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Ruth May (Burgar) MacFarlane

May 26, 1920 ~ September 22, 2017 (age 97)
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Ruth May MacFarlane

            Ruth May MacFarlane (97) was born to Anna (McKillop) Burgar and Charles Bernard Burgar on May 26, 1920 in Dearborn Michigan.

            She grew up in Pittsfield Township, Washtenaw Co., Michigan and attended Town Hall School and Ypsilanti High School.

            Ruth was married to Barry Hopkins Alford for twenty six years and they raised 5 children: Peter, Richard, Michael, Thomas and Janet Alford, after which she was married to Richard MacFarlane for thirteen years.

            In mid life Ruth attended Madonna College, Livonia, Michigan and Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, earning B.S. and M.S. degrees in Biology.  She studied one summer at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology.  She worked eight years as Curator of the Herbarium at Eastern Michigan University, before moving to the Upper Peninsula in 1970, where she became a writer and had many articles and three books published. She taught courses in Creative Writing and was co-sponsor of the 4-H Club Imaginations Unlimited.

            She was a member of Michigan Botanical Club, Ontonagon County Historical Society, North Country Trail Association, People for Peace, Pittsfield Historical Society and attended St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Mass City and Corvallis Friends Meeting, Corvallis Oregon.

            Ruth was preceded in death by both of her former husbands; two sons, Richard and Michael; her siblings, Dora M. (Lorne) Adams, Charles (in infancy), John (Lucile) Burgar, Gordon (Evelyn) Burgar, James (in infancy), Janet (Tony) Lodico and Catherine (Donald) Deppmann; and Grandson, Owen Alford.

            Surviving are her children, Peter (Evelyn), Thomas and Janet; Grandchildren, Matthew (Tara) Alford, Lacy Alford, Jenny (Benny) DeLeon, Diana (Gary) Toole; Great-grandchildren, Bryant Alford, Catalina DeLeon, and Roland Toole.

            Ruth enjoyed reading, writing, traveling, gardening, botany and music.

            After many years living in Mass City her final weeks were spent at Omega House in Houghton where she received expert and compassionate


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