Frederic Willard McFarland

Cynthia Marie Wilson McFarland, 30 August 1952 - 13 February 2014


Cynthia Marie Wilson McFarland, 61, of Burlington, New Jersey, died on 13 February 2014, after a fierce years-long battle with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

She was born on 30 August 1952 to the late Frederick A. Wilson and Lorraine B. Wilson in Arlington, Virginia.  She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wells College in 1976 with a BA in Greek and Latin, then spent several years working towards a PhD in classics at the University of Virginia. She married the late Frederic W. McFarland in 1981, and they lived together in Auburn, NY and Lansing, NY, before moving to Burlington in 2004.

Cynthia had a profound fear of airplanes and took a year off during college to work as a stewardess for Eastern Airlines to conquer that fear. That was the way she did things: fighting head-on against all obstacles.

She found employment in the field of graphic design and communications, working at Cornell University and then starting her own successful communications business, which specialized in publicity for colleges and universities.

Cynthia felt drawn to New Jersey; she closed her business and moved to Burlington to become Communications Director, Historiographer and Archivist for the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey.  She loved church history. She published a definitive biography of one of the earliest clergymen in America, and was halfway through writing a biography of the second bishop of New Jersey.

Cynthia was a founding director of the Society of Archbishop Justus and was until her death the managing editor of Anglicans Online.

One of her doctors remarked, “Cynthia moved through life with astounding grace and light. Her passing leaves a huge hole in the lives of so many people.” One of her associates often noted, “Everyone who meets Cynthia falls in love with her.”

Cynthia is survived by her mother, Lorraine Wilson of Fairfax VA; sister Jennifer Wilson Mai of Vienna, VA; brothers Timothy Wilson of Greensboro, NC and Matthew Wilson of Las Vegas; and two Abyssinian cats, Mariel and Ariel.

In lieu of flowers, any donations on Cynthia’s behalf should be made to Doane Academy, 350 Riverbank, Burlington NJ, of which she was a Trustee and fervent advocate.
She was buried alongside her beloved husband Frederic in the churchyard of St Mary, Burlington.