Page 20

18 NOTABLES Kay McFarland

............................................................................................................................

after

In 1970, she was the first

Retired from her role as the state’s top judge, Kay McFarland returns to a private life and a lifelong love of animals

In 1995,

the Bench

woman elected judge of the probate-juvenile court. she became the first woman to serve as a district court judge. she was named the first female justice on the Kansas Supreme Court. she became the first female chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court.

In 1972,

In 1977,

F

or Kay McFarland, home is the place where the animals have always been. Growing up on a farm at the edge of Topeka, McFarland had horses, cattle, chickens, ducks, guineas, geese, dogs and more. But they weren’t all ordinary barnyard animals. The horses were champion Tennessee walking horses, and in later years, the dogs were giant, purebred Irish wolfhounds. Now recently retired from her position as chief justice of the Kansas Supreme Court, McFarland has settled into a spacious home in southwest Shawnee County filled with photographs from her youthful equestrian pursuits and of animals that lived on her family farm. The special pet in her life now is Pearl, an 11-year-old Jack Russell terrier, who curls up on the floor as McFarland talks about her life of firsts in the legal world. .............................................................................................................................................................................

Looking back on her career, McFarland believes some of her biggest contributions came while she served as a juvenile judge. While her public persona has often been in the black-robed cloak of judicial tradition, McFarland has led a very colorful yet down-to-earth life away from the bench—one that she can now fully resume. McFarland surrounds her home with a lush lawn and flowerbeds, which she maintains with the help of an assistant. She loves to travel, read and listen to books on tape. At age 73, she is an avid student of life. Former Chief Justice Kay McFarland enjoys private life at her home outside Topeka.

18

TOPEKAMAGAZINE Spring 2009

STORY BY Anita Miller Fry | PHOTOGRAPHY BY Jason Dailey

Topeka Magazine Spring 2009  

Topeka Magazine Spring 2009

Topeka Magazine Spring 2009  

Topeka Magazine Spring 2009