Harry Wolfington, auto dealer

Harry J. Wolfington
Harry J. Wolfington
Posted: April 26, 2013

Harry Joseph Wolfington, 74, of Bryn Mawr, who operated a Volkswagen dealership in Philadelphia and worked in the auto business for many years, died Saturday, April 20, of complications of a stroke at the Hospice of Palm Beach County, Fla.

Mr. Wolfington, whose family had been in the automotive business since the early 20th century, owned and operated Hill Volkswagen on Ridge Avenue in Philadelphia's Roxborough section in the 1970s and 1980s.

"When he walked into a room, you knew he was there. When he left, you would never forget him," said his wife, Carol Ann Wolfington, noting his great sense of humor.

Mr. Wolfington was born Dec. 2, 1938, in Secane, Delaware County, the fifth of nine children of J. Eustace and Mary Margaret Wolfington. He was raised in Overbrook.

He graduated from Malvern Preparatory School in 1957. Mr. Wolfington attended Villanova University, where he studied business.

In 1960, he married Carol Ann Duffy. They had been sweethearts through high school and college. The Wolfingtons were longtime residents of Villanova.

In the late 19th century, Mr. Wolfington's grandfather operated the Wolfington Body Co. in West Philadelphia. The company made chassis for horse carriages. His father later worked in the car business.

Mr. Wolfington began working with his brother Eustace at Wolfington Chevrolet in Roxborough in the 1960s.

From 1973 to 1981, Mr. Wolfington owned and operated Hill Volkswagen. He started Wolfington Leasing Co., a car-leasing company, in the 1980s.

He joined his son Sean and Eustace Wolfington in the 1990s at Half-A-Car in Wynnewood. The company trained and consulted with Ford dealers worldwide.

He later worked with Sean Wolfington as a troubleshooter at BZ Results, a marketing company for the auto industry based in Providence, R.I. Mr. Wolfington retired in 2010.

Throughout his life, he did volunteer work for Catholic Charities and other organizations.

He coached grade-school football at St. Aloysius Academy for Boys in Bryn Mawr in the 1970s.

Mr. Wolfington was a member of Our Mother of Good Counsel Church in Bryn Mawr for the last 12 years. "He was a very spiritual person," said his wife. "He attended Mass daily."

Mr. Wolfington was a Eucharistic minister at Bryn Mawr Hospital, where he gave Communion to patients.

He was an avid gardener. He and his wife raised flowers and vegetables.

He enjoyed playing golf and tennis at the Philadelphia Country Club in Gladwyne.

Mr. Wolfington also enjoyed playing bridge and backgammon.

For the last seven years, Mr. Wolfington and his wife spent January through April in Jupiter, Fla.

"He was gentle. He was an observer. He was humble and compassionate," his wife said. "He was almost perfect."

In addition to his wife and son, Mr. Wolfington is survived by daughters Lisa Corcoran, Sharon, and Stephany Ziegler; sons Harry Jr., Christopher, and Ryan; 30 grandchildren; a great-grandchild; four brothers; and a sister.

A viewing is scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, April 29, at Our Mother of Good Counsel Church, 31 Pennswood Rd., Bryn Mawr. A Funeral Mass will be said at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 30, at the church. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken.

Contact Vernon Clark at 215-854-5717 or vclark@phillynews.com.

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