On Oct. 6, 2017, Joseph Richard McFarland peacefully passed away in his home at the age of 86. Joe, as he was known, had a wide circle of friends throughout his life, in addition to a loving and large extended family. He was much loved and respected by everyone whose life he touched.
Joe is survived by his loving wife, Ruth Zoch McFarland; five sons: Joseph R. McFarland, Jr. (Lam); Darrell Wayne McFarland (Kristina); Terry L. (Bubba) McFarland (Natalie); Roy Richard (Rick) McFarland; and Randy Joe McFarland (Constance); four daughters: Carla Jeanne Godsey (Wade); Karen Hansen; Martha Hansen Behrend (Jim); and Amy Hansen (Bob Steinhagen); sister Jean Roy and brother David McFarland (Patty); 21 grandchildren; many great grandchildren; and dozens of friends, many of whom go back to childhood.
Joe was born in Weleetka, Okla. on Feb. 9, 1931, to parents Laura Tennessee Ross and Roy Richard McFarland. After graduating from high school he proudly served in the Navy on the destroyer USS Hubbard, DD 748 as a gunner’s mate, during the Korean conflict, where he earned several campaign medals. After the war he moved to East Texas in the small community of New London. He married Shirley Chloe Taylor and together they raised five boys. Joe owned a gas station in New London for several years and later became a supervisor for Joseph Schlitz brewing company. For many years, he served on the school board of West Rusk High School including several years as the president.
Later in his career, Joe and Chloe moved to San Antonio, where he became the packaging manager for Lone Star Brewery. Several years after Chloe passed away from cancer, Joe met Ruth Zoch Hansen through Parents Without Partners.
Despite an early mix up about which Jim’s to meet at for coffee, Joe and Ruth married and enjoyed a long and loving marriage. Joe relished being a parent to all nine of their children as each grew up and made their own lives in the world, and happily welcomed grandbabies and great-grandbabies over the years. Many a holiday and birthday celebration was spent laughing, playing with and holding babies and little ones, showing how to do and fix things around the house and in the yard, sharing wisdoms about life, and demonstrating how to be a loving and steady presence as a husband, father, stepfather, and granddad. Joe was a loyal friend to many and a good neighbor. He loved playing golf and in his early 80s was able to shoot his age.
Joe loved working with his hands and doing projects around the house – both the one that he and Ruth lived in and the homes of kids they would go visit. He made sure that Ruth’s four daughters had an ample set of tools and knew how to use them. He made dozens of Adirondack chairs and swings for family members, many of which are still in use at homes across Texas, Tennessee and Virginia. In addition to golf, Joe loved going to the gym regularly, playing golf and was an enthusiastic fisherman.
He and Ruth were active members of MacArthur Park Lutheran Church throughout their marriage. Joe was known to all as a kind, respectful, fair, wise, trustworthy and considerate person, in work and in his personal life. Joe had a positive influence on everyone he encountered. He will be dearly missed by family and friends.
Visitation will be held 6-9 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017, at Sunset Memorial Park Funeral Home for friends and family. On Monday, Oct. 16, 2017, Joe will be buried with a military service at Fort Sam Houston at 9:45 a.m., followed by a funeral service at MacArthur Park Lutheran Church, 2903 Nacogdoches Road, at 11 a.m. There will be a lunch reception at the church following the funeral service.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate any donations to honor Joe’s life be made to MacArthur Park Lutheran Church in his name.