The Ottuwma Courier
October 23, 2006
OBITUARY - JOSEPH NELSON McFARLAND
1927 - 2007
OTTUMWA — Joseph Nelson McFARLAND of 9 Schwartz Drive passed away Friday, October 20, 2006 at the VA Medical Center in
Iowa City at the age of 87.
He was born September 13, 1919 in Bouton, Iowa to Glenn E. and Kathryn E. (DISSINGER) McFARLAND
and graduated from Bouton High School in 1936. He married Rosalie SHAY of Maloy, Iowa on May 28, 1949 at Immaculate
Conception Church in Maloy. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in Economics in 1952. He was a graduate
assistant to Dr. Wendel SMITH in the Market Research Department while working on his Masters Degree.
Mr. McFARLAND enlisted in the U.S. Army 168th Company, 1st Battalion, 34th Infantry Division on February 1, 1941 for his
year of training at Camp Claiborne, La. and was assigned to the communication and intelligence squad. In February 1942,
he sailed to Belfast, Ireland with the 34th Infantry Division for training. In May 1942, he was sent to Isle of Mann for
Aircrafts I.D. (German) graduating with an "A." In October 1942, a ship was boarded for destination unknown. After 22
days waiting for reinforcements from the United States, then passing through the Rock of Gibraltar, he was involved in
the invasion of Algeria, North Africa on "D-Day" in November 1942. After the defeat of the Germans and Italians in
Africa, he was promoted to Tech Sgt. leading an Ammunitions and Hazard Mission Platoon for mine locations. The 34th
Division was then selected to make the navigation at Salerno, Italy in September 1943. After Salerno was secure, the
1st Battalion, 34th I.D. moved northward to Cassino and attempted to secure Monte Cassino, a Jesuit Monastery. From
there, the 34th I.D. went back to Naples to board ship for another invasion. This time it was Anzio, Italy in January
1944 and on to the liberation of Rome.
He returned to Des Moines in December 1944 after serving 32 continuous months
overseas, including three invasions. He was awarded the Purple Heart, Four Bronze Stars, the Combat Infantry Badge, a
Presidential Unit Citation, and a personal letter from Gen. Mark CLARK for appreciation of Service to the Fifth Army. He
also received a Citation from Gen. Charles BOLTE for outstanding Performance of Duties.
Mr. McFARLAND was a life member
of the Purple Heart Association, The American Legion O.B. Nelson Post #3, the V.F.W. Walter B. Schafer Post #775 and the
34th Inf. Div. Assoc. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council #888, the Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus
McMullen Assembly, the University of Iowa I-Club and the SE Iowa I-Club. He was a member of the University of Iowa
Presidents Club, the University of Iowa Alpha Kappa Psi Commerce Fraternity, member of Ottumwa Country Club, a 38-year
member of Ottumwa Noon Lions having served as President and in various other offices, former Lion of the Year, a Warren
B. COLEMAN award recipient for outstanding service, member of the Ottumwa Chamber of Commerce, Trustee of OADC, former
Chairman of the Ottumwa Fair Housing Board and a member of St. Mary of the Visitation Church. He retired as manager of
Plumb Supply Co. in 1983 having been in the plumbing and heating wholesale business for 52 years.
Mr. McFARLAND is survived by his wife, Rosalie of Ottumwa; a son, Neil (Denise) McFARLAND of Iowa City; six
grandchildren, Natalie (Jason) McFARLAND GULBRANSON, Breanna McFARLAND, Laura McFARLAND, Merideth McFARLAND, Christopher
CARLSON and Shay CARLSON; one great-granddaughter, Cadence GULBRANSON; one brother, Larry (Betty) McFARLAND of Riverside,
CA and sister-in-law, Betty (Mac) McFARLAND of Bouton, IA.
He was preceded in death by two daughters, Shelia McFARLAND
CARLSON and infant Mary McFARLAND, his parents, one brother Eugene McFARLAND, one sister Imogene McFARLAND CAMPBELL and
one brother-in-law Harry CAMPBELL.
Services will be held at St. Mary of the Visitation Church at 10 a.m. Wednesday with
Rev. Bernie WEIR officiating. Burial will be Wednesday afternoon at St. Mary Cemetery in Maloy, IA.
Open visitation begins noon Monday at Robertson-Jay Funeral Home.
A Christian Wake service will be 6:30 p.m. Tuesday followed by family visitation from 7-8 p.m. at Robertson-Jay Funeral
Pallbearers will be members of the Ottumwa Noon Lions. Members of the 4th Degree Knights of Columbus will serve
as Honor Guard.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Seton School or to St. Mary of the Visitation Church.
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, March of 2009
To submit your Ringgold County obituaries, contact Sharon R. Becker at
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