Obituary Listings

Mary Ellen McFarland

July 2, 1921 January 28, 2018
Mary Ellen  McFarland
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Obituary for Mary Ellen McFarland

MaryEllen McFarland, 96, passed away in Boone, on January 28, 2018. She resided in Roseville, Minnesota until November of 2017. MaryEllen’s life is characterized by her leadership, public service and her love of family.

MaryEllen Hanson (McFarland) was born in Buhl, MN on July 2, 1921, to Allen and MayBelle Hanson. They lived in logging locations across Northern MN; landing in Littlefork, MN in 1933. Completing high school at 17 and attended Bemidji State College for two years and graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1943. During World War II, she taught in Floodwood and Morgan, MN. This included running the town canning facility. In June, 1946 she married Keith McFarland. They lived in Arden Hills while continuing a 70 year association with the U of M. They enjoyed their Lake Johanna home, especially as the seasons brought changes to the lake area.

MaryEllen served, guided and led many organizations: Positions with Centennial United Methodist Church; leadership in the League of Women Voters; the Ramsey County comprehensive employment advisory council. She held offices within the Minnesota Home Economics Association with focus on Home Economists in the Home. She served in several capacities, becoming National President of the American Home Economists Association (Washington, DC) in 1976. In 1988 she and her co-chair planned and hosted the International Federation for Home Economics for over 1400 worldwide representatives. She represented USA home economists at several international gatherings. She was named one of the 100 Outstanding Leaders in the field of Home Economics by the National Association.

MaryEllen was the first woman elected to MN School District 621 Board of Education. She was a founding board member of Special Intermediate School District 916 (Suburban vocational and technical schools). She was appointed by the Governor to the Department of Human Rights, Women’s Division and served on President Kennedy’s Council on the Status of Women. MaryEllen was active with her sorority and many other civic groups.
Regents of the University of Minnesota awarded MaryEllen an Outstanding Achievement Award in 1977.

MaryEllen cared deeply about family. She sent hand written notes well into her last year. She adopted friends’ children as family and sent books, valentines, and birthday notes and dollars.

MaryEllen is survived by her children, Susan (Tim) Hooper of Boone, IA, and Michael (Holly) McFarland of Columbia, MD; four grandchildren; eight great grandchildren ; sister-in –law Joan Stanek of Austin, MN. Many nieces, nephews, and their families and “adopted” family friends.

She was preceded in death by husband Keith; brother and sister-in-law Fred and Helen Hanson of Klamath Falls, Oregon, and sister and brother-in-law Margaret and Paul Hays.

MaryEllen will be interred at the Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minnesota with a family service at that time.

Memorials may be sent to McFarland New Horizons Fund (#1511), University of Minnesota Foundation, PO Box 860266, Minneapolis, MN 55486, or Centennial United Methodist Church, 1524 W. County Rd.C2, Roseville, MN 55113.

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