Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Worked for 56 Years at Mellon Bank Nov. 12, 1927 - Dec. 1, 2019

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Worked for 56 Years at Mellon Bank Nov. 12, 1927 - Dec. 1, 2019

Article excerpt

Alice MacFarland had a knack for turning social norms on their head.

Instead of retiring, she worked until she was almost 75 years old, waiting until her department was closed rather than walking out on her own.

Years earlier, instead of opting to be a stay-at-home mom, she continued to work while her parents cared for her son. As she aged, instead of following her son into his home, she invited him and his family into hers.

Ms. MacFarland died Dec. 1 in hospice care at Concordia at Rebecca Residence in West Deer after years of battling breast cancer that turned into leukemia, as well as dementia. A lifelong Pittsburgher, Ms. MacFarland was 92 and had "made peace" with her death, according to her daughter-in-law, Brenda MacFarland. Ms. MacFarland kept fighting until her last vein gave out, meaning she could no longer receive the blood transfusions she needed.

"She was a real tough cookie," Brenda MacFarland said. "Her determination. Her gutsy spirit. She was a fighter up until the end."

Alice MacFarland was an only child raised by a father who was a veteran and a stay-at-home mother who instilled in her the value of hard work. Her father owned a barbershop next door to their home in Ross that was known by everyone in town, Brenda MacFarland said.

The family also raised chickens together, and Ms. MacFarland had trouble eating chicken or even eggs for the rest of her life. The animals were more pets to her than livestock.

Ms. MacFarland started working at the former West View Park amusement facility as a teenager. In high school, she worked at a nursery in Bellevue.

A week after graduating, she started a job at Mellon Bank, where she worked for 56 years as a commercial line officer and business analyst.

"Her pride and joy was her job," her daughter-in-law said. "Everybody would always say she needed to retire, but she didn't have any desire to retire. …

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