Kenneth H. Bofinger, 86, of Oreland, a fatherless boy who was placed at Girard College — later using the printing skills he learned there to climb the corporate ladder in the printing and advertising world — died July 30 of complications from a subdural hematoma.
The Montgomery County Coroner's Office said Mr. Bofinger had a fall that caused bleeding on the brain. His death was ruled accidental.
The fall occurred July 22 while Mr. Bofinger was undergoing physical therapy at a rehab facility, his family said.
The youngest of three boys, Mr. Bofinger was born in Bridesburg in 1930, a year into the Great Depression. When he was 5, his father, William Charles, died. His mother, Caroline, enrolled him at Girard College, which educated fatherless boys from the time they were small through the 12th grade. They stayed at the school until age 18.
Girard students could visit their parents only at Christmas and Easter. Although Mr. Bofinger's brother, Bill, was also on campus, the two were separated.
"My father saw it was an opportunity, but it was not an easy existence for the boys," said his daughter, Jennifer B. Tucker.
While at Girard, he mastered the printing trade, which at the time was done with manual typesetting. He also excelled at soccer and singing.
After graduating with Girard College's class of 1948, Mr. Bofinger joined the Philadelphia advertising agency of Arndt, Preston, Chapin Lamb & Keen. He did typesetting in the firm's production department, where he met Susan Thoenebe. They married and settled in Oreland to rear a family.
He worked for Zabel Brothers Co., maker of baseball cards, and the ad firm of Lewis Gilman & Kynett before joining Earle Palmer Brown, an advertising and public relations agency, where he rose to become senior vice president for print production.
"Ken was a top professional," said Lonny Strum, the firm's former president. "He was incredibly knowledgeable in every aspect of print production, and was a major asset to Earle Palmer Brown in the '80s and '90s.
"But more important, he was a great man. He was kind, supportive, and one of the few people in life you can always count on," Strum said.
In that era, print advertising and other print materials were a major part of the company's work product for clients that included Comcast, CoreStates, Wawa, Independence Blue Cross and others, Strum said.
Mr. Bofinger, who viewed working as a hobby, came out of retirement to join Star Group, a former ad agency in New Jersey, and then Tri-County Printers in Oreland, his daughter said. He stopped for good in 2012.
Mr. Bofinger was a regular churchgoer, a Little League coach, and a "perfect gentleman," his daughter said. "He loved pineapple upside-down cake, 500-piece puzzles, dogs of all sizes, a good Sunday pot roast, parties with neighbors, and vacations with family. He had an easy smile for friends, a fast walk to wherever he was going, and a strong work ethic that followed him throughout his career."
In addition to his daughter and wife of 60 years, he is survived by children Mark and Christopher; and four grandchildren. A son, Jeffrey Alan, and brothers Bill and Charles, the latter a noted Bucks County painter, died earlier.
A 10 a.m. visitation on Saturday, Aug. 12, will be followed by an 11 a.m. memorial service at Trinity Episcopal Church, 708 S. Bethlehem Pike, Ambler, Pa. 19002. Interment will be in the churchyard cemetery.