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Brian McFarland of Holmdel Dies After Fall From Ladder

McFarland was one of two Democratic Party candidates who ran for office in the November elections.

Hugh "Brian" McFarland of Holmdel, who ran for Township Committee in the November election, died Monday at his home at 11 Woodside Place after falling from a ladder and suffering head trauma.

Mayor Patrick Impreveduto confirmed his death. "He was a real respected member of our community. He's been active in a number of recreational programs as well as community programs. The township is losing a bright, creative individual who had some wonderful ideas on how to pursue township government," he said. The mayor offered his condolences to McFarland family.

He said he planned to say a word about McFarland at the annual Township Committee Reorganization meeting Tuesday night.

McFarland, 52, fell from a distance equal to about two stories onto his backyard porch, in an effort to string a warming cable to prevent ice build-up. His wife Karen made a call to 911 immediately after his fall, at 11:53 a.m. on Jan. 2.

Holmdel First Aid and MONOC medics rushed to the scene. After administering CPR, McFarland was transported by ambulance to Bayshore Community Hospital on North Beers Street, arriving at 12:19 p.m. A call for medical helicopter transport was called off.

According to Holmdel Police, McFarland was pronounced dead at Bayshore Community Hospital.

Woodside Place is a small street off Lois Place, which is accessible from South Beers Street. According to a neighbor it appeared every emergency vehicle in Holmdel turned out to the scene.

Committeeman Larry Fink, who considered McFarland to be a good friend, went to the hospital. "He was an extremely kind, considerate and giving person," said Fink. He pointed out that McFarland stepped up to represent Holmdel Democrats twice for Township Committee despite obligations he had to his family and employer. "He could easily have said I'm too busy, I'm too stressed to run again for Township Committee, but despite his personal issues he decided to run. That's just really the way he was," said Fink.

Former Township Committeewoman Janet Berk said, "This is a terrible shock, a terrible, terrible loss to the whole community.  He was such a kind, considerate, compassionate man, who put his family first but was also devoted to so many good causes.  I had the wonderful opportunity of getting to run [for Township Committee] with him and finding out what a great person he was. This is just devastating."

McFarland, with over 25 years of sales executive experience for top tier global investment firms and global giants like Microsoft and Sun Microsystems, worked  as a sales executive for NetApp, Inc. Four months ago, he was recruited to work for EMC Corporation of Hopkinton, MA in the back-up recovery systems division. "He was the consummate professional technology salesperson," said his manager, Patrick Kenny. "Very methodical. Understood the technology. Very ethics-oriented. And a great teammate," he said.

He was passionate about coaching youth sports, environmental issues, and civic involvement.  He coached HYAA baseball, basketball, and softball, and was Den Leader with Cub Scout Pack 131 from 2006-09.  He served on the Executive Board of Citizens for Informed Land Use (CILU) and was an active supporter of Friends of Holmdel Open Space (FOHOS). 

"He was very interested in the welfare of Holmdel Township and the community in general," said Tony Cooper, president of CILU. "His passing will be a significant loss to Holmdel and its residents."

Mike Sockol, who serves on the Board of Education, said, "I will always remember Brian for his graciousness, his good humor, and his commitment to the community. He sought to make a difference in Holmdel, and I will miss him as a colleague and a friend. My deepest sympathies go out to his wife Karen and their two children."

His belief in good government and pragmatic fiscal solutions prompted McFarland to twice seek a seat on Holmdel's Township Committee. In November, he ran with fellow Democrat Anish Kumar for two available seats, but lost to Republicans Patrick Impreveduto and Greg Buontempo. "Brian was a great mentor to me, and I'm devastated by his loss," said Kumar.

Said Township Committeeman Eric Hinds, "He was a true gentlemen.  I have just recently gotten to know him but I cannot say anything but a good things..It is a tragedy."

He was a volunteer with the St. Baldrick's Foundation to Cure Pediatric Cancer, playing his part in helping to raise $12 million in 2009 by generating corporate and individual donations, and gamely shaving his head.  He belonged to the Clean Ocean Action of NJ and the Sierra Club.

He is survived by his wife, Karen, and his two 13-year old twins, Brian and Caroline.

Funeral services will be handled by Shore Point Funeral Home on Route 35 in Hazlet. Visitation hours on Jan. 5 and 6 have been announced. See the obituary on Holmdel Patch for more details.

