Meet Dana “Missy” Farfan
Dana “Missy” Farfan came to stay with us at Caring House, and we were honored to welcome her and her family.
Dana was the only child of Saraley and Zane Greene, and she grew up in West Covina with her mother, and later, her mom’s long-term boyfriend who she called Daddy Ray. He made a positive impact on her as she grew up with him as a father figure. So did Dana’s mother, who was independent, talented, smart and stunningly beautiful. She gifted all these traits to Dana, as well as a love for gardening and an innate sense of fun. One of Dana’s fondest memories from her childhood was a carnival her mom set up in the neighborhood to celebrate her birthday, complete with little prizes for every kid on the block!
Dana loved to dance and perform. She also played basketball, volleyball and tag football, and loved to do anything in the water. She was first chair as a clarinet player in high school, and at that point, she could speak French fluently. School also came easy to her – she made outstanding grades with little effort. After attending drama classes for a short time at El Camino College, Dana went on to become a professional dancer with a repertoire that included ballet, jazz and tap dancing. This makes a lot of sense, because she danced her way into so many people’s lives and made such an indelible mark – one that is not soon forgotten.
Dana met her first husband, Randolph Berry Jacoby, on vacation in Mexico. Shortly after they were married, Dana had her first daughter, Naomi Janee. Her daughters told us “things don’t always go as planned…,” and she had her second daughter, Tamra Rae, a few years later with Thomas John DeFrancesco. She continued to dance as her daughters grew up, and she also worked as a waitress in different restaurants.
“Again, things changed for the better” when Dana met the man she refers to as her long-time husband. Joseph Anthony Farfan fell headfirst in love with Dana and took her on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, according to Naomi and Tamra. A music-lover, he was a musician who played the alto sax, including a brief time with the Midnighters. They felt they were each other’s soulmate, and their love for one another was quite apparent at any point in time, even when things around them weren’t great. Shortly after they got married, Joseph adopted Dana’s daughters. Their family and the love they shared grew again a few years later when they welcomed a third daughter, Rachel Rheyane.
Dana and Joseph started to enjoy life as Nanie and Opa when their grandchildren came along – Francisco, Jamie and Mollie to Tamra, Hunter and Brian to Naomi. Once again, things don’t always go as planned… their son Joseph Anthony Farfan, Jr. was born, much to their surprise and Rachel’s disappointment, because she now had to share her birthday with her new little brother! Joseph quickly became Dana’s favorite. She called him her golden child and nicknamed him “Bug,” as in “snug as a bug in a rug,” calling him that even into adulthood.
More life-changing events happened, but this time, sadly so. Dana lost her soulmate and the family lost their patriarch. As the whole family grieved Joseph, Sr., Dana herself mourned the loss for more than a year when her heart was destroyed once again with the loss of her beloved mother. “It just left a hole in her heart and took many years for her to recover from losing so much in a short amount of time.”
But life continued, and Dana welcomed more grandchildren (Abbie Rose, Olivia and Ben) and great-grandchildren (Liam, Averie and Wyatt). Then, when Joseph, Jr. gave her one more grandchild – Joseph, III – she had a golden child all over again, and of course, her (new) favorite.
From the moment Dana entered Caring House, her generous and loving spirit spread throughout every room. She loved life and she loved laughing, so she generously shared this love with everyone she encountered. She also shared stories – from clarinet lessons as a child, to Led Zeppelin and Leon Russell concerts as a fun-loving young woman, to her desire to visit Germany (the birth place of her mother) and Ireland (the birth place of her father).
Dana had exquisite taste in people, music and food! From ricotta and blueberry brioche, to lavender mascarpone ice cream, to lobster roll lunch dates in the garden with Jon, our Executive Director (pictured). And of course, we can’t forget her multiple, daily cups of coffee with Italian Sweet Crème creamer – they were a must, as we quickly discovered!
Ever curious, Dana danced into our lives, asking everyone she encountered about our lives too. Before we knew it, we found ourselves laughing with her, joining her in pampering ourselves with lotion, and even sitting with her as she watched her favorite movie, “Aquaman.” Dana reminded us all of the very best way to live – with a laugh and a smile – and she will be greatly missed by the many people whose lives she touched.
Dana passed away on November 5, 2021. Honor her. Remember her.