on March 24, 2014 - 4:27 PM
, updated March 24, 2014 at 5:58 PM
March 25, 1926 – March 21, 2014
Worth L. Farrington, who once worked at an Orchard Park hand-tool company his father founded and later became embroiled in a major court case involving his family’s fortune, died Friday in Mercy Hospital. He was 87.
Born in Buffalo, Mr. Farrington lived in the Village of Orchard Park for almost his entire life and resided in his family’s Quaker Street home until his death.
He graduated from Orchard Park High School and then served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was discharged as a fireman first class in 1946.
Mr. Farrington worked as a toolmaker and machinist at XceLite, the company founded by Birney Farrington, his father. The company sold tools under the “XCEL” and “XceLite” brands. In 1973, the brand was purchased by Cooper Industries.
He enjoyed fishing and hunting.
“He was a very gentle man,” said Marjorie Kohl, a cousin. “He was very proud of the fact he was in the Navy and the VFW and American Legion posts.”
Mr. Farrington was a 60-year member of Zion Lodge 514, Free & Accepted Masons, in Orchard Park.
He also was a member of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in West Falls.
Mr. Farrington’s brother, William, and two sisters, June and Ruth, predeceased him.
After his sister June died in 2008, a fight over her millions of dollars erupted in Surrogate’s Court.
Three charities, which counted on sharing her bequest, contested her estate after discovering it had been restructured to eliminate the outright gifts to them.
The scrutiny paid to her estate led to the appointment of a guardian for Mr. Farrington.
Medical records revealed a history of dementia as well as Parkinson’s disease.
The charities accused an estate lawyer of a “wrongful scheme” to steer money to himself from the estates of Mr. Farrington and June Farrington.
The charities’ lawyers said the estate lawyer and a home health aide worked together “to weave their way into the Farrington siblings’ estate plans through fraud and undue influence and by taking advantage of June’s and Worth’s incapacity.”
The case was settled without any admission or finding of wrongdoing, and the charities received about $9 million.
The settlement, approved by Mr. Farrington’s guardian, also included the return of $1.2 million taken from the Worth L. Farrington 2008 Trust.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday in F.E. Brown Sons Funeral Home, 6575 E. Quaker St., Orchard Park.