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Keith McFarlane
In Memory of
Keith Alan
1954 - 2020
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Hulse, Playfair & McGarry
315 McLeod Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K2P 1A2

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Obituary for Keith Alan McFarlane

Keith Alan  McFarlane
February 14, 1954 to January 9, 2020.

It is with heavy hearts, that the family of Dr. Keith McFarlane announce his sudden and unexpected passing on January 9, 2020. Keith was the husband and best friend of Dr. Karen Cohen, the devoted father of Madison and Sydney Cohen-McFarlane, and the youngest brother of Dr. Brian McFarlane (Pugwash, Nova Scotia) and Ian McFarlane (Kingston, Ontario). Keith was predeceased by his father, Everett H. McFarlane and his mother, E. Irene McFarlane. Born in St. Catharines, Ontario Keith lived and practiced as a psychologist in Ottawa for over 30 years. He was a graduate of the University of Alberta (B.A., political science, 1979), Brock University (Honours B.A., psychology, 1982) and the University of Windsor (M.A., 1984 and Ph.D., 1989 in clinical psychology).He completed a pre-doctoral research fellowship at the Addiction Research Foundation and a post-doctoral fellowship on the Forensic Service, Clarke Institute of Psychiatry (now the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health).

Keith’s career as a correctional and forensic psychologist in Ottawa included positions at the Robert Smart Centre, the Royal Ottawa Hospital, and the Rideau Correctional and Treatment Centre where he served as Acting Chief Psychologist from 2000-2003. From 2004 to 2010, Keith worked at the Ottawa Carleton Detention Centre and, from 2010 until the time of his passing, in Probation and Parole Services, Ministry of the Solicitor General, Ontario. Over the course of his career in provincial corrections, Keith held many roles and made many contributions. He was provincial consultant for the Critical Incident Stress Management Program; Crisis Program Evaluator for the Program Effectiveness, Statistics and Applied Research Unit;Eastern Region Team Leader for the Critical Incident Stress Program; Associate Trainer at the Ontario Correctional Services College;Crisis Negotiator and Associate Trainer for the Crisis Negotiation Program; Internship and Practicum Coordinator for Psychology at the Ottawa Correctional Detention Centre;and Chairman of the Working Group on Change for the Department of Psychology at the Rideau Correctional and Treatment Centre where he also served as Quality Assurance Coordinator.He was Clinical Adjunct Professor at the School of Psychology at the University of Ottawa from 1999 to 2013 and within his work for the Ministry of the Solicitor General Ontario, he trained and mentored many doctoral students in psychology.

Keith’s community service included roles on the Boards of Operation Go Home and Canadian Mothercraft of Ottawa Carleton. He was a beloved youth soccer coach for the Ottawa Internationals Soccer Club for many years.

Keith, simply put, was the kindest, wisest and most patient of men. He had a keen wit and sense of humour. His heart and mind were always open. He listened without judgment and helped all whose lives he touched to be their best selves. He was the person you turned to when times were tough and when you wanted to celebrate success. He was the friend who gave of himself without strings attached. He was the colleague you respected and counted on. He was the dad you called to come collect you, no matter the time or circumstances. He was the husband who stood up and beside you always. There are simply no words to describe the hole his passing has left in the hearts of his wife, Karen and children, Madison and Sydney.

A celebration of Keith’s life will be held in Ottawa, by invitation. Please contact the family for details.

The family intends to set up an endowment in Keith’s name to help people who are marginalized and who live with mental health challenges to access psychological services. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation. For more information, contact

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