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The Delta community is mourning the loss last week of Delta-Cardiff Fire Company president and community leader Douglas Farrington.

Mr. Farrington, 44, died of a heart attack Aug. 23 at Upper Chesapeake Medical Center. He was born and raised in Delta, Pa., and has become an integral member of the community over the years.

He was so revered, more than 1,000 attended his funeral last Friday at the Mason-Dixon Fairgrounds, which Mr. Farrington was instrumental in expanding over the last quarter-century.

The fairgrounds is the site of the annual Mason-Dixon Fair, one of Mr. Farrington’s favorite causes.

To honor Mr. Farrington, a fireworks display lit up the night at the end of his funeral.

“They set off fireworks in honor of Douglas,” said Joyce Farrington, Mr. Farrington’s stepmother, holding back tears.

She described his death as a shock.

“It’s hard to say off the top of your head exactly what Douglas was into,” Joyce Farrington said.

His stepmother said her son was difficult to pin down because he was involved in so much.

Mr. Farrington joined the Delta-Cardiff Fire Company when he was 16 years old, later joined the Whiteford Volunteer Fire Company and was employed as a fire inspector with the Aberdeen Proving Ground Fire Department.

His investment in the area, however, stretched beyond public safety and fighting fires.

He coached youth baseball, filled in as Santa Claus, did landscaping work as a side business and was chairman of the Mason-Dixon Fair.

In addition to his work in the community, he was a great father and a faithful friend, Joyce Farrington said.

“He was an excellent father,” she said.

Joyce Farrington said her stepson was the kind of man who would give someone in need the shirt off his back, “and probably has a few times.”

Mr. Farrington had knee surgery and was taking some time off of work to recover when one of his best friends had to put up a new roof.

Despite his injuries, Mr. Farrington went to help his friend.

“We wouldn’t call him because we knew he’d drop everything he was doing and wouldn’t let us pay him,” Joyce Farrington said.

She said he was well-liked even though his forthright attitude may have gotten him in trouble at times.

“He was very well liked,” Joyce Farrington said, adding “usually, like his father, what he had on his mind is what he said and what he meant.”

Joyce Farrington said her stepson liked to have fun and shocked her and her husband several times when he was a boy.

She and Mr. Farrington’s father, Thomas J. Farrington, went out of town one weekend and said Douglas could have people over as long as things were under control. The Farringtons came home early to find 350 people on their farm.

“He said don’t worry about it, old man, I’ll take care of it,” Joyce Farrington said with a laugh, adding it was one of Mr. Farrington’s favorite things to say.

Jeff Griffith, chief in Delta and longtime friend of Mr. Farrington’s, called his friend a family man, leader and all-around good guy who kept people laughing.

In addition to his father and stepmother, Mr. Farrington is survived by his wife, Stacey L. Farrington, three children, Kyle Russell Hinton Hebel, Matthew Douglas Farrington and Kelsey Lynn Farrington, as well as siblings, nieces and nephews.

“Doug was a great guy, he was a hard worker, everything that he did was always for the good of the people and to benefit the organization, any organization he was working with,” Griffith said.

The Mason-Dixon Fair was one of his most important causes.

“Doug will be greatly missed in this fire company and the Mason-Dixon Fair,” Griffith said.

Mr. Farrington’s involvement with the fair started 25 years ago when it was a small carnival between the Delta Senior Center and the school, Joyce Farrington said.

“Every year he was working for bigger and better,” she said.

Joyce Farrington said her stepson spent a lot of time and energy developing the fair and acquiring more property for the fairgrounds.

“It was unreal,” Joyce Farrington said.

Mr. Farrington’s death will be felt throughout Delta.

“It’s a loss to the whole entire community; that boy did so much around here that it would take half an army to replace him,” Joyce Farrington said.

Griffith agreed.

“You can never replace a gentleman like that, he will be greatly missed by everybody,” Griffith said.


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