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The Story of Lasting Legacy Online

Lasting Legacy Online (LLO) was founded by Dr. Howard and Elaine Schwartz. The idea originated in their living room in 2003, with an intent to create an internet site where individuals could make their life story accessible to their family and friends free of charge, with the intention of maintaining generational stories for years to come.

Grandpa Jack

Featured Lasting Legacy Story of John Edwin Wells, better known by those who loved him as “Grandpa Jack.”

This is Grandpa Jack’s story as told to his daughter in law, Elaine Laue Wells Schwartz. He wanted to dedicate his story to his second wife Louise, and his grandkids.

His first wife, Velna, died unexpectedly when she was 74 years old. She was the light of his life for many years. His two sons and their families were the joys of life.

The Kay McFarland Japanese Garden

Chief Justice McFarland’s life and accomplishments created a legacy. Her story is told here on Lasting Legacy Online as well as through the Kay McFarland Japanese Garden which is located in the Topeka Zoo (Topeka, Kansas). Justice McFarland’s story is preserved and shared, so that it may to inspire future generations to aspire the same way she did.

Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Kay McFarland’s dream was to leave a legacy gift of a world class Japanese garden in the capitol city of the state she served. She established a living trust to help fund her dream of a breathtaking Japanese garden. Her garden is a destination filled with serenity and exceptional views, offering inspiration, contemplation and serves as a venue for life changing experiences.

Kay’s interests and talents were many and varied. She was a world class show ring rider of Tennessee Walking horses, including the award winning Midnight Secret, and bred champion Irish wolfhounds from stock brought directly from Ireland. She was also an expert seamstress and quilter.

Kay delighted in traveling the world. Her father’s work as an educational consultant and motivational speaker for the Reader’s Digest and General Motors provided early opportunities for domestic and foreign travel. Her love of travel continued throughout her life, including three African safaris with former Topeka zoo director, Gary Clarke.

She was the consummate storyteller. Kay’s travels, background, experiences, and knowledge provided her with much material, but it was her ability to find the humor in almost any situation and her keen observations regarding human nature that made her stories unique. Her childhood years spent in Coffeyville and visiting relatives in Caney, Kansas, were as frequently the subjects of her stories as were her travels to exotic locations throughout the world. Simply put, she enjoyed people and nature.

Our Dedication

Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Kay McFarland’s dream was to leave a legacy gift of a world class Japanese garden in the capitol city of the state she served. Kay’s garden is a destination filled with serenity and breath-taking views. It offers inspiration, contemplation and serves as a venue for life changing and everyday experiences. Kay’s Garden cost $6,640,000. The Kay E. McFarland Living Trust established funds that paid for the project costs and established a permanent endowment fund of to maintain the garden into perpetuity.

In addition to the Kay McFarland Japanese Garden at the Topeka Zoo, Chief Justice McFarland supported developing Lasting Legacy Online for her life story and for others to tell theirs. The Gallery of the Event Center in Kay’s Garden tells only a little of her story. Trustee, Elaine Schwartz, knew for people who visited her garden, they would want to read her whole story. For a year and a half before the Chief passed at the age of 80, Elaine interviewed her each week to both check on her health and to create this wonderful story.

Please visit her garden at 635 SW Gage Blvd · In the Topeka, Kansas

Elaine Schwartz

Elaine could perhaps write two Lasting Legacy Online stories. Her first: the story of high school cheerleader, band member and softball player who meet her dream boat at a dance and was wed at age 16. Two years later, he’d return from the draft (to avoid Vietnam) and build a home with his budding bride and newborn son. She found friends and fellowship in the Lutheran Church and worked as a nursing aid. Fast forward 30 years, Elaine has now married the love of her life, blended families, converted to Judaism, served on City Council and flexed her entrepreneurial spirit–beginning Lasting Legacy Online LLC with her husband Dr. Howard Schwartz and with support from dear friend and namesake Justice Kay McFarland.

Elaine’s Lasting Legacy Online story is dedicated to her grandchildren; in it she shares her love of life, her strong political beliefs, advice and lessons she learned on the way and even her favorite beef pot roast recipe. It’s one that ensures those that come after her will hear and know “Pete.”

Dr. Howard Schwartz

Born May 15, 1945 in Philadelphia, PA. Howard was the youngest of two boys. He never knew either set of grandparents: his paternal grandparents were unable to leave their homeland of Romania and his mother’s father passed before she was born due to a tetanus infection, his mother’s mother while giving birth to her. Then, just three months shy of Howard’s 18th birthday, his father Soloman passed. 

Today,  Howard is a (self-proclaimed “the”) proudest grandfather. Not having much knowledge or record of those before him, he is passionate to change the trajectory for his growing family. Writing his Lasting Legacy Online story is for those before him and for those after.

It’s with great honor to share Dr. Howard Schwartz’ Lasting Legacy Online story with you. We hope it inspires you and your entire family to begin writing their own story. 

Justice Kay McFarland

Garden City Telegram

Our featured Legacy is Chief Justice Kay Eleanor McFarland.

Judge McFarland was born on July 20, 1935 in Coffeyville, Kansas. She was appointed to the Kansas Supreme Court by Governor Robert Bennett, becoming the first woman to hold that office. Judge McFarland became the first female Chief Justice for the State of Kansas in 1995.

We honor Judge McFarland by having her legacy featured on our site.