Obituary: William J. Harford, 89, WWII fighter pilot, former Darien resident
William J. Harford of Naples, Fla, a former long time Darien resident and World War II fighter pilot, died Monday, Jan. 30, at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York. He was 89.
Born on June 4, 1922, in Jersey City, N.J., he was the son of the late Thomas and Jane Henderson Harford.
Mr. Harford attended Notre Dame University from 1940-42 and in 1947 graduated from Harvard University, were he played baseball and basketball. He served with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1942-46 as a fighter pilot during World War II and obtained the rank of captain.
Mr. Harford was owner of Harford Corporation, which was in Darien for 50 years. He also worked for New York Life Insurance Co. from 1951 to 1961 and Prudential Group Ins. Dept. as manager of the New Orleans Group Office from 1949 to 1951. He was also director of Bankers Security Life Insurance Society from 1955 to 1965 and Dairylea Cooperative, Inc. from 1970 to 1985.
He was a member of the Harvard Club of New York City; Woodway Country Club in Darien and Club Pelican Bay in Naples. He also enjoyed playing golf.
Mr. Harford is survived by his three children, William J. Harford of Chicago, Jean H. Cortes of New Canaan, and Robert M. Harford of Arlington, Va.; six grandchildren, William Harford III, Benjamin Cortes, Kathleen Harford, Robert Cortes, Mary Jean Harford and Cristina Cortes; a brother, James Harford of Princeton, N.J.; and a sister, Mary Jane Ferro of New Jersey.
He was predeceased by his wife, Jean M. Harford in 2001.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Thomas More Church, 374 Middlesex Road, Darien on Monday, Feb. 6, at 10:30. Burial will follow with full military honors at Lakeview Cemetery in New Canaan.
Memorial donations may be made to Founders Fund, The Club Pelican Bay, 707 Gulf Park Drive, Naples, FL 34108.