JOHN HENRY McFARLAND

JOHN HENRY McFARLAND WAS BORN AT BENTON, IN RINGGOLD COUNTY, IA ON AUGUST 5, 1912 TO JOHN WILLIAM AND CLARA (EVANS) McFARLAND.  HE DEPARTED THIS LIFE JANUARY 25, 2009 AT THE MOUNT AYR CLEARVIEW NURSING HOME AT THE AGE OF 96.

JOHN RECEIVED HIS ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION IN IOWA AND GRADUATED FORM MOUNT AYR HIGH SCHOOL.  HE CONTINURED HIS EDUCATION AT SIMPSON COLLEGE GRADUATING WITH A MAJOR IN BIOLOGY AND MINORS IN PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND AGRICULTURE.  JOHN BEGAN HIS TEACHING CAREER IN REDFIELD, IA TEACHING AND COACHING FROM 1937-1942. HIS TEACHING AND COACHING CAREER WAS INTERUPTED WHEN CALLED INTO SERVICE DURING WWII. AFTER RECEIVING TRAINING AT DARTMOUTH COLLEGE IN HANOVER, NH, HE SERVED WITH DISTINCTION IN THE US NAVAL RESERVES AT THE AVIATION PRE-FLIGHT SCHOOOL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA IN CHAPEL HILL AND AT THE US NAVAL BASE IN OTTUMWA, IA.  HE LEFT THE NAVY AS A LIEUTENANT IN 1946.

JOHN WAS AN ALL-AROUND SPORTSMAN. DURING HIS HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE CAREER HE RECEIVED MANY HONORS BOTH AS A PLAYER AND COACH OF BASKETBALL AND FOOTBALL. HE LOVED SPORTS AND IN HIS LATER YEARS WAS AN AVID SUPPORTER OF THE CUBS AND THE HAWKEYES VIA TELEVISION.

JOHN LOVED TO TELL THOSE WILLING TO SPEND A FEW MOMENTS WITH HIM ABOUT HIS ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT ATHLETE AND COLLEGE PLAYER ON FOOTBALL, BASKETBALL, AND BASEBALL TEAMS.  SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS FROM HIS MOUNT AYR HIGH SCHOOL YEARS (1928-1932) AND SIMPSON COLLEGE YEARS (1932-1934 AND 1935-1937 ARE: LETTERING ALL FOUR YEARS IN HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL, BASKETBALL AND BASEBALL; QUARTERBACKING THE FIRST UNDEFEATED FOOTBALL TEAM FOR MOUNT AYR HIGH SCHOOL IN THE FALL OF 1931; PLAYING ON TWO MOUNT AYR BASKETBALL TEAMS THAT PLAYED IN STATE TOURNAMENTS WHICH RESULTED IN JOHN BEING NAMED TO THE THIRD ALL-STATE BASKETBALL TEAM IN 1931 & 1932; PLAYING SECOND BASE FOR THE BASEBALL TEAM AND PARTICIPATING IN DISTRICT TOURNAMENTS; RECEIVING FOUR FOOTBALL LETTERS AT SIMPSON COLLEGE AND PLAYING HALFBACK IN 1933 THE YEAR SIMPSON FOOTBALL TEAM WON THE IOWA CONFERENCE (HE RECEIVED A SILVER FOOTBALL TROPHY IN RECOGNITION OF HIS CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE TEAM) AND SERVING AS CAPTAIN OF THE SIMPSON FOOTBALL TEAM FOR THE 1936-37 SCHOOL YEAR DURING HIS SENIOR YEAR.

JOHN GRADUATED FROM SIMPSON COLLEGE IN 1937 AND ACCEPTED A TEACHER/COACH POSITION AT REDFIELD HIGH SCHOOL, A POSITION HE HELD UNTIL 1942 WHEN HE RESIGNED TO JOIN THE NAVY.  HIGHLIGHTS FROM HIS YEARS AT REDFIELD HIGH SCHOOL ARE; COACHING BOYS FOOTBALL AND BASKETBALL; COACHING AN UNDEFEATED FOOTBALL TEAM DURING THE 1939-40 SCHOOL YEAR; ADDING THE GIRLS BASKETBALL TEAM TO HIS SCHEDULE FOR 1939-1942; STILL HAVING FORMER MEMBERS OF HIS GIRLS TEAM RUNNING UP TO GREAT HIM AND CALLING HIM COACH THE LAST TIME HE ATTENDED A CLASS REUNION; JOHN CONTINUED TO APPLY HIS LOVE OF SPORTS TO HIS TIME IN THE NAVY. HE SERVED AS A LIEUTENANT IN THE NAVY AND WAS ASSIGNED TO PROVIDE PHYSICAL EDUCATION TRAINING FOR THE CADETS IN THE NAVY PREFLIGHT SCHOOL FROM 1942-1946.

