On March 14, we lost our beautiful, cherished mother, Mary Lou McFarlane.
This almost-92-year-old was a strong figure until the end, managing to endure a long year of isolation due to the coronavirus. When Dad passed away in 1998, she turned to technology and learned how to use a computer and email to stay in touch. This past year she tackled her iPad and Facetime, and we are so grateful that she embraced new ways of staying connected. She had the mind of an engineer combined with the design sense of someone who loved to create.
Mary Lou was born in Argyle, New York, to Arthur and Lillian Pendergrass and moved to St. Petersburg, Florida as a teenager. She graduated from St. Pete High where she was a cheerleader and fell for the star basketball player whom she married in 1950. She and Jim (Mac) McFarlane started their adventure in Roswell, New Mexico as Mac served in the US Air Force; they returned to Gainesville as he completed his degree at UF while she took charge of the growing family.
They spent a year in Miami and then settled in Gainesville where Mac was a professor at UF and the two of them became a part of the university community. Mary Lou did what she always wanted to do! She was a Mom and lover of babies, puppies and small animals. Linda and Jim were born in St. Petersburg, and Susan followed in Miami. Mom was the consummate mother, encouraging all of us – and our friends – in all kinds of activities. Mary Lou was an amazing seamstress (the inside of any garment must look as good as the outside), quilter, knitter and maker. She loved bright colors and was also a great golfer and master Pac Man and Pong video game player back in the day.
She was preceded in death by her husband Mac, and by her brothers (John and Bonnie Pendergrass, Walter and Audrey Pendergrass). She is survived by children Linda Czopek (Portland, OR), Jim McFarlane (Gainesville) and Susan Carstenn (Honolulu, HI) as well as three grandchildren Brad Czopek (Leah Nagengast), Jared Carstenn, and Dustin Carstenn (Lelia) and one great-granddaughter (Ella Czopek) along with nieces and nephews.
Mom was excited to attend the wedding of youngest grandson Dustin and Lelia in January 2020 and was able to get to know her great-granddaughter Ella via Facebook. She loved seeing photos of Ella’s second birthday party and looked forward to almost daily pictures of this busy 2-year-old. She never missed the opportunity to remind us of how much she loves babies!
There will be a quaint gathering and service on Tuesday, March 23 at 2 pm at Forest Meadows Memorial Park-Central. There will be a celebration of life at a later date.
The family extends their gratitude to Haven Hospice and the caregivers for their care and concern. Arrangements are being handled by Forest Meadows.