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Watson R. McFarland, Casey Co., KY (1933-2015)

Watson R. McFarland passed from this life on January 14, 2015 at the Casey County Hospital at the age of 81. He was born April 26, 1933 in what was known as the Wess community of Casey County, Kentucky. He was a son of Sam and Mary Barlow McFarland.

It was Watson's firm wish that there be no funeral service following his passing. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that expressions of sympathy take the form of extending a kindness to someone in need. His cremains will be inurned next to his wife's and among family at Peavey Cemetery in Casey County, Kentucky.

Known as "Speed" during his youth, Watson completed the 8th grade in the two-room McFarland School in 1948. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force with his cousins Marshall Barlow and Ralph Dean in November 1951. Watson completed a G.E.D. and the Air Force became his career for the next 20 years.

Through the years, national cemeteries were a vivid reminder of the sacrifice so many patriots had made before him and were much of the impetus for his re-enlisting so many times. While he was stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina in 1961 Watson met Midge LaCrosse Smith who was originally from Maine and in town to visit her childhood friend married to a fellow airman.

Watson and Midge married on February 5, 1962 and had three daughters. He was deployed at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, was evacuated with American forces from Tripoli when Khadafi overthrew King Idris I in 1969, and deployed again to Tuy Hua, South Vietnam 1969-70.

His tours of duty included Lakenheath Air Force Base in Suffolk, England; Edwards Air Force Base in California; two tours at Wheelus Air Force Base in Libya, North Africa; and England Air Force Base in Louisiana.

Watson retired from military service in 1972 and brought his family home to Kentucky to help care for his widowed mother.

He grew old among family and friends of his childhood. Retired from the service to his country, Watson worked at a variety of employments (always where he could be building something) and devoted many years as a layman serving the Lord. As much as he enjoyed his family and the opportunities to be useful to folks in need, Watson found the most contentment in the solitude of his workshop building porch swings, furniture, and clocks from wood and lumber folks brought by.

Watson was preceded in death by his parents, 14 siblings, and Midge, his wife of 49 years.

He is survived by the following:
  • Three daughters: Tina McFarland Savelyev of Danville, KY; Nicki McFarland Johnson (Mrs. Doug) of Liberty, KY; and Rhonda McFarland Withers (Mrs. Edwin) of Russell Springs

  • Five step-children: Skip Curtis (and Denise) of Ellsworth, Maine; Donnie (and Deanne) Smith of East Millinocket, Maine; Kathie Smith LaGassie of Old Town, Maine; Sherry Smith Florence of Newburgh, Maine; and Randy Smith of Mt. Chase, Maine

  • Three grandchildren

  • Two great-granddaughters who he loved deeply.

  • One brother: Paul McFarland (and Alta) of Hustonville, KY

  • and one sister Ruth McFarland Wethington (Mrs. Mitchell) of Indianapolis, Indiana
Send a condolence to the family of Watson R. McFarland

Bartle Funeral Home, 142 KY 49, Liberty, KY, in charge of arrangements

This story was posted on 2015-01-15 15:58:26
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Grissom-Martin Funeral Home
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Large enough to serve comfortably; Small enough to serve personally.

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Stotts-Phelps-McQueary Funeral Home
Established 1922 | 210 Greensburg St., Columbia, KY 42728 | Jeff Jessie, Owner
270-384-2145,, email

Watson R. McFarland, Casey Co., KY (1933-2015)

2015-01-15 - 142 KY Hwy 49, Liberty, KY - Photo from Bartle Funeral Home.

Watson R. McFarland, Casey Co., KY (1933-2015)

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