Alan McFarlane, 70, of Melbourne FL, passed away unexpectedly on July 31, 2019.
Alan was born in Norway, Maine and grew up in Virginia. Upon graduation from high school, he joined the Marines and was sent to Vietnam from January 1968 to February 1969. As part of the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, the “Walking Dead,” his final battle was the Dewey Canyon Operation, for which he was awarded a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star with a “V” for his valor in battle. His commanding officer won the Congressional Medal of Honor for that engagement.
After his honorable discharge, he began work with the United States Post Office as a mail clerk; later he became a rural letter carrier in Northern Virginia. He was also a union steward for the Postal Workers union. Retiring after 30 years of service, he moved to Maine to be the caregiver for his mother until her death.
He had many interests, but had two passions: fishing and reading, and he loved sharing these with others. He was naturalist, a Weathermeister, and a favorite resident in his rural Maine community. He delighted teaching his nieces, nephews and grandchildren his joy of fishing and being part of the Maine outdoors. He relished describing the multitude of “National Geographic Moments” as he called them, when he experienced a natural event that few get to see.
He obtained his private pilot’s license in 2012, in honor of his dad’s service in World War II as a glider pilot.
In 2013, he moved to Florida where he continued his passion for fishing in both the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge lagoons and the on the lakes in Brevard County. He became fast friends with the local guides and his fellow fishing enthusiasts. In addition to his fishing skills, he was a talented photographer, documenting his mornings on the Lagoon with spectacular pictures of sunrises and the changing weather. He also volunteered with veterans groups in the area.
He is survived by his son Danny (Essie), his grandchildren Tori, Curtis and Daniel, and his sisters Sr. Anne Elizabeth Toepker, Norah Lackey and Laurie DiSanto. Also survived by many nieces, nephews and cousins, as well as many friends across the country.
A memorial service and reception will be held on Friday, August 16, 2019 at the Ammen Family Cremation and Funeral Care, 1001 Hickory St, Melbourne FL at 11:00 am.
In lieu of flowers please consider a contribution to Heroes on the Water – Space Coast Florida Chapter www.heroesonthewater.org
A memorial service in Northern Virginia and interment in West Paris, Maine will be announced at a later date.
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