|McFarland Family History|
Joe McFarland's personal life (1945-1970)
with his family and church which includes many insights to his life outside of his work
and his character which came from the long line of McFarlands in this book
The final chapter in the book focuses on Joe McFarland's personal life after World War II until his untimely death in 1970. In 1945, Jo Anne started primary school. Joe, like his ancestors dating back to Scotland, was very concerned about education. For this reason he began to serve on the board of Bay Springs School. He served on this board virtually all the time his two children were in school.
Even though Joe had seen many people die in World War II, he was caught off guard by the death of his father in 1950. Joe's family was shaken again three years later by the deaths of two very close family members in 1953: Joe's brother-in-law, Leroy Percy Burns and Joe's father-in-law, Ethel Ulysses Parker.
Joe's father must have been his main link to his ancestors. Joe may have remembered the times his father sounded a little like Uncle Robert Campbell with his strong Scottish brogue. However, Alex's death somehow caused Joe never to mention his forefathers. I cannot remember my father ever mentioning his grandfather or any of his relatives. It may be that he did talk about them, but at the time I had no interest and now have no memory of any such discussions. On the other hand, Joe may have wanted to shut out this area of his life, as he did the war, because it caused him pain to replay it in his mind.
Joe and Doris's main interest was in supporting their family. This effort paid off and Jo Anne was a straight "A" student almost all the way through school. They also developed her character. A good example of this training was that Jo Anne was elected Miss Jasper County in 1959 and a close runner-up to Linda Lee Meed who went on that year to become Miss America.
At Ole Miss, Jo Anne met a young, ambitious student from Jackson by the name of James Norman McLeod. They dated through their college years and married in 1961 after graduation.
Joe loved the church he had grown up in, the Bay Springs Presbyterian Church. Joe served as chairman of the building committee for the current church building.
1970 was not a good year for the McFarlands. In February of 1970, Joe's nephew, John Norman McInnis, died in an automobile wreck on the Gulf Coast. Upon learning of this loss, Aunt Mary's mother-in-law died. Both she and John Norman were buried at the same time. Then Aunt Susan's father died shortly afterward, and still more bad news was on the way. On August 13, 1970, Joe's mother died. Then in September, the death angel came again, and this time his mission was to carry Joe Alex McFarland, Jr. to Glory.
Many articles would be written and published about Joe's life, and some of them are included in the book. One article written by Joe's pastor and brother-in-law showed how the character of Joe's ancestors was displayed in Joe's life:
This man, being just a young man, of Scotch Presbyterian lineage, of the conservative school of Calvinism in his theology, by his decease in the prime of life, ended a brilliant career in law and an active political and church life. He was laid to rest in the shadows of pines on a wooded slope in the Bay Springs Cemetery in the midst of myriads of flowers and the tears of a devoted family and hundreds of friends.
A resolution of the Thirteenth Judicial Bar Association reflected their feelings for their beloved judge of the circuit:
"Even though the sands of time have erased his name from amongst the living...his spirit marches on unconquerable through the eternal spheres of the heavens seeking always to attain that which to him meant the eternal balancing of the scales of justice in man's eternal destiny before his Maker."
In the introduction to the book, I asked the question of the reader: "What is the reason for Joe's character that was displayed by him?" At the close of the final chapter, it is fitting in light of all the great men and women from Scotland, North Carolina, and Mississippi who have been listed in this book writing to close with this final statement made in the Christian Observer about Joe Alex McFarland, Jr.:
"The Highlands of Scotland doubtless never produced many more devoted, fearless or faithful Presbyterian ruling elders than this son of America, born, reared and buried in Jasper County, Mississippi."
My personal final tribute to Joe A. McFarland, Jr. is that even though the "sands of time have erased his name from amongst the living," he will never be forgotten.
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