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Dr. John R. McFarland

Obituary
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Dr. John R. McFarland, 75 died of cancer December 26 at his home in Topeka, KS. John was born February 9, 1934 in Osborne, Ks., the son of Sheldon and Thelma McFarland. He graduated from Osborne High in 1952. He attended the University of Kansas on a football scholarship where he played quarterback from 1952-1956. He was a member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity. With one year of eligibility left, he was asked by his former high school coach to play football for him at Central Missouri State University, giving him the opportunity to graduate from KU with a degree in Business and a degree from CMSU in Economics. The friendships formed during these years were enduring. John graduated from the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Dentistry in 1961. He began his practice in Topeka in June 1961 sharing the position of staffing the Shawnee County Dental Health Clinic time and an office at Topeka Dental Center. In 1977, he collaborated with three other dentists to form the Gage Dental Group. Dr. McFarland was dedicated to the quality care of the patients in his practice as well as at his volunteer work with the Kansas Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped and the Marian Dental Clinic. Retiring from the full time practice of Dentistry in 1999, he found joy in delivering Meals On Wheels until illness prevented him from continuing. During his years in Topeka, John supported many civic endeavors, including Downtown Optimist Club (past President), Civitan, Mulvane Art Museum board member, Topeka Symphony, Topeka Civic Theatre, Topeka Jazz Workshop, Topeka Jazz Festival, Everypersons Resource Center, and the Senior Chamber of Commerce. He coached youth basketball and football. He was a longtime member of the YMCA, and an original member of Wood Valley Racquet Club. He was once city handball champion, and a racquetball enthusiast. He was an active member of the University of Kansas "K"Club, the Williams Education Fund and the Topeka Jayhawk Club, as well as holding basketball and football season tickets since graduation. John was a member of First United Methodist Church and the Keystone class, the Topeka, Shawnee County, Kansas State, and American Dental Societies, the Society for the Preservation of Oral Health, The Chicago Dental Society, The Fifth District Dental Society, the Kansas Foundation of Dentistry for the Handicapped and The LD Pankey Institute for Advanced Dental Education where he studied beginning in 1972. He was recommended and accepted as a Fellow of the American College of Dentists. In 1996, he was appointed to the faculty of the LD Pankey Institute where he served part -time. Married to Karen Edmonds on Jan 15, 1996 in Maui, Hawaii, they loved travel, especially to Jackson Hole, Wyo. where their families could join them for summer fun. They had a number of very special trips both inside and outside the country. Karen survives at the home. Other survivors include a sister, Phyllis Daniels, Spartanburg, SC: a brother, Jerry McFarland, Wichita, Ks: his children, Laurie N. Ritchie, Cedar Park, TX; Mark T. McFarland, Las Cruces, NM; Scott D. McFarland (Leslie) of Lawrence, Ks; step-children Tod Edmonds (Jan) Topeka; Kelly Smith (Ed) Ottawa Ks.; Matthew Edmonds (Virginia) St. Petersburg, FL; Grandchildren, Joseph John Ritchie, Cedar Park, TX; Kyle Andrew McFarland, Lawrence, Ks; step grandchildren, Lindsay Munzy, Chicago, Ill.; Adam Smith, Kearney, Neb.; Caitlin Smith, NY, NY; Brian Peel, Olathe Kan.; Carrie Schmidt and Whitney Estenson, Topeka, and two great grandchildren; nephews Michael and David Daniels, Todd and Brad McFarland. A celebration of life and memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church on Wednesday, December 30 at7 p.m., with private inurnment. The family will receive guests in the Celebration Room following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to The Marian Dental Clinic, Stormont Vail Cancer Center, Meals on Wheels, First United Methodist Church, Midland Hospice, or the charity of your choice. The family wishes to thank the physicians and staff of Cotton-O'Neil-Stormont Vail for their years of devoted and quality care, as well as Midland Hospice. We are forever grateful. Dr. John R. McFarland

Published in Topeka Capital-Journal on Dec. 27, 2009
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