Steve Strickland January 02, 2012 at 09:29 PM
This is a tragedy. Brian was smart, dedicated, and above all good-humored. I very much enjoyed working with him on the CILU board and on his campaigns. He will be greatly missed. My sincerest condolences to his family.
Zachary Cardinal January 03, 2012 at 04:15 AM
This is one of the worst days of my life finding out that my uncle Brian had died. When I found out I was in a tragic state. My deepest sympathys go out to his wife karen and his two children Brian and Caroline. My uncle brian will always be remembered for all that he has done for his family and his town. Uncle Brian I will always remember you. Love Zachary
Tony Orsini January 03, 2012 at 12:24 PM
We are devastated by losing Brian. He was our future. I share a borken heart with his family. We can never replace him.
John January 03, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Brian was a consummate professional as a Sales Executive at NetApp. Brian was the most pleasant and upbeat salesperson I've had the pleasure to work with. Our deepest sympathies go out to the McFarland family. John Kane SE Manager Netapp Inc.
Thomas Scarano January 03, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Brian wll be remembered as a dedicated family man and a man who was passionateabout the environment and the democratic party. Although we disagreed on most things political, his passion,insight, and love of community ws always apprecited by me.
Ann McDermott January 03, 2012 at 04:00 PM
I can't even express how sad I am to hear of Brian's passing. He was always smiling, always happy, always positive, always had a good word of encouragement and something funny to say. As a colleague from Sun Microsystems I am praying for his family at this time of sadness and loss.
Shannon K. Winning January 03, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Prayers for Brian's wife and two children...
Murali Siddabathula January 03, 2012 at 04:32 PM
Our sincerest condolences to Karen and two lovely kids (Brian and Caroline). he was a great friend and he will be missed.
John January 03, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Many of us at Microsoft worked with Brian and knew him to be a fun, caring, positive and focused professional. Being from the same town as him and knowing his contibutions and love for the community was always inspiring. Our prayers go out to the McFarland family.
Bill Geissler January 03, 2012 at 04:58 PM
I've known Brian for over 25 years and worked closely with him at Sun Microsystems and with his Wall St. accounts. I've kept in touch with him ever since. This is a very sad time for his family and all of his many friends. He will be missed by all. Bill Geissler
Jennifer January 03, 2012 at 06:46 PM
So shocking, and such a quirky accident. He was a kind man, and my heart goes out to his family.
Ron Joho January 03, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Condolences to Karen and family. We are all deeply saddened at EMC where Brian became a recent friend and colleague. I had the pleasure to work closely with Brian. He took on all of the new challenges with a positive and upbeat attitude. He will be missed by us all. Ron Joho
Padma Inaparthy January 03, 2012 at 07:57 PM
No words to express our shock at this terrible loss. Brian McFarland was the reason my son got into Cub Scouts a few years back and still has fond memories. Our deep condolences to Karen and the kids.
Mike McGeehan January 03, 2012 at 11:00 PM
I was a colleague of Brian's at Microsoft and enjoyed working with him. He was real sales professional and great working with both technology and business people in our accounts. Brian was also fun to be around in internal meetings. My deepest sympathy and condolences for his family.
Carol Beckenstein January 03, 2012 at 11:17 PM
Our hearts are with Karen and all of Brian's family and many close friends.
Pam January 04, 2012 at 11:43 AM
What a horrible tragedy. Brian was loved, respected and admired. My heart goes out to his family. He will always be remembered.
Chris Schneider January 04, 2012 at 02:31 PM
I met Brian when he joined Microsoft seven years ago and worked with him to realize many great professional accomplishments. But I was even more fortunate to see that professional relationship turn into a great friendship. His honesty, ethics, sincerity and commitment to family are characteristics that are just not found as much in today's business environment. He was one of the "good guys" and will be missed deeply.
Christina Johnson (Editor) January 04, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Funeral services have been announced. Please see the obituary for Brian McFarland for more details. http://patch.com/N-cQHl
Devin Meenan January 05, 2012 at 12:41 AM
I had the pleasure to work alongside Brain during his tenure at Microsoft. Brian was a great guy and a true team player. He and his family will be in our prayers.
Deborah Della Genco January 05, 2012 at 03:40 AM
I feel truly privileged to have known Brian. He was a gracious, warm and welcoming guy who absolutely adored his wife and kids. Through my friendship with Karen, I had the good fortune to come to know Brian and to witness the unique and special love he and Karen shared. They were committed and playful with another...partners in life and inspiring to those of us lucky enough to witness their love story. Brian's spirit will live on through the many organizations he devoted efforts and time to, but even more evident is Brian's spirit and inflluence witnessed through his amazing kids Brian and Caroline. Brian you are deeply missed.
Crystal Lurwick January 05, 2012 at 05:37 AM
Karen, Brian, Caroline & Extended family members, I am so truly, truly sorry for your tragic loss and want to offer my sincerest condolences. A new Angel entered Heaven and will forever watch over all of you. Love, Crystal Lurwick

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