Dorothy Jane (Brock) McFarland (“Dottie”)

Published 12:23 pm Saturday, November 25, 2023

Dorothy Jane (Brock) McFarland (“Dottie”), aged 98, a resident of Pamlico Plantation Community, Washington, North Carolina, and Commonwealth Senior Living at Stratford House, Danville, Virginia, passed away peacefully at her residence on Sunday, May 14, 2023.

Dottie was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on February 13, 1925 to parents William Everette Brock and Florence Roach Brock and had one brother, William E. Brock, and one sister, Elizabeth (Brock) Allison. A true “Steel Magnolia” raised in Natchitoches, Louisiana, Dottie received a bachelor of science degree from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, after which she taught home economics. She married Ralph Irel McFarland (Capt. USN), her husband of 70 years, on Sunday, September 21, 1944. During Ralph’s Naval career, Dottie held down the home front in San Diego, California (during WWII), Norfolk, Virginia, Pensacola, Florida, Monterey, California, Jacksonville, Florida, Washington, DC, Newport, Rhode Island, Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Atlanta, Georgia, raising her three beloved children, Bill, Jane and Bob. Dottie was the consummate Navy wife; she served as President of the Navy Wives Club and was instrumental in establishing a well baby care center for Navy wives to use when taking a sick child to the dispensary, supporting Navy wives while their husbands’ ships were out to sea for 8-12 months. Not one to shy away from an adventure, Dottie also traveled the world to meet Ralph at various ports, including Florence and Naples in Italy, and Rota in Spain.

After Ralph retired from the Navy in 1973, Dottie and Ralph built their dream home on Lake Gaston in Littleton, North Carolina, where Dottie was a founding member of the Lake Gaston Ladies Club. For over 20 years the lake house became a central gathering place for family and friends as Dottie and Ralph hosted gatherings and took guests out on the lake, where Dottie demonstrated her talent for slalom water skiing. In 1994 Dottie and Ralph moved to Pamlico Plantation in Washington, North Carolina to be closer to the coast and their boating activities. With Washington as their home port, they enjoyed many years of sailing and boating, with Ralph as Captain and Dottie as First Mate. Dottie and Ralph enjoyed hosting parties and going to “Cheers” with their many Pamlico friends and, as with the lake, the Pamlico home was visited by family and friends from all over, many of whom were taken out on the sailboat, Janie Belle II or, later, the trawler, Kerry Leigh. Dottie took particular delight in her grandchildren, T.J., Kerry, Robby, and Brock, who visited often for summer adventures, and her great-grandchildren, Liam, Andrew, Willie, Waylon, and Milo. Dottie continued to live at Pamlico for several years after Ralph passed away in 2014, before relocating to Danville, Virginia in 2021 to be closer to her children. At Stratford, she met many new friends and enjoyed visits from other friends and family.

Dottie is survived by her children, Jane Anne McFarland O’Neill (Thom) of Danville, Virginia, and Robert Stephen McFarland (Peggy) of Hyco Lake, North Carolina; grandchildren T.J. O’Neill, IV (Stacey) of Shaker Heights, Ohio, Kerry O’Neill Irwin (Chris) of Pineville, North Carolina, Robert Stephen McFarland, II (Heather) of Morganton, North Carolina, and William Brock McFarland (Emily) of Richmond, Virginia; and great-grandchildren William Thomas “Liam” O’Neill, Andrew Joseph O’Neill, Waylon Grace McFarland, Milo Everette McFarland, and William Joseph McFarland.

Dottie is preceded in death by her husband of 70 years, Ralph Irel McFarland; her son, William Joseph McFarland on April 27, 1969; her parents, William Everette Brock and Florence Roach Brock; her brother, William E. Brock; and her sister, Elizabeth (Brock) Allison.

A Graveside Service will be held on Thursday, November 30th, at 3:00 PM at Arlington National Cemetery, where Dottie will be buried with her late husband, Ralph and her late son, Bill.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation be made in the memory of Dorothy Jane Brock McFarland to the Deacon’s Fund, First Presbyterian Church, 211 W. 2nd Street, Washington, North Carolina 27889 or to any other cause that is meaningful to you.

Please sign the online guestbook on the Memory Wall at The McFarland family has entrusted arrangements to Townes Funeral Home and Crematory, 215 West Main St., Danville, VA, 434-793-1211.