Eugene Hettrick McFarlane was born on his parents’ farm at Ratner, Sask. in Sept. 1919, the eldest son of Jim and Carrie McFarlane. He attended Athol School with his sister and 2 brothers where he completed grade 9 and quit to go farming. He was drafted into the Royal Canadian Engineer Unit of the Army on May 21, 1941 where he spent most of his time in B.C. In 1945, he was transferred to Nova Scotia but because the war ended, he was discharged and returned home to farm and purchased land with The Veteran’s Land Act.
On Sept. 22, 1945, Dad married Bernice Person of the Bagley area at the Carrot River Valley Lutheran Church. To their union were born 5 children: Valerie, Sandra, Brian, Geraldine and Dennis.
Dad’s life can be summed up in his love for family, faith, farming, community, and people in general. He was a lover of animals, especially his Shorthorn cattle, and horses, especially his Norwegian Fjords which he drove until he was 90 years of age. He farmed up until that time alongside his son, Dennis. Dad was involved with and on the Beaver Creek Lutheran Church board for years, board member of the Ratner Co-op, enjoyed curling at the Ratner Curling Rink, square dancing at Spooner Hall, traveling with Lorne McConaghie tours, visiting sister and brother-in-law in the Caribbean, and old time dancing in later years. He was a hard worker who enjoyed a hard day’s work and respected Sunday’s with a day of worship and rest. He not only participated in community events, he believed in commitment and what you do – do well! Education, politics, music and reading were important to him.
Dad was a very disciplined man. Early mornings with a rigid routine of exercising (push-ups which he did until a few weeks ago), grooming, reading the paper were never skipped. He was a very honest and modest man who looked upon everyone as his equal. Material things were of no importance to him. He was stubborn, direct, committed, worked alongside his children or neighbours, whatever the task and always hospitable bringing in everyone who entered the yard for coffee and cookies. Seldom did we hear any complaining. He was a strong leader in his home who earned our love and deep respect. His pride and joy were his family, grandchildren and now great-grandchildren.
Dad was an amazingly healthy man. A stroke in 1989 set him back but didn’t stop him. A positive attitude, a 10-minute nap each day, years of kelation, cookies, ice cream, coffee and no vegetables were his key to longevity.
Sadly, in Jan 2010, mom passed away after their marriage of 64 years. Dad was very lonely and heartbroken even though he was surrounded by family and community. Then on Oct. 16, 2011, he married Joyce Huber of Nipawin. They had 8 ½ years of companionship and had so much in common—love of horses and having an active and social lifestyle. He developed many relationships in Nipawin, particularly at their morning outings each day at the Dairy Queen. This Covid19 isolation did not help him as he thrived on that outing and socializing with people. A highlight this past summer was driving Norma’s Norwegian Fjords in the Nipawin Parade in his 100th year and a huge celebration of his life birthday party for his 100th at Ratner in September. He treasured that so deeply.
Dad is survived by his loving wife, Joyce; children: Valerie (Lorne) Porterfield, Brian (Denise), Geraldine (Raymond) McAuley, Dennis (Lana); Grandchildren: Joanne Schoneck, Janice (Jason) Pauls, Jeffery (Caroline) McFarlane, Jason McFarlane, Trevor (Tricia) McFarlane, Robyn (Ashley) McAuley, Melissa McFarlane, Ashley (Olavo) Bergamasco, Amber (Dean) Gerwing, and Courtney (Kris) Evans; 17 great-grandchildren; many sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, nephews, nieces, cousins and friends.
He is predeceased by his wife Bernice; daughter Sandra (in infancy); parents; siblings and many brothers-in-law and one sister-in-law.
Our binding link has been broken! But oh what a legacy, lessons well taught, and memories which will never be lost!
“We love you, Dad, and we thank you”