Former Fitzgibbon Hospital, Missouri Valley College employees identified in Montana murder-suicide (Updated at 9:45 a.m. March 31)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Left - Michelle "Rae" Farrell (Photo contributed by Montana Standard), right - Larry Farrell (Photo contributed by Missouri Valley College)

Two former members of the Marshall community were found dead Friday, March 25, after suffering from gunshot wounds at their home near Butte, Mont.

Michelle "Rae" Farrell, 48, and her husband, Larry Farrell, 70, worked in Marshall prior to relocating to Montana in 2002. The Butte-Silver Bow Police classified their deaths as a murder-suicide. Police investigation of the scene revealed one victim, Rae, had been shot three times in the chest. Larry was found seated with a wound to the temple and the gun at his feet.

Rae worked as a registered nurse at Fitzgibbon Hospital for 10 years from 1992-2002, where she specialized in labor and delivery. The Montana Standard reported Monday that the Farrells moved to Montana in 2002 after Rae was recruited to work as a nurse-midwife at an obstetrics-gynecological office before forming her own practice, Westside Midwifery, along with Sue Burton in 2004. She was currently employed as an associate professor in the nursing department at Montana Tech.

"I enjoyed working with Rae," Fitzgibbon Director of Women's Services Debbie Smith said in a statement issued Wednesday. "We worked together for years in Women's Center at Fitzgibbon. She was funny, compassionate and loved animals. She was always picking up stray dogs and caring for them, or helping birth sheep or goats on her farm. She always had a funny story to tell about her animals and life on the farm. She was passionate about Women's Health. From the day I met her, she was working on furthering her education to become a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), which she accomplished. She was so excited to get her first CNM job in Montana. She battled terrible allergies in Missouri and hoped she would not have such difficulties in Montana. It was hard for her to go, since Marshall had always been her home, but she looked forward to the new ventures. Many of the nurses that worked with Rae have always kept in touch with her. We are all very sad to hear of her tragic death."

Jill DeWeese, RN and Infection Preventionist at Fitzgibbon, was Rae's night supervisor during her employment there.

"She was funny and quirky with a great sense of humor," DeWeese said. "She was also one of the smartest nurses I ever worked with. She was like a sponge always wanting more knowledge and being on the forefront of obstetrical changes. I kept in touch with her through the years and I'm so glad to call her my friend."

Larry worked as an associate professor of social sciences at Missouri Valley College from 1987-1992.

Contact Arron Hustead at

The story can also be followed at The Montana Standard