Memorials are a special way to honor the special bond that many of our members have shared with their Springers and with ESRA. Families often encourage gifts to ESRA in their loved one's memory. The family will be notified of each contribution as marked on the donation form.
Michael Douglas Via, Sr.
July 25, 1956 – October 3, 2020
ESRA is very sorry to share the passing of Michael Douglas Via, Sr. Michael was very well-known to the rescue community in the Midwest and particularly in Michigan, having served this organization for over 15 years with his wife of 40 years, Geralyn (Geri).
As a volunteer, Michael, along with Geri, fostered many Springers of various ages and temperament. Three of them never left their sides, as they formally adopted Special Needs dogs Quinn, Buddy and Brady. There were many more that barely made it to adoption, because Michael had such a soft spot for many of them and wanted to adopt even more! His wife Geri reports that her kind-hearted husband was her “weak link” when it came to fostering. He loved spoiling all of them and enjoyed having them spend time on the couch with him watching sports and dishing out tasty treats. In addition to fostering, the Vias have done many long-distance transports and even helped to whelp a litter of seven puppies that were born to a foster Springer under their care.
As a member of the Ortonville, Michigan, community, Michael was a Program Sales Manager with Toyoda Gosei. One of his true passions, however, was that of portraying Santa Claus. At the time of his passing, Michael had been attending Santa School in Frankenmuth, Mich. A University of Virginia Alumnus and an announcer for the Brandon Blackhawks Football team, he was also a former coach of BGO soccer and T-ball.
Michael’s sudden passing has come as a shock to all who have known and loved this special man who was so very generous with his time and his heart.
Michael is survived by his wife, Geralyn, children Christina and Michael (Theresa), father Marvin Lee, sister Vicki and brothers Timothy and Dennis. The family has shared that memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or English Springer Rescue America, Inc.
You may make a gift to ESRA in Michael Via's memory using our
online donation form.
William "Bill" Farrell
March 13, 1937 – January 28, 2020
Sadly, we share that another very special friend and volunteer of English Springer Rescue America, William “Bill” Farrell of Littleton, Colorado, has recently passed.
Bill and his wife, Sally, have been involved with ESRA for many years, and have been known by many long-time ESRA members and friends by their fostering and adopting of a very special Springer named Lucky Willie Butler in 2006.
Lucky’s story was one of unthinkable neglect and abuse. While Bill and Sally awaited their first foster, they came to know of this poor sweet soul who was found bound in a blue blanket, in the thick of a forest and covered with heavy logs to keep him from moving. He was found, miraculously by the grace of God, starved at only 22 pounds, by a hiker who could barely hear his cries.
The rest of the story is history, as Bill and Sally fell in love with Lucky and formed an incredible bond with him. Bill often wrote of their experiences together and enjoyed sharing their adventures with people all across the globe. They shared 6 very special years together until Lucky’s passing in 2012.
The kindest of men, Bill gave back to the community first by teaching, then later, by building a career with IBM that even lead him to working with the US Government and NATO. He later began a career in consulting in the early 1990’s, assisting companies small and large with strategic planning, executive management, and in some cases, acting in the role of CEO. During that time, he was also selected by the Colorado Governor, Roy Romer, to serve on the Colorado Commission on Information Management.
In 2012 Bill was inducted as a Penn State Alumni Fellow for his work with the University on several fronts including establishing a scholarship named for his mother (The Lelia Farrell Education Scholarship) as well as working closely with the University to bring in a “soft-box” for their pole vaulting boxes after the tragic death of pole vaulter, Kevin Dare.
Bill shared his love for his family, flying private aircraft, serving the community and rescuing Springers with people throughout the country, and we extend our condolences to Bill’s wife, Sally, his daughters, Wendy, Tracy, Rebecca and their families, his brother Chuck, and to all who knew, loved, and respected this very special man. The world, and the Springer community, was that much richer for having known him.
A service to celebrate Bill’s extraordinary life – and the joy he expressed – is planned for May 31, 2020 from 11:30 until 2 p.m. at Hudson Gardens in Littleton, CO.
At the family’s request, donations in Bill’s honor can be made to English Springer Rescue America, Inc. or the Lelia Farrell School of Education Scholarship at Penn State University.
You may make a gift to ESRA in Bill's memory using our
online donation form.
December 30, 1950 – October 19, 2019
On October 19, 2019, ESRA lost a friend, adopter, and helper; Janice Fuqua passed away after a brief battle with lung disease. She was a true friend and Springer lover. She and her husband, Danny, adopted a bonded pair from ESRA in 2012 and started to spread the word about ESRA’s good works.
Janice and her husband loved Maddie Rose and Millie Mae. Janice said she felt very lucky that the last 7 years of her life had been made special by her rescued English Springer Spaniels. When Maddie became ill last year and passed away, Janice started watching for Springers in need and letting us know where they were and what they needed. She said she had to do that for Maddie and ESRA. In August, she and her son, Scott, helped ESRA rehome Banx, an elderly gent who was not happy with his younger ESS brothers.
One of her last requests to her husband and son was that in lieu of flowers, donations should be made to ESRA.
She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.