Dr. Victor Alan McFarland was born in Crescent City, CA on Oct. 10th, 1937. He passed away peacefully in the arms of his loving wife at their home in Vicksburg, MS on Oct. 12.
Victor was preceded in death by his mother Anna Jean Endert Castanos, father Victor Marion McFarland, and sister Jana Sue McFarland Hofer. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Dwilette Gambrell McFarland; their sons, Dr. Frederick Marshall McFarland and MAJ Daniel Leonard McFarland; daughters-in-law, Dr. Tamanna McFarland and Angela Merski; and granddaughter, Zara Victoria McFarland. He is also survived by his brother-in-law, Dr. John Hofer; nephew, Jordan Hofer; daughter and son, Marianne Getschow Elliott and Christian Getschow, as well as a host of other family members and beloved friends.
Victor earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology in 1959, at St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA. Later, in 1964, he obtained a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree at Oregon State University in Corvallis, OR. He practiced pharmacy for seven years in Berkeley and Crescent City, CA then took a position as Research Associate at the University of California, Bodega Marine Laboratory (BML). Victor’s work at BML laid the foundation for his employment in 1977 as a Research Contractor in the Environmental Laboratory (EL), US Army Engineer Waterways Experiment Station (now Engineer Research and Development Center, ERDC), Vicksburg, MS. With the support of ERDC, he entered the Graduate School of Northeast Louisiana University and earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Toxicology in 1994.
Upon completing his contract with ERDC in 1978, Victor was hired by the organization as a Research Biologist. He soon advanced to the position of Principal Investigator and Team Leader in the Environmental Risk Assessment Branch, Environmental Processes and Engineering Division. In 1988, he received the Department of the Army’s Research and Development Technical Achievement Award, and in 1989 became board-certified by the Academy of Environmental Professionals. His research resulted in federal guidance for regulating the disposal of contaminated sediments as mandated by the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act of 1977.
During Victor’s 28 years at ERDC, he published more than 60 scientific papers in refereed journals, government reports, scientific symposia, and conference proceedings. Victor was an active member of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and Sigma Xi, the Scientific Research Honor Society.
Though Victor had many hobbies over his lifetime (e.g., playing piano, riding motorcycles, reading, SCUBA diving, listening to classical and rock music), he developed an enduring love of sailing in San Francisco Bay and farther south along the California coastline. In retirement, he expressed a fondness for maritime history and literature through his mastery of constructing intricately-designed model ships – many of which took years to complete.
Victor will be remembered for his sharp wit, his thoughtful demeanor, and a sense of humor that often-had jaws dropping to the floor. His honesty and straight-forwardness earned him the love and respect of family members, friends and colleagues alike who will miss him dearly.
Victor’s family extends appreciation to the many caregivers and medical staff who so lovingly dedicated their services to his healthcare. They would like to thank Medical Associates of Vicksburg, Merit Health Systems River Region, Kindred at Home and Kindred Hospice – Vicksburg; Jackson Pulmonary Associates, Baptist Memorial Hospital, and Select Specialty Hospital – Jackson. The family is especially grateful for the tender care provided by his “Visiting Angel” Tina Frazier, and his nurse from Kindred Hospice – Vicksburg Amanda Young, RN.
In accordance with Victor’s request, no funeral service will be held. Instead, a Celebration-of-Life gathering will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you donate to the Baptist Health Foundation (https://baptisthealth.foundation/ways-to-give), the American Lung Association (www.lung.org), or St. Jude Children’s Hospital (www.stjude.org).See a typo? Report it here.