Dec. 6, 1933 – Aug. 21, 2017
Robert D. Farrington, of Amherst, who served for 15 years as Erie County’s deputy budget director, died Monday in Buffalo General Medical Center after a brief illness. He was 83.
Born in Buffalo, he grew up in Kenmore, attended St. Paul’s Elementary School and was a 1951 graduate of St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute.
He considered becoming a priest – his two sisters were Sisters in the Congregation of St. Mary of Namur – and attended seminary for two years. But he decided instead to enlist in the Army, then earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Bonaventure University in 1960.
Mr. Farrington worked in the financial division at Carborundum Corp. and for a few years in Rochester. Returning to the Buffalo area, he served as deputy budget director from 1972 to 1987 under County Executives Edward V. Regan and Ed Rutkowski.
He then co-founded a day care facility for Alzheimer’s disease patients in Hamburg. In retirement, he was especially devoted to his children and grandchildren.
He was active in St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, serving as president of the Home School Association, and was a founding member of the Men’s Association.
He was a 47-year member of Alcoholics Anonymous, attended group meetings faithfully and, as a sponsor, helped many others recover their sobriety.
Proud of his Irish heritage, he visited Ireland numerous times, did research into genealogy that uncovered a relationship to President John F. Kennedy and established friendships with distant kin in Ireland. About 10 years ago, he formally became an Irish citizen and held dual citizenship in Ireland and America.
Survivors include his wife of 56 years, the former Elaine Navagh, an elementary school teacher; three sons, Kevin, Paul and Timothy; two daughters, Peggy Ann Griffin and Kathleen Lojacono; and nine grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in St. Gregory the Great Church, 200 St. Gregory Court at Maple Road, Amherst.