James D. "Jim" McFarland
1947 - 2020
October 4, 1947
November 27, 2020
McFarland, James D. "Jim"

October 4, 1947 - November 27, 2020

James D. (Jim) McFarland died in his home on November 27, 2020 in Omaha, NE due to complications following pancreatic cancer. He was 73.

Jim was born on October 4, 1947 in North Platte, NE to Dale and Dorothy Jean. Jim was an All-Conference football and basketball player while attending North Platte High School. He went on to play football for the University of Nebraska; receiving All Big 8 and All-American recognition. Jim graduated from UNL in 1970.

Jim was the first walk-on from Nebraska drafted into the National Football League, playing five years for the St. Louis Cardinals and one year for the Miami Dolphins. After retiring from professional football, Jim attended Cornell Law School in Ithaca, NY. He then returned to Lincoln, NE where went into private practice for over 35 years. Jim served as state senator for Nebraska's 28th district from 1986-1991 and as a judge of the Nebraska Commission of Industrial Relations from 1993-1998.

In 1999, Jim was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame. He served on the Former NFL Player Board of Directors for six years and as one of two former players elected to the NFLPA Executive Committee that negotiated the 2011 Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFLPA and the NFL owners.

In 2017, Jim retired his law practice and moved to Omaha, NE. There, he obtained his Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from Creighton University.

Jim was a member of St. John's Catholic Parish on the Creighton University campus. He was active in his church community and lived a life dedicated to mentorship and service of others. He was actively involved in organizations such as the Prison Fellowship Ministry and Toastmasters International.

Jim is survived by his wife, Kim McFarland of Omaha, NE; son, Douglas McFarland and his wife Cindy Walth of Lincoln, NE; daughter, Jamie McFarland and her husband Sam Akinrinade of New York, NY; granddaughters, Della and Nova Akinrinade; two brothers, Bob McFarland and his wife Roselyn, and Mark McFarland and his wife Marcia; along with numerous nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life Service will take place Wednesday, December 2nd, at 11am. Due to COVID-19, the service will be private but the family welcomes all to view a broadcast of the service by going to www.johnagentleman.com/obituaries and clicking on the link found within Jim McFarland's obituary listing. Because Jim touched so many lives, memories and messages are welcome to his tribute wall located on his obituary listing as well.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the North Platte Public School Foundation (www.nppsf.org) or Prison Fellowship (www.prisonfellowship.org).


421 W 4th St., North Platte NE | (308) 532-2044
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Published by Omaha World-Herald on Dec. 1, 2020.
Celebration of Life
the family welcomes all to view a broadcast of the service by going to www.johnagentleman.com/obituaries and clicking on the link found within Jim McFarland’s obituary listing
Funeral services provided by:
Adams & Swanson Funeral Home - North Platte
Add a Message
17 Entries
We´re sorry to hear of the loss of Mr McFarland. He will be greatly missed. Our deepest sympathy to Kimberly and the family. Richard and Lupita Herrera
Richard and Lupita Herrera
December 2, 2020
I am truly going to miss Jim. He was a Fiji Fraternity brother and roommate of mine and also a groomsman at my wedding 50 years ago. He was a good and thoughtful friend. I was the recipient of some of his letters. I was so impressed by his willingness to help the less fortunate as in the Prison Fellowship Ministry and serving as a lawyer for those incarcerated. I was blessed to spend time with him on my yearly treks to Nebraska, ride bikes with him, and go to Big Red games with him where we could always make each other laugh. A lot! He put his heart and soul into life, friends, and family and now he is with the Lord.
Jim Peterson
December 2, 2020
Jim was one of the finest, wisest, most compassionate and interesting men I ever knew. He was a great friend and trusted counselor, always looking for ways to better understand others and contribute to a better world. My sympathies to his family.
Chuck Schroeder
December 2, 2020
You have my thoughts and prayers, Jim was highly regarded and his loss is one for the State. I know Kim, his wife, I send Kim my warmest thoughts and wishes for peace and serenity, May you be strengthened by all who care for you,
M Jane Ford Witthoff
December 2, 2020
Its Terrible to miss someone so much. A great guy who loved Dr. kimberly very much.
J. Wieckert
December 2, 2020
Howard Kutler
December 1, 2020
My condolences to the family. (My connection is through Doug and Cindy.) Prayers for all.
Lila Garner
December 1, 2020
Kim: My sincerest sympathies. Hard times learning to be without your love. Jim was great the few times I got to chat with him. Thoughts and prayers are with you and all the family.
Marletta McKercher
December 1, 2020
Kim. So sorry to hear of Jim´s passing. Always enjoyed the times we were around each other. My thoughts and prayers are with you and the family.
Ed Vigna
December 1, 2020
Dear Kim - Your husbands' tremendous impact on others is evident in his life story and these testimonies. There are no words to tell you how sorry I am for your loss. I wish I could rid the pain and find a way to bring you comfort. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.
Kim Galt
December 1, 2020
We were classmates in North Platte and friends. Jim was a handsome, intelligent, caring man. He was a gentleman and a friend. He was so talented in sports and had great success. Getting his law degree and a masters in writing were examples of him living life to the highest degree. The world has lost a truly fantastic man. All my sympathy to the family. Just know he was loved and respected by everyone. Godspeed in your healing.
Jacqueline Glascock
December 1, 2020
The McFarlands were a great family. His mom Dorothy and my mom were very good friends for many years as well as his grandmother and my grandmother living neighbors on the north side of North Platte. Our prayers and thoughts are with Jim´s family
Jeannie (Meduna) Erickson
December 1, 2020
My deepest sympathy to Jim's family. May God give you strength and comfort. I worked in District Court in Lincoln and had many contacts with Jim. Always a smile and so pleasant and courteous to work with. The world will miss such a caring person.
Marjorie Hart Schwabauer
December 1, 2020
Condolences to the Family-- I knew Jim-- He was a Super Nice Person and was very Friendly and Personable. a Terrible Loss Prayers for the Family
Don Miltner Jr
December 1, 2020
Jim was a good friend and a supporter of our work with Encouragement Unlimited, Inc. here in Lincoln. I worked as a legal assistant in his office for about a year helping him with legal correspondence. It was a great time and a way to give back to a man who had given to me.

We attended church together at Christ Temple Mission Church and I know he loved the Lord. His work with the retired football players put him in a position to be a help to those men who needed help after giving so much of themselves for the game. Jim wanted only the best for them, not for himself.

We will miss Jim and are thankful that God bless us with the years we had together. Our love and prayers to Kim in this difficult time.
Pastor John Harris
November 30, 2020
i reached out to Jim a few months ago when I saw his email address on a NPHS Class reunion blast. He responded quickly and we traded emails on all kinds of topics from our past in the past few months.

Jim and I had lunch in Kearney on Oct 9th. We had a great talk. He was very proud of his family and their accomplishments and wished he could see his new granddaughter that lived in NY. Jim and I were on the NPHS football and track team together and we shared memories that were precious to both of us. We had made plans to get together the next time I was in Omaha but the pandemic kept that from happening quickly. RIP my friend Jim!!!!!
Steve England
November 29, 2020
My prayers are with your family. I just buried my wife 3 weeks ago and she also had pancreatic cancer so I know what your family has gone through. James is in peace and in the Good Lord's comforting arms now.
Leo Ridgway
November 29, 2020