Dr. Samuel Nice Macferran, Jr. died suddenly, on August 3, 2021, at the foothills of the beautiful Teton Mountains while on vacation with his beloved wife, Mary.
Samuel Nice Macferran, Jr. was born in Hartford, Connecticut, on September 2, 1950, to Janice Sipple Macferran and Samuel Nice Macferran. His parents instilled in him the importance of family, kindness and generosity. When Sam was a teenager, his father was transferred to Dallas, then to Houston where Sam graduated from Westchester High School, Cum Laude.
Sam received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Chemistry at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, where he received the President’s Scholarship, and graduated Cum Laude in 1972. He then attended the University of Houston, completing a master’s degree program in Physiology and Biophysics while serving as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in 1975. He moved to Fort Smith, Arkansas accepting a position teaching biology for 5 years at Westark Community College (now the University of Arkansas- Fort Smith). His daughter, Kimberly, was born while in Fort Smith.
Sam attended medical school at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock where he was a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society, graduating at the top of his class in 1983. His daughter, Leslie, was born during his second year of medical school. He completed Pediatric Residency at Bexar County Hospital District, University of Texas at San Antonio in 1986, and was honored as an Outstanding Resident. After completing residency, Sam and his family moved to Midland, Texas in 1986 to open his medical practice with Dr. John Foster, Sr. and Dr. Willie Clyde Watson III, forming Midland Pediatric Associates.
Actively involved in numerous civic activities during his long career, Dr. Macferran served on a variety of committees at Midland Memorial Hospital with roles including Medicine Department Chief and Pediatric Section Chief, and was a Past President of the Midland County Medical Society. His community work included medical teaching opportunities, Sunday School teacher, Christmas in April and many others. He loved traveling throughout the United States and around the world as Medical Director of Spirit Wind Youth Choir and serving as Medical Director for Rock the Desert each year. After retiring from his pediatric practice, Sam proudly served on the Boards of Centers for Children and Families and the Bridge House where he avidly played duplicate bridge. He enjoyed the opportunity to serve the community and individuals in a variety of capacities.
Dr. Macferran’s extraordinary medical skills and gift of guidance and counseling assisted families through many difficult and joyful experiences. He consistently made time to address his patients’ needs, working long hours to make certain every baby, child, teenager, and parent received the best possible care and attention. His 33 years in pediatric practice spanned two generations of Permian Basin children. Each child he treated carries a piece of his love and care through their life. At his retirement in 2019, Dr. Macferran gave the following advice to parents: “Remember to love your child at all ages, the good times and the bad, because we all thrive on love and you can’t make time go backward.”
Sam was the very proud and loving father of two beautiful daughters, Kimberly, a Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician in Little Rock, Arkansas, and Leslie, a master’s level Speech Language Pathologist raising two of his amazing grandchildren, Addison and Luke, in The Woodlands, Texas. His daughters were a source of unending pride and joy. In a recent letter to Kim and Leslie he wrote, “You both light up my world in ways you will never understand and I am incapable of putting into words”.
Sam married Mary Howland Macferran on September 4, 2010, beginning a remarkable adventure of love, happiness, and laughter. Their 11-year marriage included vacations in New Zealand, Peru, Ecuador, Galapagos, Europe, Morocco, Russia, numerous National Parks, and long car trips exploring the beauty of this country. They lived a life of partnership, joy, devotion, inspiration and admiration. Their journey together ended unexpectedly at the foothills of the Teton Mountains Sam loved.
In addition to traveling, Sam enjoyed cooking, gardening, making jelly and pickles, playing the bagpipes, duplicate bridge, collecting coins, teaching at every opportunity, genealogy, listening, nature, writing, reading, and life-long learning. He found humor in the smallest things, wanted to travel the world, embraced new cultures, possessed the ability to appreciate people for their strengths and without judgement, was generous with his time and resources and went out of his way to show kindness. He delighted in playing with his grandchildren and spending time with his family, never missing an opportunity to demonstrate his love and belief in a loving God.
Sam was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his loving wife, Mary Howland Macferran, daughters Dr. Kimberly Marie Macferran of Little Rock, Arkansas, and Leslie Macferran Solheid and her husband Michael of The Woodlands, Texas, the mother of his children Joan Westervelt Macferran of Little Rock, Arkansas, step-son Alexander Bradford Hurt and wife Tiffany of Midland, Texas, step-daughter Margaret Hurt Osborn of Midland, Texas, sister Laura Macferran Kraus and husband Charles of Phoenix, Arizona, sister Anne Macferran Abbe and husband Larry of Schleswig, Iowa, brother-in-law Dr. William Charles Howland III and wife Cindy of Austin, Texas, sister-in-law Martha Howland Baker of Virginia Beach, Virginia, sister-in-law Margaret Howland Williamson and husband Gary of Aptos, CA, grandchildren Addison Claire Solheid, Luke Ryan Solheid, Mary Claire Hurt, Mountain Sparrow Gray and Robert Newton White Hover and numerous nieces and nephews.
Services for Dr. Macferran will be held at First Presbyterian Church of Midland on August 21 at 2 pm, with reception to follow at the church. The service will be officiated by Dr. Steve Schorr, pastor, and Dr. Amy Butler from National City Christian Church in Washington DC. For those unable to attend in person, the service can be viewed via livestream at www.fpcmid.org.
Out of respect for Dr. Macferran’s commitment to the health and safety of his patients, family, and the community, masks will be required during the service and reception. Seating in the sanctuary will be socially distanced. Masks will be available at the church for those who do not have their own. It is requested that anyone who is showing signs of illness view the service via livestream rather than attending in person.
If you would like to make a memorial gift in Dr. Macferran’s honor, donations may be directed to Permian Basin Area Foundation at 3312 Andrews Highway, Midland, Texas 79703 or www.pbaf.org/give, or Centers for Children and Families at 3701 Andrews Highway, Midland, TX 79703 or https://centerstx.org/donate/
Arrangements are under the direction of Nalley-Pickle & Welch Funeral Home & Crematory of Midland. Online condolences may be made at www.npwelch.com.