MCFARLAND, Gwendolyn E. Nation --- Age 77, of Nashville, TN, died January 2, 2008. She is survived by her husband of 60 years, George H. McFarland; son and daughter-in-law, Anthony J. and Mary Jane McFarland, of Goodlettsville, TN; daughter, Joni E. Baker, of Navasota, TX; brother, Clark Nation of Bellevue, Ohio, and three grandchildren, Matthew, Pat and Thomas McFarland of Goodlettsville, TN. She was preceded in death by her parents, James Luther Nation and Martha E. Owens Nation of Lawrenceburg, Tennessee; brother, Lester Nation of Lawrenceburg, TN; and sisters, Olena (Sue) Nation Minkler, of Ukiah, CA, and Sybil Nation Bryce of Lawrenceburg, TN.
Gwen was born in Lawrenceburg, TN, graduated from Lawrence County High School in Lawrenceburg, TN at age 15, received her associate degree from Martin Junior College, then her Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctorate of Arts degrees, all from the George Peabody College for Teachers. She received her Doctorate of Law degree from the Nashville School of Law in 1981.
Gwen was truly a renaissance person. While employed with the Metro Davidson County Schools System she was a school teacher at Amqui Elementary, a secondary school teacher at Cameron Middle School, principal of Ross Elementary, Director of Metro's Pre-service Teacher Education, served on the Community Education Advisory Committee for Hunters Lane and Stratford High Schools, and was a past president of the Metro Nashville Education Association, and among other positions. Upon retirement from the school system, Gwen practiced law for 15 years, primarily with the firm of Cheatham & Palermo.
Much of Gwen's life was spent in the political arena. She was former member of the Metro Council, Vice Chair of the Tennessee Democratic Party from 1984 - 1993, past president of the National Federation of Democratic Women, past president of the Tennessee Federation of Democratic Women, past president of the Democratic Women's Club of Davidson County, past president of the Women's Civic forum, a seven-term State Democratic Committeewoman, a member of the Women's Political Caucus, and a delegate or alternate delegate to the 1972, 1976, 1984, 1988 and 1992 Democratic National Conventions.
In 1992 & 1996 Gwen was nominated for Nashville's Athena Award. She was a past president of the Old Hickory/Madison BPW, a life member of the American Legion Auxiliary, Post 82, a past president of the Nashville Urban League, served as the chair of the Governor's Committee on Employment of the Handicapped, a former vice chair of the METRA Advisor Board, a past board member of Planned Parenthood Association of Nashville, and a former member of La Societe de Femme, Cabane 702. Gwen was an active member of St. James the Less Episcopal, Madison, TN, where she had served as a Licensed Lay Reader and Chalice Bearer, and Church School teacher.
Both born and married on July 4th, Gwen (Nation) McFarland was fond of saying a Nation was both born and lost on the fourth of July. Hopefully, Gwen will now have time to finish the novel she was just too busy to complete in her lifetime.
Visitation with the family will be held Saturday at St. James the Less Episcopal Church, 411 Due West Avenue, Madison, Tennessee beginning at 2:00 p.m., with Gwen's funeral service to be held immediately thereafter beginning at 4:00 p.m., the Reverend Robin Courtney officiating. Donations in lieu of flowers may be sent to the Gwen Nation McFarland Memorial Fund at St. James the Less Episcopal Church. COLE & GARRETT FUNERAL HOME, Goodlettsville (615) 859-5231.