In Memoriam: William F. Harrington (1931-2010)
On January 23, 2010, our friend, colleague and Chairman, William F. Harrington, affectionately known as “BJ,” passed away at the age of 78. Born on December 3, 1931 in Yonkers, New York to William Patrick and Jane Harrington, he attended St. Joseph’s Grammar School and Gorton High School in Yonkers. He received a degree in accounting from Manhattan College in 1953 and his law degree from Fordham University School of Law in 1959. He joined the Firm in 1959 where he practiced law for 51 years and served as our Chairman and Managing Partner for 35 years. He was an accomplished attorney in trust and estate litigation and oversaw the growth of Bleakley Platt into one of the premier law firms in the region. He served as Legislative Council to Lt. Governor Malcolm Wilson between 1964 and 1973 and Town Attorney for the Town of Pound Ridge from 1980 to 1985 and Town Justice between 1985 and 1991.
A devout and dedicated Roman Catholic, BJ served his church and the Archdiocese of New York throughout his life. He was a Trustee of St. Joseph’s Seminary and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, a member of the Cardinal’s Committee of the Laity and the Archdiocese’s Inner City Scholarship Fund. He served as the Chairman of St. Agnes Hospital in White Plains, New York and as Vice Chairman of St. Joseph’s Medical Center’s Health Fund in Yonkers, New York. He was a proud member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Westchester County, serving as the Chairman of the Society’s Board of Stewards for over 25 years.
Mr. Harrington also served on the Board of Directors of his beloved Fordham Law School, where he was instrumental in the creation of the Cardinal John O’Connor Chair for Theological Studies. He also served as a founding member of the Boards of Directors of Pace Law School and The Ave Maria School of Law. He also served as a member of the Board of Directors of Sacred Heart High School, Iona Prepatory School and the School of The Holy Child. At the time of his death, BJ was the moving force behind the construction of the new Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Hospital in Yonkers, serving as the Hospitals Capital Campaign Chairman.
BJ was a Knight of Malta, Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great and humbly accepted various awards throughout his life including the St. Thomas Moore Award, The Fordham Law School Medal of Achievement, the Charles Carroll Award from the Catholic Guild of Lawyers, the Cardinal’s Committee of Laity Award, the Pro Eccelesia Et Pontifice Medal and the Humanitarian Award for Life. In addition BJ proudly served as Grand Marshall for the Yonkers St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
BJ is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Audrey (Kazimir), his sons William (Carolyn) Harrington of Pound Ridge, New York; Brian (Elizabeth) Harrington of Pound Ridge, New York, Peter (Danielle) Harrington of Waccabuc, New York and daughters Mary Pat McCarthy and Mary Beth Harrington of Pound Ridge, New York and nine grandchildren Caitlyn, Meagan, Emily, Luke, William Finian, Caroline, Hanna, P.J. and Jill. He is also survived by his two loving sisters Mary Harrington and Jane Devlin.