Cover photo for Harry Thomas McFarland's Obituary
Harry Thomas McFarland Profile Photo
1944 Harry 2024

Harry Thomas McFarland

July 14, 1944 — May 15, 2024


     Indianapolis said goodbye to a true pillar of the community, Harry Thomas McFarland, who passed away on May 15, 2024, leaving behind a legacy of compassion, dedication, and service. Born on July 14, 1944, in his beloved Indianapolis, Indiana, Harry's life was a testament to selflessness and tireless commitment to making his city a better place for all who called it home. Harry was one of six children born to William S.E. McFarland and Selma Genevieve Gaskin McFarland. He attended school in the Indianapolis Public School system and graduated from Shortridge High School. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Indianapolis and continued to earn countless certifications from various universities throughout his life.

     A visionary and pioneer, Harry dedicated many years of his life to public service within city government. His work aimed at improving the city and enhancing the lives of its residents. As a member of various committees and a pioneer as the first black individual to lead initiatives in Indianapolis, Harry blazed a trail of progress and inclusivity that will always be remembered with gratitude. He had many professional endeavors and here are a few that brough him tremendous pride:
    Employee of Indiana Manpower Planning Council
    Vice President of Operations of the Indiana Office of Manpower Development
    Director of the Division of Employment and Training for the City of Indianapolis
    Director of the Employment Security Division of the State of Indiana
    Vice President of Operations for Hampton Associates, Inc.
    Vice President of Central Indiana Community Foundation
    Principal Consultant and CEO of HTM Services

     Beyond his professional achievements, Harry will be remembered as a beacon of empathy, love, and generosity. As the cherished patriarch of his family, he exuded warmth and kindness in every interaction, leaving an enduring impact on all who were fortunate enough to know him.  His presence or laugh could command a room with ease, radiating a sense of comfort and compassion that endeared him to countless hearts.

     A Marine veteran, Harry also found fulfillment in his military service, demonstrating his unwavering dedication to serving others both at home and abroad. However, it was within his community that Harry truly shone. 

     Harry's hobbies included spending time on the golf course with loved ones and helping others wherever it was needed. Above all else, he cherished his family, especially his beloved wife, finding joy in their shared moments and supporting each other through life's ups and downs.

     Harry is survived by his loving wife, Betty McFarland; his four wonderful daughters, Catherine Talley, Lisa Singleton, Caressa Rezsonya (Donna), Quavis Brown (Frank), one handsome son, Derric McFarland (Jill), one goddaughter, Tallula Easley; fourteen grandchildren, Tazmein Talley, Teshion Talley, Trenario Talley, Walker Vail, Delaney Vail, Thomas Mitchell, Samantha Mitchell, Donavan McFarland, Taryn McFarland, Bishop McFarland, Berke McFarland, Derric McFarland, Jr, Jorhdan Brown and Jaidyn Brown; and remaining sibling, Billie Valentine (Jimmy (d.)).

     He was preceded in death by his parents; William and Selma McFarland, and siblings; Beverly Perkins-Edwards, Pamela Baird, Geraldine Williams (Joseph (d.)), and Michael McFarland.

     A Memorial Service for Harry will be at 12pm on Friday, May 31, 2024, at First Trinity Lutheran Church ELCA - 5321 42nd St, Indianapolis, IN 46226. His burial will be private. 

     Memorial contributions in his name may be made to The Dove House, American Cancer Association, UNCF, The Wheeler Mission, and The Arc of Indiana.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Harry Thomas McFarland, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, May 31, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

First Trinity Lutheran Church ELCA

5321 42nd St, Indianapolis, IN 46226

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