Henry Miller "Hank" Worthington dies at age 80

Hardware executive and music lover was also an expert marksman and waterfowl hunter

September 16, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Henry Miller "Hank" Worthington, a retired hardware executive and music lover who enjoyed waterfowl hunting, died Monday of complications from dementia at his Garrison home. He was 80.

Mr. Worthington, the son of a hardware executive and a homemaker, was born in Baltimore and raised in Forest Park and Garrison.

He was a 1948 graduate of Gilman School and attended Princeton University, where he played ice hockey and was captain of the skeet shooting team.

"He was an expert marksman, a skill inherited from his father, a 13-time Maryland state skeet and trap champion," said a son, Edward H. "Ned" Worthington of Garrison. "While still at Princeton, he qualified for the U.S. Olympic skeet team."

Mr. Worthington left Princeton and was attending the Johns Hopkins University when his father, H. Linn Worthington, who was a manufacturer's representative for the hardware industry, died in 1951.

He left college to take over the family business, H. Linn Worthington Co., which his father had established in the early 1900s.

In addition to managing his father's business, he also owned and operated the Katchall Trap Co. and Wire Fabricators.

Mr. Worthington's professional memberships included serving as secretary and treasurer for the Eastern and Southern Hardware associations.

Mr. Worthington retired in 2004.

A lifelong music lover, Mr. Worthington played a major role in establishing a volunteer choir at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Owings Mills.

In 1964, Mr. Worthington, who played the guitar, founded the Foxheads, a male a cappella singing group that performed around Baltimore and in other East Coast towns and cities, family members said.

The group disbanded in 1995.

Mr. Worthington also staged musicals, plays and Gilbert & Sullivan performances at his church.

Mr. Worthington was an avid baseball fan and had been an Orioles season ticket holder for 47 years.

In 1966, he founded the Greenspring Little League, and his subsequent 12 years of coaching and overseeing the organization earned him the nickname of "Commissioner."

Because Mr. Worthington never lost his affection for ice hockey, he designed and built an outdoor ice rink at the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club. "It's a tradition that has been enjoyed by countless skaters and still endures today," his son said.

Throughout his life, Mr. Worthington enjoyed waterfowl and upland hunting. He also loved retrievers and trained many dogs, including his favorite, Jet, a black Labrador retriever who was a Maryland field champion.

"Hank was a true friend who was always there when you needed him. He was also a great sportsman," said Richard L. Cover, a longtime friend and hunting companion. "Over the years, we did a lot of duck shooting together. We used to shoot on the Choptank River outside of Cambridge," he said.

Mr. Cover described Mr. Worthington as being a "straight, honest and fine person."

During the 1970s, Mr. Worthington served as a trustee of Gilman School and during his tenure was head of buildings and grounds.

Active in Republican politics, Mr. Worthington had managed political campaigns of Jervis S. Finney and C.A. Porter Hopkins, his son said.

An accomplished woodworker, Mr. Worthington established a small company, Sportables, which made tables, lamps and fire screens, among other products. He also enjoyed sailing.

He was a member of the Green Spring Valley Hunt Club, where he had served as secretary and a member of the board. He was also a member of Ducks Unlimited and the Bachelors Cotillon.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at his church, 232 St. Thomas Lane in Owings Mills.

In addition to his son, Mr. Worthington is survived by his wife of 52 years, the former Sallie Graham Hurst; another son, John H. Worthington of Garrison; a daughter, Jean Worthington Cross of North Kingstown, R.I.; and seven grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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