June 12, 1941 ~ July 23, 2014
Bob was born on June 12, 1941 in Oskaloosa, Iowa to his Irish Catholic father, also named Bob, his German Methodist mother, Mildred. Four minutes later, his twin sister Judy was born. Later, after moving to Texas, the family grew to include their little brother, Mike. Bob was here to serve others, a calling he felt at age 14 when he left home in Arlington to enter a Catholic minor seminary in San Antonio with the intention of eventually entering the priesthood. God had other plans for him though. After his first semester, his own father unexpectedly died, and Bob headed home to find work to help support the family. After graduating from Arlington High School in 1959, he entered what was then known as Arlington State College (now UTA), then went on to the University of Texas School of Law. He completed his Juris Doctor degree from SMU in 1966, which was followed by his entrance into J. Edgar Hoover's F.B.I. During all of his work and studies, he met and fell in love with Jane Highfill at a church social. They were married in 1963, and had three children: daughters Terry and Sandy, and son Bobby. They were longtime members of St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church. After the F.B.I., Bob returned to Arlington and entered private practice. In 1971, he co-founded the firm of Cribbs and McFarland with James Cribbs, continuing his lifelong calling to serve others. After several years of growth, he decided to serve the people of Tarrant County, and was elected to the Texas State Legislature in 1977. He served the people of Texas for 14 years, both as a State Representative and a State Senator, frequently being cited for such honors as inclusion in the “Ten Best Legislators in Texas” list by Texas Monthly magazine, one of the “Top Ten Good Guys” by Texas Business magazine, and being named “Legislator of the Year” by the Texas Municipal League. Bob's lifelong involvement with the legal process and relationship with lawmakers continued after his retirement from the legislature, working on behalf of municipalities and business clients during state legislative sessions in Austin until the final years of his life. Perhaps Bob's saddest day came in 2006, when his youngest, Bobby, died. But he had many bright days left, still blessed with loving wife Jane McFarland; two adoring daughters, Terry BeVelle and Sandy Worth; two sons-in-law, Ron BeVelle and Tom Worth, who thought the world of him; twin sister Judy Carr and younger brother Mike McFarland; and five grandchildren: Lauren and Thomas Worth, and Blair, Brooke, and Bailey BeVelle, who will love and remember their grandpa forever; nieces and nephew, Jim and Tanya Carr, Kim Lowe, Todd and Randi Carr; sister-in-laws, Mary Kay Keith and her children, Karen and Rick Lampton, Kathy and Joe Chavez, and Kay and Tex Cole; Catherine Highfill and her family, Milt and Paula Highfill and Michael Highfill; and a host of friends and other relatives. Wade Family Funeral Home Arlington, 817-274-9233
Mere words cannot convey our sense of loss over the passing of this great man, Bob McFarland. We join our dear friend Janie, and the family in mourning. Perhaps never has so talented a person, brilliant, served the people of Texas in elected office. His love for his family was always apparent. We count ourselves as priviledged to have been a friend, and as friends still, will carry his memory and example with us.
I just learned of Bob’s passing. He was such a talented, good person and he will be sorely missed. I have so many fond memories of our service together in the Texas Senate. He was the quickest study of a complex issue, and his humor helped us all get through some trying times. My sincere condolences to the family.
Jane, Sandy, Terry,
I am so, so very sorry for your loss. Know that I love you all and you are always in my prayers.
Sandy, Tom and McFarland Family,
I am so so very sorry. Please know you all are in our thoughts and prayers. We love y’all.
Love, Matt and Gwen Adams
I (Debbie Smith at the time) was secretary to Mr. McFarland beginning in 1970, which was my first legal secretarial position after college. He was a very intelligent, compassionate and pleasant person, and I was very fortunate to have worked for him at the Cribbs & McFarland law firm. I worked for him again when he was elected State Representative. Jane and family, please know we are thinking of you at this time and offer our deepest sympathies.
I just learned of the passing of Bob, I am profoundly sad; I have such fond memories of Bob after working with him for 12 years, During the 12 years that I worked for Bob, he was always the consummate professional, always respectful, caring and mentoring. It was Bob’s encouragement that led me to law school. Rarely does a day go by that I do not fondly think of him.
Janie and family, you are eternally in my heart.
My mother Louise Wester worked for Bob and Janey for many years. Louise loved Bob and Janey and their children as if they were her own! Bob was a great man and will be deeply missed by all. Wishing the family peace to bring comfort, courage to face the days ahead and loving memories to forever hold in your hearts.
ELizabeth Wilcher and Family
I started working in the legislature in 1982 under Bob Kelly at the Texas Legislative Council, and Senator M. was a frequent visitor to our offices. He was collegial, constructive, supportive, serious when appropriate, and light-hearted when that was exactly what was needed. I will always remain grateful for the advice and friendship he extended to a novice legislative staffer.
I first met the Senator shortly after he had left the FBI when he briefly worked with my now deceased husband. I knew I had met a very impressive individual. Our paths continued to cross in various situations (and his son and one of my sons played together in a garage band) Without fail, I was impressed with Sen. McFarland’s unquestionable professionalism and incredible knowledge of seemingly everything. I learned from this master of compromise just how useful and important compromise is. The Senator told me that a good compromise would leave both sides believing they had gotten the better outcome. I am sorry to learn of the Senator’s passing and offer my heart-felt condolences to his family.
Dear Janie and family,
We are thinking of you at this time. We share some memories with you of Bob: travel, golf, meals, golf, the legislature, but we know that your special memories of this special person would fill a book of many volumes. Perhaps this is God’s way of helping us deal with loss and maybe it brings us, not closure, but closer, to Bob and Him.
Mike & Sharon Millsap
Bee Cave, Texas