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In Memory of Edward McFarlan, Jr.


Edward McFarlan, Jr., passed away quietly at this home in Houston, TX, on July 17, 2000. Ted, as he was known to all, was born in Brooklyn, NY, March 24, 1921. His family later moved to Greenwich, CT, where Ted grew up attending the Brunswick School. It was here that his entusiastic love of the outdoors began to develop. His interests included geology, sailing, hunting, training horses and dogs, and raising golden pheasants and homing pigeons.

After graduating from the Brunswick School in 1939, Ted entered Williams College, where for the next four years he focusd on obtaining a degree in geology. Graduating in 1943, Ted found himself and his country at war and joined the U.S. Navy. After basic training in Pensacola, FL, he was assigned to the destroyer escort (DE-193) Garfield Thomas as their communications and antisubmarine warfare officer. In 1946. with discharge in hand, Ted moved to Texas and entered graduate school at the University of Texas in Austin. He was granted his Masters in Geology in 1948 and was immediately hired by the Humble Oil and Refining Company for work in Corpus Christi, TX. During these two years in Texas, Ted developed his trademark of raised eyebrows and the exclamation of "WOW" whenever he encountered new and exciting geologic wonders.

It was in Corpus Christi that Ted met Bettie Rose Simonton, a typical high-spirited southern girl who, like himself, loved to hunt ducks and geese. These two young, energetic, and smiling individuals were married on October 8th, 1949, and began a union that would last for the next 45 years. Soon after, Ted accepted an assignment in Houston to work at the Geologic Research Section under the direction of Dr. H.N. Fisk. For the next ten years, Ted was the principal research investigator of coastal studies from Laguna Madre to the Mississippi River Delta. Here in this often hostile environment, Ted could be heard saying "WOW" as he uncovered the secrets of coastal marshes and swamps, cypress knees and saw grass, blue flies, fire ants, snakes, and the ever present mosquito. He learned about salt domes, beach and peat deposits, modern and ancient deltas, and Gulf Coast stratigraphy and sedimentation.

Nineteen hyndred and fifty-nine was the year that saw Ted and family move to New Orleans, LA, where he supervised a stratigraphic/ paleontologic group charged with the responsibility of evaluating and devloping prospects for the first offshore Louisiana Federal Sale scheduled for 1962. Fourteen prospects were taken to sale; all were acquired by Humble. Eleven of the fourteen were considered significant discoveries and two of the eleven were considered "giants".

Ted continued his supervisory duties in New Orleans using the multi-disciplinary approach to solving complex geologic problems. He fought for and won the right to have Humble paleontologists attend geological and geophysical training schools. In turn, the geologist and geophysicist began to work more closely with paleontologists and, in time, the "biostratigrapher" was born. Geoscientsts throughout Humble's exploration and production areas routinely began to use the multidisciplinary approach to problem solving.

In 1964, Ted was promoted to Area Exploration Geologist and in 1965 he and his family moved to Corpus Christi, TX, where Ted, now the Division Stratigrapher, was charged with the responsibility of assessing prospects in offshore central Texas. The door of opportunity opened again and the McFarlins returned to Houston in 1967, when Ted was appointed Manager of the Basin Studies Division of ESSO Production Research Company. During his assignment with EPERCO, basic concepts of seismic stratigraphy and their relationship to structural geology in the Gulf of Mexico and world-wide were being pioneered. Susbsequently, the results of these investigations were published in AAPG Memoir 26.

His wide and volumetric knowledge of Gulf Cost stratigraphy was, once again, being sought by the operating divisions of Exxon Company, U.S.A., so Ted was, in 1973, transferred to Headquarters Exploration to be on the staff of the Chief Geologist as a Geological Scientisit.

He stayed at this location for the next 13 years and, as principal investigator, completed several major onshore and offshore multidisciplinary regional investigations. The raised eyebrows and a few "WOWs" were proof that Ted was still uncovering geologic truths that had somehow eluded him in previous travels. Ted retired from Exxon in 1986 as a Senior Geological Scientist with 38 years of exemplary service.

Ted may have "retired" from Exxon but he did not retire from doing the work and accomplishing the tasks associated with his profession of choice, namely, geology. He immediately founded and established an office not far from his residence and set about the task of consulting. Throughout his career, Ted was a very active member of the AAPG. He served on such committees as: reasearch, technical program, membership, and publication. His other professional organizations included the SEPM, the Geophysical Society, the GCAGS, and the Houston Geological Society.

Ted's professional career was but one aspect of his remarkable life. Regardless of which city he and Bettie Rose lived, they were both very active in Presbyterian Church activities. In Houston, they belonged to the First Presbyterian Church and in New Orleans they were active in the Canal Street Presbyterian Church, where Ted was first a Deacon and then an Elder on the Session.

Eight years after Ted retired, Bettie Rose, his first wife, constant companion, and chief supporter passed away on July 2nd, 1994. Ted continued his church activities and it was there he met Ann Waddell. Ted and Ann were married May 13th, 1995.

Other passionate interests of Ted included sailing—not sailing for fun and relaxation but for sail boat races. He was a member of the Corpus Christi Yacht Club and the Houston Yacht Club. His trophy case attests to the fact that he raced to win. His hunting companions will surely miss this man who gave them a "WOW, look at that" every now and then. He loved photogrphy, swimming, and keeping fit, but most of all he dearly loved his family. He will be missed by all who had the pleasure to know him, work for and with him, and just see his smiling face.

He is survived by his wife Ann; his daughter Kathleen Pellicer, her husband Manuel and their daughter Mariah, who reside in Houston; his son Edward, his wife Julie and their two children, daughter, Avery, and son, Walker, who reside in California; and his brother Tracy, and his wife Kay who live in Ashville, North Carolina.

Duane O. LeRoy

Ted was an honorary member of the GCSSEPM. This year's conference in December will be the first one that Ted will not be there. We will miss him too.

Norman C. Rosen