumberland High School in 1972. Rick finished one year at Southeastern Kentucky Community College, then attended the University of Kentucky in Lexington where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, followed by a master’s and doctorate in Physiology. He later returned to Southeast CC to give his starting address in 1995. He stuck to his Kentucky Appalachian roots, whether it was bourbon music, bluegrass music, horse racing, or his lovable wild cats. Embrace and take pride in his Hungarian heritage in coal mining.

Rick was an example of a full life in all aspects. His family was his rock. his wife of 43 years, Patti Ryan Maloney Fary; daughter of Elizabeth Ryan (Liz) Fary Matchson and son-in-law Brooke Machison; son Richard Alexander (Alex) Fary and daughter-in-law Jill Rubido Fary; Grandchildren, Sylvia Elizabeth Matchson, Ryan Erin Matchson, Gibson Charles Fary, and Eloise Victoria Fary. The grandchildren were at the heart of his big heart, and he, like Bobo, loved to share all his fishing and crabs tricks with them on the beach. He loved them so much and was very sad when he thought that he would no longer be physically present in their lives while they were growing up. His wife, daughter and son were everything to him as he was to them.

Rick had a passion for life, which manifested itself in the many ways he was successful in life. Trained in kidney research at the University of Missouri Columbia, did heart and kidney research at Tulane University in New Orleans, then found himself immersed in medical school curriculum development first at the University of North Dakota, followed by his enlistment at Roanoke helping start (VTCSOM) Virginia Tech Carilion for medicine, problem-based education and interdisciplinary educational approaches, which were his hallmarks. As Senior Dean for Academic Affairs at VTCSOM, he was responsible for the four-year curriculum. Of all his numerous publications in research and educational journals, he has been most proud to author the articles with his wife Patty and son-in-law Brooke. His passion for medical education motivated his success. He has received several national awards, including the Alpha Omega Alpha Paul Glazer Distinguished Teacher Award from the American Association of Medical Colleges and the International Association of Educators of Medical Sciences (IAMSE), and the Finnerty Lifetime Achievement Award.

He was loved by students, faculty, staff, family, friends and anyone in his field, as he had the unique ability to make everyone around him feel visible. He has coached and mentored many, from the young footballers he coached at Grand Forks, ND to the many graduate students, medical students, young faculty and staff he has nurtured. His extended family consisting of his mother-in-law, his wife’s aunts, his brothers and sisters, his nieces and nephews, his first cousins, and a couple of ‘brothers from another mother’ were in the circle of mutual love and admiration.

When he was around, life was brighter and more fun. The food tasted better, the music was more lively, and the laughter was stronger. Anything could bring tears to his eye, for he loved so dearly, whether it was from his family or friends, or a delicious meal, or a glass of fine wine. His sense of humor was ever present.

He was so brave and generous in the face of such a cruel disease that he tried to eradicate it completely. But, even in the end, it cannot take away its essence; His character, integrity and passion.

The care, sympathy, and support his family showed at Virginia Tech Medical School helped sustain him through this severe year of illness. The love given to him and his family by those who provided medical and nursing care, treatments, pastoral visits, food, companionship, correspondence, and especially daily care, will be forever appreciated, and is a testament to the existence of human kindness. There are not enough words to thank the family and friends who took turns each month for a week at a time to provide the help needed to meet Rick’s growing care needs.

A memorial service will be held on Thursday, July 14 at 10:00 at Fincastle Presbyterian Church, 108 East Back Street, Fincastle, VA.

Rick was a man of faith, so we say to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

The family acknowledges and supports the Richard Vari Fund, Ph.D., lectures awarded at VTCSOM, Office of Gift Accounting, University Gateway Center (0336), 902 Price Fork Road, Blacksburg, VA 24061 ( give/var), and ALS Association, DC/MD/VA Chapter, 30 West Gude Drive, Ste. 150, Rockville, MD 20850 (

Condolences can be offered online to Rick’s family at