Fred. A. McFarland: 1931-2018 |

Fred. A. McFarland: 1931-2018

Fred A. McFarland, 86, passed away on Monday, Jan. 1, 2018, at Fountain Springs Health Care.

He was born Dec. 30, 1931, in Sturgis to John F. and Elleene McFarland who ranched on Elk Creek. In 1937 the family moved to the ranch on Box Elder Creek, established by John’s uncle in 1876, where Fred grew up. Fred attended Rapid City High School where he met his future bride, Patricia Tisdale. To this union, four children were born: Bruce, Dan, Marilee, and Julie.

In 1959 Fred and family moved to Sturgis where he began his lifelong auctioneering career. He eventually became a real estate broker and pioneered the concept of selling real estate, primarily ranches, utilizing the Absolute Auction method of sale. During this period, he partnered with Jerry Chaffee as Western Land Brokers consolidating the real estate and auction businesses.

In 1967, on the retirement of his Dad, Fred purchased the ranch on Box Elder Creek and returned to the Ranch where he resided until his illness required long-term care assistance.

In 1966, Fred and Auctioneering Associate Jack Churchill conceived the idea of, and conducted, the first annual “Custer State Park Buffalo Auction” which accompanied with the Annual Buffalo Roundup has become one of South Dakota’s largest and most popular events drawing international crowds year after year.

In the late 1950s Fred was instrumental in founding the South Dakota Auctioneer’s Association and was a Past President of the organization. In addition, in the early 2000’s he was the first nationally “Accredited Auctioneer of Real Estate” in South Dakota, and one of only 200 “Nationally Accredited Auctioneers of Real Estate” in the nation at that time. Also, during that time, he was inducted into the South Dakota Auctioneer’s Association Hall of Fame. In 2006 Fred was honored as “Aggie of the Year” by the Rapid City Area Chamber of Commerce. Fred was highly recognized throughout his career for his ethics, honesty, and integrity.

Fred was a life member of the National Auctioneers Association, the South Dakota Auctioneers Association, the B.P.O. Elks Deadwood Chapter, The Western South Dakota Buckaroos, and the Black Hills Stock Show.

Fred was twice recognized for his auctioneering prowess by national television affiliates ABC, CBS, and NBC. The first being the Custer State Park Buffalo Auction in 1966, and the second in 1980 for the infamous “state-mandated sale” of the Deadwood brothel “Pam’s Purple Door.”

In 1991, Fred and Ron Bradeen of Custer were called upon by officers of the Farm Credit Services (formerly known as the Small Business Administration) to conduct “Absolute Real Estate Auctions” enabling recoveries of bankruptcy proceedings. Two of the more significant of these auctions being the Beaver Creek Ranches (Chance Reynolds) south of Hot Springs and the Bodega Bar in Deadwood.

This affiliation and friendship continued to thrive until and following Fred’s retirement in 2006.

Fred is survived by his son Bruce (Ruth) McFarland of Sturgis; daughter Marilee (Lee) McConnell, daughter Julie McFarland (Jeff McGough) and daughter-in-law Susan Fedell, all of Rapid City. Included are grandchildren Erin McFarland, Elizabeth Poch, Rachel Beaird, Moriah McFarland, Chris McFarland, Brianna McFarland Carpenter and Duncan McGough; plus eight great-grandchildren. He is also survived by sisters Marilyn Lemaster and Loretta Hill, both of Rapid City.

He was preceded in death by his parents; beloved son Dan F. McFarland, Rapid City; and twin-sisters Marietta (Bill) Cleary of Sumter, S. Carolina and Marianne Logan of Amarillo, TX.

A “celebration of life” memorial gathering will be held in June 2018.

According to his wishes, the family suggests honorariums to the Western South Dakota Buckaroos Scholarship Fund or the Black Hills Stock Show Foundation Scholarship Fund. Donations and written condolences can be forwarded to Loretta Hill, 3410 Corral Dr. #207, Rapid City, SD 57702 or Marilyn Lemaster, 3313 Leland Lane #106, Rapid City, SD 57702.

The family wishes to extend their very heartfelt gratitude to Fountain Springs Health Care and Dr. James Bowman for the wonderful care Fred received during his extended stay.

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