Roland MacFarlane, 90, died peacefully in his bed at the Hillsboro Care Center on December 21, 2016. He was born to parents Neil and Nellie (Fugate) MacFarlane in Hillsboro, ND on January 29, 1926. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Grandin, ND to the farm that his grandparents homesteaded in 1879. He graduated from Grandin High School in 1943 and, after farming for a short time, was drafted into the army in 1950 and stationed in Germany for two years, serving as a cook. He returned to the farm and began a farm/dairy business with his older brother, Neil Jr. At that time he also pursued a degree in dairy management from NDSU. In the 1970s, the dairy business was phased out and in the 1980s, he retired from farming and pursued a master’s degree in horticulture from NDSU, graduating in 1986. He was an assistant professor of horticulture at NDSU-Bottineau, before returning to the farm and embarking on a life-long ambition to operate Elm River Garden Center, a seed and landscaping business. In the off-season, he worked for Agway in Grandin (now CHS).
Even though Roland lived his entire life at his farmstead, he managed to get some traveling in to his beloved Scotland and to his Canadian roots, as well as numerous trips around the area, especially to the Peace Gardens of ND. He was involved for decades in 4H leadership, his church, his Scottish heritage (like the St. Andrew’s Society), the local Masonic Temple, the Red River Horticultural Association, and anything dealing with local history. He loved art and classical music and was quite talented as a sculptor. No one who visited his home ever left without being presented a plant or flower. He cooked and baked, as well as being a very skilled carpenter, building cabinets and finishing his greenhouse and potting building. He worked hard on the farm for many years, but often his neighbors could hear him singing along with his favorite opera as he labored in the yard or garden.
In January of 2012 on a -30 degree wind-chill night, he slipped and fell on some icy snow and lay in the cold for several hours before he was found. As tough as he was, he only lost a few fingers from the ordeal, but it slowed him down to the point where he entered the Arthur Good Samaritan Care Center in 2013 where he lived until November of this year, when he was transferred to Hillsboro.
Roland was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Barbara MacFarlane Adsaro and Winifred MacFarlane. He is survived by his brother Neil Jr. of Arthur, formerly of Casselton, ND; cousin Douglas MacFarlane of Kansas City; his close neighbors who watched over him in his later years; and his faithful dog, Jeffrey, who could often be seen waiting for his master’s return by the driveway mailbox.
There will be a memorial service on Tuesday, December 27, 2016 at 7:00 PM in the Wildeman-Boulger Funeral Home in Hillsboro. The funeral will be held on Wednesday, December 28, 2016 at 11:00 AM in the Presbyterian Church in Grandin, ND. Burial will take place in the spring at the Grandin Cemetery.
Arrangements entrusted to the care of Wildeman-Boulger Funeral Home.