Kenneth D. Farragut Jr., Eagles center

Kenneth D. Farragut Jr.
Kenneth D. Farragut Jr.
Posted: February 22, 2014

Kenneth D. Farragut Jr., 85, of Lafayette Hill, a Pro Bowl center for the Eagles in 1953 who later founded what became one of the area's largest roofing companies, died Sunday, Feb. 16, of complications from diabetes at the Hill of Whitemarsh.

The Eagles, posting on their website, said they were saddened to learn of his death.

Nicknamed "Dynamite," the 6-foot-5, 240-pound Mr. Farragut rode his toughness to a berth on the Moss Point (Miss.) High School football team, where he was a star center and linebacker for the Tigers from 1944 to 1946.

He had become strong from working alongside his father at a paper mill, starting at age 13.

When his high school coach, Tom Swayze, took a job as assistant football coach at the University of Mississippi, Mr. Farragut followed on a full scholarship, becoming the Rebels' starting center, according to Creg Stephenson of the Mississippi Press in Pascagoula.

Mr. Farragut played all four years and was team captain in 1950.

Selected in the sixth round of the 1951 NFL draft, Mr. Farragut played for the Eagles from 1951 to 1954 and earned Pro Bowl recognition in 1953.

He was named to the University of Mississippi Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Pennsylvania Hall of Fame in 1992. Mr. Farragut also was the recipient of the NFL Alumni Career Achievement Award in 1992.

According to his family, Mr. Farragut achieved success playing professional football, but it didn't put food on the table. He had to work in the offseason to make a living.

That was "BBM, before big money," he liked to tell his friends and family. So Mr. Farragut went door-to-door, selling roofing and siding. He loved the business so much that in 1962, he founded U.S. Roofing Corp. in Norristown.

"He took his small success in football and parlayed it into a successful business," said his son J. Daniel. "Work was his mantra."

Mr. Farragut chose the company name to make the small roofing contractor appear big. "My father thought big on everything," his son said.

The firm became one of the largest commercial roofing companies in the area. When Mr. Farragut retired in 1997, his son K. David III took over as CEO.

Mr. Farragut was born in Ponchatoula, La., and moved to Mississippi before settling in Mayfair and finally Lafayette Hill.

He married Jane C. Brister in 1947.

Surviving besides his wife and sons are a daughter, Deborah Worstall; eight grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and a sister.

A viewing will be from 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, followed by an 11 a.m. funeral, at Messiah Methodist Church, 527 Ridge Pike, Lafayette Hill, Pa. 19444. Burial is private.

Donations may be made to Messiah Methodist Church at the address above.


bcook@phillynews.com

610-313-8102

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