Arthur Ellsworth McFarland Sr., beloved father, “Papa,” “Grampa,” “Great Papa,” and brother, passed away on Feb. 5, 2024, at Cove’s Edge with his family by his side. Born in South Bristol on Sept. 7, 1931, he was the son of Sumner and Helen (Nason) McFarland.
Arthur was raised in South Bristol, attending local schools, and enjoying the times spent lobstering and fishing with family and friends. Arthur’s love for his community and his eagerness to help others started in grade school when he became a volunteer firefighter. When the fire whistle blew, Arthur and many of his classmates would rush toward the door in hopes of getting by his beloved principal, Harold Webster. Harold would catch some as they ran by, but he could never seem to catch Arthur. Harold and Arthur developed a bond and a friendship that lasted many years. Together they worked at the fish stream in Damariscotta Mills, smoking alewives for all to enjoy.
Shortly after graduating high school Arthur enlisted in the United States Navy, proudly serving during the Korean War and honorably discharged in November 1954. On Nov. 24, 1954, Arthur married Mildred Page, and together they had four children. Mildred passed away on Dec. 24, 1966, leaving Arthur heartbroken but determined to provide for and love his young children, which he did with every fiber of his being for his entire life.
On Feb. 3, 1968, Arthur married Bernadine Brow and they had many happy years together before her death in May of 2005.
Arthur’s devotion to his work, and to the towns he lived in, was evident to all who knew him. He worked at and then managed Yudy’s Tire in Damariscotta, “retiring” after 44 years. After “retiring” Arthur went to work for the Bristol Parks and Recreation. He loved this job, the town of Bristol, and the people he worked with. His entire family will always appreciate the happiness and pride that job brought him, as well as the support he received while working there.
Arthur was a selectman for the town of Nobleboro alongside his dear friend, Lenny Hartford; together they served Nobleboro for many years. Arthur had a strong faith and a deep love for God. He was honored to serve as a deacon at the Nobleboro Baptist Church. His faith was unwavering and one of the happiest days of his life was watching his dear friend, Pastor Earl Chapman, baptize his children, giving their life to the lord.
Arthur was a Mason for 66 years, earning the coveted 33 degree ranking and was a member of the Eastern Star for many years. He enjoyed serving the community, and he appreciated the camaraderie of his brothers and sisters within these organizations. Arthur was the oldest living member of his lodge; the family appreciates the love and care he was given over the years.
In addition to his parents and his wives, Arthur was predeceased by his sisters, Verona, Vicky, Gerry, Reita, and Beryl; and his brothers, Roland, James, Marshall, and Sumner. He was also predeceased by his treasured and devoted friends, Bud and Helen Hallowell and Donald MacMillan.
Arthur is survived by, and will be sorely missed by his children, Harvey and his wife Ellen, Arthur Jr. “Skipper” and his wife, Lisa, Richard and his wife, Rhonda, Regina Herald and her husband, Craig, and Kimberly Bailey and her husband, Mike. Arthur had nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren who treasured his loving nature, unfailing work ethic, and dedication to excellence. Also surviving Arthur is his dear sister, Evelyn Ball; and his beloved friend, Trudy MacMillan.
The family would like to thank Arthur’s very dear friend, Gary Paine. Gary came into our lives via Comfort Keepers. Gary’s love, gentle care, and generous spirit brought joy and laughter to Arthur and his family with each visit, and it will always be appreciated.
Special thanks to nephew, Ralphie York, for his faithful visits, support, and advice. Thank you to the Nobleboro Baptist Church for the many cards and for keeping Arthur and his family in their hearts and prayers. Thank you to Tidewater Telecom for their support over the last several years. Their support enabled the family to care for Arthur whenever the need arose. Thank you to Comfort Keepers, CLC Ambulance Service, Cove’s Edge, Dr. Rob Hunold, and Beacon Hospice for the loving care and guidance.
A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Nobleboro Baptist Church to celebrate the life of Arthur McFarland with his family and friends. In lieu of flowers, donations in Arthur’s memory may be made to the Nobleboro Baptist Church, P.O. Box 35, Nobleboro, ME 04555.
Arrangements are under the direction and care of the Strong-Hancock Funeral Home, 612 Main St., Damariscotta, ME 04543. Condolences, and messages for his family, may be expressed by visiting stronghancock.com.