Gertrude “Tut” McFarland is Toast of the Town

Gertrude “Tut” McFarland will be honored at this year’s Toast of the Town at The Farm on June 2 at 6 PM. The annual event is presented by the Family Support Council.

A lifelong Dalton resident, McFarland was born to Jim McFarland and Gertrude Manly McFarland on July 19, 1926, at the old Hamilton Memorial hospital, she will celebrate her 90th birthday this summer. She has displayed a lifelong love of theater and dedicated her life to serving others. McFarland has always loved history, even as a little girl.

McFarland has been active with Dalton Little Theatre for almost 60 years and currently serves on its board of trustees. She loves to do story telling, in costume, with local children’s groups and telling historical family tales at Prater’s Mill.

“I enjoy trying to make history come alive for children and young people,” McFarland said.

During the summer of 1947, McFarland studied at the Irving Studio in New York City. She then spent the summer of 1952 working at the Plymouth Drama Festival. Later, she worked at the Barter Theatre of Virginia for three consecutive summers and conducted theater tours in New York City for 10 years.

McFarland graduated from Dalton high school in 1943 and attended LaGrange College. While there, she earned her bachelor of arts in speech and drama. Then, she went off to New York City for the summer.

She taught speech lessons in Dalton Public Schools from 1947 to 1969. She then taught third grade until 1991, when she retired. She loved teaching children.

McFarland’s summers after retirement included traveling to all seven continents and enjoying her “history lessons” throughout the Dalton community. She is involved with Lesche Women’s Club, Georgia’s oldest literary club, where she served as president for four years and serves as historian.  She has been an active member of Pilot Club of Dalton for 56 years, having served as president, vice president, secretary, District Anchor Club chairman and club chaplain.  The Pilot Club is a business and professional service club for women.

McFarland has been an active member of the Whitfield-Murray Historical Society since 1976. She has also served as a board member for Friends of the library, member of Dalton/Murray retired educators and the Dalton Garden Club.  She has volunteered at the Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce for 20 years.

McFarland is a lifelong member of the Dalton First United Methodist Church. She joined in 1936, when she was 10 years old. She taught Sunday school for 60 years. She is active in Wesleyan Services Guild and United Methodist Women, serving as devotional presenter.

She has directed many church drama productions, including “White Christmas.” She currently serves as church historian. Her articles on church history can be found in The Daily Citizen.

McFarland is a writer and a painter. Her wisdom, contributions and talents are far-reaching in our community. She has influenced so many through her love of history and learning. She currently lives at Royal Oaks in Dalton, where she remains busy making history.

The Family Support Council is all about the prevention of child abuse by providing educational support programs to children and families in the community. The council is a United Way agency and a charter council of Prevent Child Abuse Georgia. Those interested in attending toast of the town can call the family support council office at 706-272-7919 for reservations.

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