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Linda K. McFarland

July 12, 1947 February 16, 2018
Linda K. McFarland
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Obituary for Linda K. McFarland

Linda K. McFarland age 70 of Fredericksburg, IA, died Friday, February 16, 2018, at Mercy Medical Center in New Hampton.

Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 24, 2018 at Peace United Church of Christ, Fredericksburg, with Rev. Jim Reid presiding.

Friends may greet the family 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. Friday, February 23, 2018, at the Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home in Fredericksburg. Visitation continues an hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.

Linda Kay Marksteiner McFarland was born on July 12, 1947 in Bremerton, Washington, to Lcdr. Harold L. Jagoditsch and Carrie Aldrich Mossbruker. She was adopted by John and Marie Marksteiner of Chicago, Illinois. Linda had a passion for learning and science throughout her life. She graduated from St. Anne’s Nursing School in Chicago, Illinois, and worked as an operating room nurse until enlisting in the Navy in 1969. She was stationed in St Alban’s Hospital in New York City for two years. She returned to Chicago after active duty and served twenty years in the Navy Reserves.

It was on a Navy trip to Europe in 1973 that she met her husband Dan L. McFarland. They were married in 1974, and cordially divorced in 2000. They had two daughters, Martha and Emily. Throughout Linda’s life, she remained actively involved in the Navy Nurse Corps Association and in the Iowa Nurse’s Association. Linda worked at St. Joseph’s Community Hospital in New Hampton for almost thirty years, and completed her Bachelors of Science at Clarke College in Dubuque during that time.

Linda was diagnosed with ALS a few months after retirement from St. Joes. She wrote, “I fought a formidable enemy that stole my body, but I won, because it couldn’t take my spirit. Live your life one day at a time. Don’t stew about what you can’t control, but be ready to act on those things you can.” Shortly before her diagnosis, she made a fifteen-day trip to Egypt.

True to her words, Linda chose to focus on her abilities until the end, continuing to travel while she was still able, taking craft, pottery and drawing classes. She met every challenge directly, problem solving around the loss of her arms and legs with homemade adaptive devices. She also often shared the gifts that had accompanied her illness, including learned patience and the extra time spent with her daughters, family and friends. With the help of her caregivers, she spent the last years of her life on her peaceful acreage in the country entertained by her cats, doing her own finances, computer artwork and games with the little movement she had left. She was actively involved in raising money for ALS Association.

She is survived by her daughters Martha McFarland of Fredericksburg and Emily (Brandon) Petrie and her grandson Keller Petrie of Fresno, California; her sisters Eileen Ceisel of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, and Kathy (John) Sissulak of Steamwood, Illinois, Virgie (Paul) Eldridge of Corvalis, Montana, and Joanne (Eric) Haberman of Seattle, Washington.

She was preceded in death by her parents; by love and paper, John and Marie Marksteiner, and by her birth parents Harold (Shirley) Jagoditsch and Carrie (Ray) Aldrich Mossbrucker, and her sister Nadine (Don) Fachet.


In lieu of flowers, the family wishes donations be made to "The ALS Association of Iowa" 3636 Westown Parkway Suite 204 West Des Moines, IA 50266.


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