HIS LOVE OF SPORTS CONTINUED AS HE BECAME AN AVID GOLFER, A GAME HE LOVED AND PLAYED INTO HIS EARLY 90’S. AT THE YOUTHFUL AGE OF 75, JOHN ACHIEVED THE ULTIMATE THRILL OF THE GOLFING WORLD WHEN HE HIT HIS FIRST “HOLE IN ONE” ON THE THIRD HOLE AT THE LENOX, IA GOLF COURSE ON AUGUST 24, 1987.

FOLLOWING HIS CAREER IN THE NAVY, HE ENTERED INTO A BUSINESS PARTNERSHIP WITH HIS FATHER-IN-LAW, KEITH FISHER, AND BROTHER-IN-LAW, BOB FISHER. THIS BUSINESS BECAME KNOWN IN THE COMMUNTIY AS THE MOUNT AYR IMPLEMENT WHERE THEY SOLD ALLIS CHALMERS FARM MACHINARY AND PONTIAC CARS UNTIL JOHN RETIRED IN 1981 AND THE BUSINESS SOLD.

AUGUST 16, 1941 HE WAS UNITED IN MARRIAGE TO MARJORIE FISHER OF BENTON, IA AND TO THIS UNION WERE BORN TWO CHILDREN, MELANIE ANN AND JOHN KEITH.

HE WAS A FAITHFUL MEMBER OF THE MOUNT AYR CHRISTIAN CHURCH ATTENDING AS LONG AS HIS HEALTH WOULD ALLOW AND WAS RECOGNIZED FOR HIS 50 YEAR MEMBERSHIP IN 1995.

HAVING SERVED IN WWII, PATRIOTISM WAS VERY IMPORTANT TO JOHN AS DEMONSTRATED BY HIS PARTICIPATION IN THE AMERICAN LEGION.  HE WAS ALSO PRIVILEDGED TO LAY A WREATH AT THE TOMB OF THE UNKNOWN SOLDIER IN ARLINGTON CEMETERY IN 1988.  THOSE WHO DROVE BY HIS HOUSE COULD SEE THIS COUNTRY’S FLAG PROUDLY FLYING. HE EMBODIED THE VALUES OF DUTY, HONOR, COURAGE, COMMITMENT AND SERVICE TO OTHERS.

JOHN WAS PRECEDED IN DEATH BY HIS PARENTS AND SISTER MAXINE.

MOURNING HIS PASSING ARE HIS WIDOW, MARJORIE, OF MOUNT AYR; DAUGHTER MELANIE AND HUSBAND DR. MARVIN LANE OF LAMAR, CO; SON, JOHN KEITH, AND WIFE KATHY OF MOUNT AYR, IA; THREE GRANDCHILDREN, SHAYNE LANE AND WIFE MARILYN OF LAFAYETTE CO; SCOTT LANE, AND WIFE KIM OF LEAWOOD, KS AND MEGAN STUCK  AND HUSBAND JIM OF WARRENSBURG, MO; SIX GREAT-GRANDCHILDREN, NATHAN, MATTHEW, ASHTON, AND MICHAL JOHN LANE AND MAGGIE AND EVAN STUCK AND NEPHEW LOU WILSON OF ARVADA CO.

JOHN HAS BEEN THE “WIND BENEATH HIS FAMILIES WINGS FOR A PERIOD SPANNING 67 YEARS AND WILL BE GREATLY MISSED BUT FOREVER IN THEIR HEARTS.

SERVICES WER HELD AT WATSON-ARMSTRONG FUNERAL HOME IN MOUNT AYR, ON THURSDAY JANUARY 29, 2009, WITH REV. ED SHIELD AND REV. DORIS KINTON OFFICIATING. MUSCIANS WERE JANE THOMAS AND DR. COLLUS LAWHEAD.

CASKETBEARERS WERE SHAYNE LANE, SCOTT LANE, NATHAN LANE, MATTHEW LANE, MICHAEL JOHN LANE AND EUGENE DILLENBURG.  HONORARY PALL BEARERS WERE KEITH COLE, JOE JACKSON, LLOYD GLENDENNING, MAX MCGHEE, AND CALVIN ADAMS.

JOHN WAS LAID TO REST IN THE ROSE HILL CEMETERY, MOUNT AYR.

Leave a Comment