Frank J. Farrington ’53

Frank J. Farrington ’53, overseer emeritus, died on January 18, 2018, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

(President Clayton Rose sent the following message to the campus community on January 27, 2018:)

To the campus community,

I am sorry to report the death of Overseer Emeritus Frank J. Farrington ’53 of Bangor, who passed away peacefully last Thursday, January 18, 2018, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, at the age of eighty-six.

Frank was born in Augusta on August 27, 1931, the son of the late Frank A. and Joan (Sturtevant) Farrington. Bowdoin College was in his blood; Frank’s father was a member of the Class of 1927, his paternal grandfather, Frank G. Farrington, graduated in the Class of 1894, and his maternal grandfather, Albert H. Sturtevant, was a member of the Medical School Class of 1899. Frank graduated from Cony High School in Augusta near the top of his class and was an outstanding football, basketball, and track athlete. At Bowdoin he combined intellectual, athletic, and artistic talents with a reputation for integrity and an ability to lead by example. A James Bowdoin Scholar, he graduated summa cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa; he was a member of Zeta Psi Fraternity (and president in his senior year); he played football; he sang in the Glee Club and The Meddiebempsters; and he was in Masque and Gown theatrical productions for four years.

After graduation, Frank served until 1955 in the US Marine Corps in Japan and Hawaii, attaining the rank of first lieutenant. Upon his return from military service, Frank entered the insurance business. He married Dare Paige of Longmeadow, MA, in 1961, after the two met on the ski slopes at Stowe, VT. They raised five daughters (including two sets of twins) in Maine. Frank was a chartered life underwriter and vice president with Union Mutual Insurance in Portland until 1971, when he became a general insurance agent in Bangor and founded the Farrington Financial Group. He led the company as sole proprietor for the next forty-five years, stepping down only after suffering a stroke at the age of eighty-four. According to his family, Frank embraced his enforced retirement with his characteristic zest for life. He exercised, read voraciously, and kept up his busy life at the center of a loving family.   

Frank served the communities in which he lived in many ways. In Portland he was a director of the YMCA, a member of the school board in Falmouth, and a corporator of the Maine Medical Center in Portland. That commitment to public service continued after the Farringtons moved to Bangor, with Frank giving his time and lending his talents as director and president of the Bangor-Brewer YMCA, president of the Bangor Rotary Club, director of the United Way of the Penobscot Valley, corporator of the Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, advisor to The Iris Network, and congregant, reader, and past senior warden of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Frank also served on the Bangor City Council, including a term as chairman, and was a member of the Maine State Board of Education.

Bowdoin will always be grateful for Frank’s loyal support and encouragement over the years. He was once described “as enthusiastic and hard-working a Bowdoin man as there is.” He was chair of the Alumni Fund in 1983-1984, and served on the Board of Overseers from 1984 to 1996, a period of many challenges and changes. He was 1953’s class agent from 1986-1990, reunion planning chair in 1998, a member of the Maine Regional Committee for the New Century Campaign, a cochair of 1953’s 50th Reunion Committee, and alumni marshal at the 198th Commencement. For his many contributions to the College, the Alumni Council presented him with a Polar Bear Award in 2002.

The Bowdoin family joins me in extending our sympathies to Frank’s wife, Dare; his daughters, Ann Farrington Reis (Channing) of Hampton Falls, NH, Joan Farrington Guild (Edward) of Cumberland, Katherine Paige Farrington ’89 of Beverly, MA, and Virginia Farrington MacMillan (Sean) of Bangor; son-in-law, Peter T. Bidstrup of Marion, MA; a sister, Martha Farrington Huotari Mayo of Bath; and his grandchildren, Franklin Reis ’14, William Reis, and Isabel Reis; Brett Ann Bidstrup and Larsen Bidstrup; Dare Guild, Charles Guild, and Madlen Guild; Gage Neirinckx; and Ellie MacMillan. He was predeceased by his brother, Albert S. Farrington of the Class of 1954, his daughter Molly Farrington Bidstrup, and his grandson Collin MacMillan.

A memorial service celebrating Frank’s life will be held in the early spring in Portland, and we will provide those details as soon as they become available.

For all of Frank’s talents and accomplishments, he also had a grace and manner that put people at ease and allowed them to shine. It was an uncommon gift, and one that made Bowdoin (or any other place he happened to be) the better for his presence.

Sincerely,

Clayton

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