Hundreds gather to remember Iowa CO at celebration of life service
Robert McFarland, a 12-year corrections officer veteran, leaves behind his wife and three children
By Sarah Calams
MARION, Iowa — Family, friends and colleagues gathered Monday afternoon to pay final tribute to a corrections officer who was killed during an inmate attack last week.
The Des Moines Register reported that more than 600 people gathered for a celebration of life service for Robert McFarland, 46, a 12-year corrections officer veteran who died on March 23 after an attack inside the Anamosa State Penitentiary's infirmary. McFarland, who leaves behind his wife and three children, also served as a lieutenant at the Ely Fire Department. Lorena Schulte, 50, a nurse at the prison, also died in the attack. A service was held Sunday for Schulte.
Flags across the state flew at half-mast Monday for McFarland and Schulte. On Tuesday, a one-mile honor run was held at a local high school to honor McFarland.
"He always wanted to please everybody," Kelly Thomas, president of the Brandon Fire Department, said.
Two inmates have been charged with first-degree murder in the deaths. They face a preliminary hearing on April 5. The inmates have also been charged with attempted murder of another inmate and second-degree kidnapping of another prison staffer, according to the report.
A GoFundMe was set up to help McFarland's family. To donate, click here.
Our sincere thank you to the men and women of the LCSO Honor Guard for their assistance with ASP Correctional Officer and Ely Fire Fighter Robert McFarland's funeral and burial today. They represented us very professionally with honor, nobility and humility. pic.twitter.com/09tGgGmprZ— LinnCountySheriff (@LinnIASheriff) March 29, 2021
WATCH: First responders from around Eastern Iowa met at the Anamosa High School track Tuesday for an honor run to remember nurse Lorena Schulte and corrections officer Robert McFarland, who died in last week's prison attack. pic.twitter.com/rIAbIqnZ8I— KWWL (@KWWL) March 31, 2021