Lillian Marguerite MacFarland
December 23, 1920 – December 29, 2020
Lillian Marguerite MacFarland, nee Koenig, passed away peacefully in her sleep on December 29, 2020. She was admitted to the hospital on Christmas Eve and was diagnosed with Covid-19 and pneumonia. She died just 6 days after her 100th birthday. She maintained her joyous spirit up until the end, clapping and waving to all her admirers as the ambulance transported her to the hospital for her final days.
Born December 23rd, 1920 in Detroit, Michigan, to Harold Omar Koenig, Sr., and Caroline Elizabeth Svelha, she was the eldest of five. Her father, Harold, Sr. was wounded in action in France in WWI and was awarded the Purple Heart and a field promotion to Sergeant. Her siblings, Harold Koenig, Jr., Mary Koenig Hawes, Catherine Koenig, and Michael Aloysius Koenig, all predeceased her. Michael was killed in action aboard the USS Ticonderoga (CV14) on January 21, 1945 by a kamikaze attack. Michael was awarded the Purple Heart posthumously.
Lillian married her only love, Harold Charles MacFarland, Sr., of Detroit on May 30, 1941 at the Roman Catholic Church of the Nativity. Harold predeceased her in 1990. They loved to dance, roller-skate, play cards, and spend time at their country place in Croswell, Michigan. They loved each other dearly and his pet name for her was “Doll.” Harold, Sr. was called to serve in the US Navy in World War II in the South Pacific and spent 2 years overseas while Lillian raised the family and served in the war effort on the home front.
In a blessed and loving marriage of 49.5 years, Lillian and Harold had 5 dear children together. Harold, Jr., and Ingeborg Groeschner gave them 2 grandchildren, Fredrik and Caroline; Dennis (who predeceased her) and Elizabeth Keast Ghazal gave her 2 grandchildren, Michelle Schloff and David; Michael who died in utero; Karen and Lawrence MacFarland; and Kevin, Sr. and Lois O’Donohue gave her 5 grandchildren, Adam, Amy Broome, Zachary, Elijah, and Kevin, Jr. In total, Lillian had 14 great grandchildren and 1 on the way in June 2021.
She loved her family deeply and was always “in their face.” (Her words.) She was especially proud of her 5 grandchildren who are currently serving in the Nation’s Military and carrying on the family tradition of service. She loved her nieces and nephews, especially Roy, Peggy, Sue, Jeff, Mike, Kathy, and Sharon.
Lillian was a faithful and devoted Catholic throughout her entire life. She prayed the Most Holy Rosary daily and attended Mass as often as possible. She was faithful to Jesus and the Sacraments of His Holy Church. Whenever times were difficult, she would counsel those around her to offer it up for the poor souls in Purgatory. In the family, we used to tease her that she had single-handedly emptied Purgatory of all its residents!
She was a proud American who would stand and sing the National Anthem with her unique voice whenever it was played. In these later years she would say “Stand for the Flag and Kneel for the Cross.” She believed that America is a place where anyone, despite their background, could achieve their dreams with prayer, hard work, and dedication.
She loved the folks on the Old East Side of Detroit where she and Harold lived together for 45 years. Especially Don and his kids, Rhonda, Bonnie, Barbara and her coworkers from Ludington News. She also loved the young people under care when she ran a local daycare center out of her home, especially Lynda.
After Harold’s passing in 1990, Lillian lived on her own on 40 acres in Croswell until the age of 92. She drove every day. She loved her Ford Motor Cars, and especially the friends she made because of them: Ted, Tracie, George, and Mark. She loved the people in Croswell and especially her young friends at Hurley’s Roller Rink including Greg, Pat, Denise, Carol, Carla, and Gina!
She made an impression on all who met her. She had a fiery and passionate spirit and never lacked an opinion (or failed to share it!) Her wry humor and sharp wit were truly remarkable, and she lived her life to its fullest, traveling extensively to Switzerland, Germany, France, Greece, Alaska, the British Isles, Japan, the Caribbean and especially loved Mackinac Island. She went to the top of the Eiffel Tower, the Colosseum, and the Torch of the Statue of Liberty amongst others.
Lillian moved to Florida in 2013 at the request of her family (“kicking and screaming”) who live here but she always was a Michigan girl at heart. She had a passion for the Detroit Tigers and University of Michigan football and never forgave Bobby Layne for his curse on the Detroit Lions. She loved all her neighbors at Dove’s Landing in New Tampa and her friend and hairdresser Kristen. She was happy to be a parishioner at St. Mark the Evangelist Catholic Church in New Tampa and attended there until her physical condition made it impossible.
She remained mentally sharp and physically active well into her mid-90s; she loved to exercise at the Wellness Center in Wesley Chapel and made many great friends there, including Annemarie and Larry, and especially her trainers Vanelis, Nick, Katie, Sara and Sarah.
Lillian fell and broke her hip in 2017 necessitating her move to assisted living. She loved all of her friends at Promise Pointe in Temple Terrace and the staff who took excellent care of her right up until the end, especially Monica, Jordan, Falisha and Velma. On December 20, 2020, she had her last hoorah. A beautiful 100th birthday parade was held with over 40 cars. The outpouring of love and support from all her friends and family was truly remarkable. We are especially grateful to Carol Ann and all the members of the Tampa Florida Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who turned out for Lillian’s birthday parade. They really made her very last birthday special! Here is a link to the video of her parade https://fb.watch/2zJr9Y6mbV/.
Now she has joyfully reunited with the Lord and the rest of her family members who went before her. We can only imagine how happy she is to see Dad, Grammy, Dennis, Larry, and Robert and her siblings and all the others! As people of faith, we know that she has not gone forever, she has only changed her address!
She was the last of the greatest generation in our family and was an amazingly strong person. Her contributions to the world over the last 100 years were remarkable. We are most grateful that Almighty God has blessed us with her for so long. May she rest in peace! The family thanks you for all your prayers and support in this difficult but joyous time. Thank you for all who called, texted or messaged us with your love and support.
A memorial mass will be held on February 12, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Anthony the Abbot Catholic Church, Brooksville, FL with the Reverend Paul Pecchie as Celebrant. Internment will occur at Bushnell National Cemetery at a later date where she will be placed with her dear husband Harold.
St. Anthony the Abbot Catholic Church
Lillian Marguerite MacFarland
January 4, 2021
Lillian is a special person. I will always remember her smile
and her laugh. She was always upbeat and happy and loved
people! She enjoyed life, and I am happy that I was able
to know her, and I will remember her witty spirit. May God
comfort her, and may she rest in peace.
January 4, 2021
Lillian was a very special, beautiful person, She was humorous and charming,
Her fond memories will always have a place in my heart.
Love you Lillian ❤️
Rest In Peace.