‘Distinguished Mountaineer’ celebrates 100th birthday


By Mindy Kearns - Special to OVP



It was “Bill McFarland Day” in the Town of New Haven Tuesday, as the World War II Navy veteran marked his 100th birthday. He is pictured with the proclamation, and flanked by Recorder Becky Benson, left, and Mayor Phil Serevicz.

It was “Bill McFarland Day” in the Town of New Haven Tuesday, as the World War II Navy veteran marked his 100th birthday. He is pictured with the proclamation, and flanked by Recorder Becky Benson, left, and Mayor Phil Serevicz.


Mindy Kearns | Courtesy

West Virginia Delegate Jonathan Pinson, 13th District, presented Bill McFarland with a proclamation from Governor Jim Justice on McFarland’s 100th birthday Tuesday. The certificate proclaimed McFarland as a “Distinguished Mountaineer.”


Courtesy

NEW HAVEN, W.Va. — It was a day of celebration in New Haven Tuesday as World War II Navy Veteran Bill McFarland marked his 100th birthday.

McFarland’s day was spent with well-wishing visitors, proclamations, and a drive-by card shower in the afternoon.

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice proclaimed McFarland a “Distinguished Mountaineer” in a certificate delivered by Delegate Jonathan Pinson of the 13th District. In addition, New Haven Mayor Phil Serevicz and Recorder Becky Benson presented McFarland a certificate proclaiming the day as “Bill McFarland Day” in the municipality. Town administrators urged residents to complete an act of kindness in honor of the centenarian.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all McFarland had asked for were cards, and the people came through for him. He received a total of 314 as of Wednesday morning, he said. They came from as far as California, and included several from New Haven Elementary School classrooms.

McFarland was presented a new large American Flag and World War II veteran hat by Stewart-Johnson V.F.W. Post 9926 Commander Ray Varian. Many friends and neighbors brought gifts and baked goods, as well.

Born to Ernie and Ora (Jones) McFarland, he was one of nine children, including five boys who all served in the military. In fact, McFarland, after having served four years in the U.S. Navy from January 1942 to November 1945, said he would go back tomorrow if he was needed and able.

A Gunner Mate, Second Class, McFarland served with the Armed Guard, which escorted supplies of fuel, aircraft, tanks, ammo, troops and other items to support the war effort. He claims to have seen more water in those years than others see in their entire life.

McFarland has also left a mark on his longtime hometown. He, along with Phil Batey, started the New Haven Fire Department. He helped build the first fire station, which still stands across from the present town hall, and was also on the crew that built the now defunct Philip Sporn Power Plant.

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It was “Bill McFarland Day” in the Town of New Haven Tuesday, as the World War II Navy veteran marked his 100th birthday. He is pictured with the proclamation, and flanked by Recorder Becky Benson, left, and Mayor Phil Serevicz.
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/05/web1_5.6-McF-1.jpgIt was “Bill McFarland Day” in the Town of New Haven Tuesday, as the World War II Navy veteran marked his 100th birthday. He is pictured with the proclamation, and flanked by Recorder Becky Benson, left, and Mayor Phil Serevicz. Mindy Kearns | Courtesy

West Virginia Delegate Jonathan Pinson, 13th District, presented Bill McFarland with a proclamation from Governor Jim Justice on McFarland’s 100th birthday Tuesday. The certificate proclaimed McFarland as a “Distinguished Mountaineer.”
https://www.mydailyregister.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/24/2021/05/web1_5.6-McF2.jpgWest Virginia Delegate Jonathan Pinson, 13th District, presented Bill McFarland with a proclamation from Governor Jim Justice on McFarland’s 100th birthday Tuesday. The certificate proclaimed McFarland as a “Distinguished Mountaineer.” Courtesy

By Mindy Kearns

Special to OVP

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at mindykearns1@hotmail.com.

Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at mindykearns1@hotmail.com.