She was the daughter of Beatrice Cassidy Grimes of Blacklion, Co. Cavan, and Patrick J. Grimes of Birr, Co. Offaly, who was former owner of the Irish Echo Newspaper Corp.
Born in New York City, Grimes Farrell graduated from the College of New Rochelle and received an M.A. from Teacher’s College of Columbia University. Soon afterward, she qualified for a pilot’s license to fly seaplanes.
She became editor and general manager of the Echo before serving as director of public information at the College of New Rochelle. She was founder of the Rivertowns Peace Center while director of public relations at Mercy College. Grimes Farrell became associate director of the Inner City Scholarship Fund of the Archdiocese of New York, while also becoming a founding member and president of the Association of Women in Communications of Westchester County, from which she received its prestigious Matrix Award.
A long-time resident of Irvington, Grimes Farrell focused her energies as a member of the Immaculate Conception church choir, the League of Women Voters and the board of directors of the Irvington Library.
Grimes Farrell is survived by her husband, Thomas F. Farrell, her children Matthew and Maura, both of Irvington, and Brendan of Norfolk, Va., and a brother, Patrick H. Grimes, of Bovina Center, N.Y. Another brother, John J. Grimes, predeceased her.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Inner City Scholarship Fund, Archdiocese of New York, 1011 First Ave., New York, N.Y. 10022.