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Jeanne Elisabeth Bisset McFarland

A Life Well Lived

  • | 11:30 a.m. May 24, 2021
  • Longboat Key
  • Tributes & Obituaries
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Jeanne Elisabeth Bisset McFarland

A Life Well Lived

Jeanne is survived by her loving spouse of 46 years, Niki Muller, her two daughters, Hannerle Moore and Deborah Rybak, and granddaughter, Carlie Luong. 

She first arrived in Manatee County in 1956 and moved to the Village of Longboat Key. Jeanne will always be remembered for a life of caring and service, her wonderful sense of humor and her musical gifts.

Jeanne was born in Melbourne, Australia, to an Irish mother and a Scottish father who met in India while both were working on the staff of Lord Louis Mountbatten. They married and then chose to honeymoon in the Himalayas. Her mother returned to Australia for the birth of her daughter and so she could be baptized in the Presbyterian Church. When Jeanne was 4 months old, she returned to New Delhi, India, with her mother and was cared for by an Indian nanny. Her mother worked throughout her career for Ml6 as a secret agent in India, China and Singapore, and her father was a structural engineer who designed and built many of the bridges in India.

At the age of 5, she was sent back to Australia to live with her grandparents and attend The Methodist Day School. While living with her grandparents in Melbourne she attended Sunday school in the nearby Presbyterian Church. Later, as there were no girl Presbyterian schools nearby, she attended the Methodist Ladies College [high school]. In 1945 at the age of 17 she joined her mother in Singapore, where she was also on Mountbatten’s staff. She was a classical music announcer for the BBC. During this time she met many of the relocated prisoners from the Japanese prisoner of war concentration camps. This made her realize that she wished to do more by helping and caring for people.

This inspired her to return to Australia to become a nurse. She attended the Alfred Hospital Nursing School attached to the University of Melbourne. After graduation she left for London to work at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital. While in London she was recruited to work at a native mission hospital in Rhodesia [now Zimbabwe], located in Southern Africa, where she would work for three years. This was not an easy assignment and was exasperated by the many health risks and no air conditioning. 

On a return to Europe in 1955 for rest and relaxation she met an American artist, Robert McFarland, in Spain. They fell in love and were married in London and soon departed to the Isle of Rhodes in Greece, where they set up residence. Soon Jeanne was pregnant, and after a year in Greece they decided to return to Southern California, where his parents resided. With his excellent artist credentials, Robert was offered a fine arts teaching position at the Ringling School of Art and Design.

While living in the Village of Longboat Key, they were part of a group that started the Longboat Key Village Art Center on Longboat Key. A second baby soon arrived and they moved to Bradenton. Once the children were old enough to go to school, Jeanne went to work at Manatee Memorial Hospital as one of their head nurses. She worked at Manatee Memorial Hospital for 14-plus years. In 1971 the marriage ended.

In 1976 she met the new love of her life, Niki Muller M.D. This changed her life and she moved to Silicon Valley, California, just outside of Palo Alto to manage her new partner’s medical practice, which she did for 35 years and where she continued her loving care of people. Jeanne and Niki always kept a home in Manatee County either on Longboat Key or Anna Maria island and returned to Longboat Key in 2013 to live permanently. Services to be announced at a future time. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice or Christ Church of Longboat Key.


Services to be announced at a future time.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Tidewell Hospice or Christ Church of Longboat Key.


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