John Farrington Obituary

John P. Farrington
John P. Farrington

July 1, 1933 - October 3, 2019
Born in Philadelphia, PA
Resided in West Des Moines, Iowa
  • Contat Us
  • Guestbook
  • Photos
  • Services
  • Send Flowers


John P Farrington, 86, passed away on October 3, 2019 in West Des Moines. Services will be held at Edgewater in West Des Moines on Friday, October 11, 2019 at 3 pm. Please join the family for food and fellowship following the services.

John was born in Philadelphia, PA on July 1, 1933 to Joseph D and Frank Marie Farrington. He enjoyed a great childhood with his older brother Joseph growing up on the shore in Margate City, NJ. He graduated from Atlantic City High School and went on to attend Rider College. He was drafted and spent two years in the Army and then back to Rider to complete his degree in business.

He met the love of his life Suzanne Rife in April 1956. They were married in Philadelphia on May 30, 1957. They started their lives together in East Orange, NJ. Then John’s career took them to Washington D.C. where they adopted their son Robert in 1961 and daughter Cynthia in 1963. Then they moved to Cleveland when John took a job with Bankers Life and this is where they adopted their daughter Jennifer in 1967. Later that same year John was transferred to the home office in Des Moines, IA. He had a very successful career at Bankers Life which later changed their name to Principal Financial Group. He developed great business relationships and many lifelong friendships. He traveled extensively for work and expanded his division internationally. He and Suzanne cherished the memories of so many wonderful trips all over the world. He retired in 1995 after 31 years with Principal Financial Group as the Senior Vice President of Group & Pension Sales.

After John’s retirement they made the decision to move to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina full time. They loved the warm weather and all of the activities island life had to offer. They loved to bike on the beach, clam bakes, boating, crabbing and of course fishing. They both became very involved in volunteering. John was an active member and volunteer at St Luke’s Church. He drove the van to bring people to participate in programs at Memory Matters. He also drove the truck for Second Helpings picking up food donations from participating restaurants and food banks. He was also a member of the Lions Club and worked at many tennis and golf events over the years. They enjoyed many visitors and all of the family loved visiting Grammies and Poppies at the beach.

Throughout the years John had a great impact on so many people. He never met a stranger in his life, he was very outgoing and charming. He was a great storyteller, all of kids couldn’t wait until story time with Poppies. He had a great sense of humor (although sometimes inappropriate) and loved to joke and laugh. He was a really great cook and loved good food and wine. He made the best animal pancakes on Saturday mornings. He had the biggest heart under his sometimes gruff exterior. He was a great example of what hard work was for both his children and grandchildren. The love and devotion he had for his wife of 62 years, Suzanne is inspiration for us all.

John is survived by his loving wife, Suzanne and their daughter, Jennifer; grandchildren Kelly, Susan, Jamie (Gabrielle), Gretchen, Cassidy, Sydney and Morgan and great grandchildren Joslynn, Amidy, Seth, Boston, Elijah, Vivienne, Florence and Emmett. He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother, his son, Robert and daughter, Cynthia.

In lieu of flowers please make donations to Memory Matters and St Luke’s Church in Hilton Head, SC or WesleyLife Hospice.

*Edgewater is located at 9225 Cascade Avenue in West Des Moines, the services will be held on the second floor in the PAC.





Memorial Services
Edgewater Retirement Community
9225 Cascade Ave.
West Des Moines, IA USA 50266
Friday, October 11, 2019
3:00 PM