Boca Grande homeowner Joseph Farish, 89, was an attorney and former Palm Beach County judge who parlayed his success in the courtroom into dozens of business interests and a vast fortune.
Until two weeks ago, Farish still got into his Lexus at home on Jupiter Island every morning and drove 20 miles to his office downtown West Palm Beach to work on his legal cases and business ventures. He represented the Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association in its case against the use of jiggers to catch fish.
Educated at Florida State University, Farish handled some of the biggest cases around. In the 1970s and '80s, he was the go-to man when it came to society divorces. He often took the side of the wife, as he did when he represented Roxanne Pulitzer in her splashy split from newspaper heir Pete Pulitzer.
Joseph Farish, 89
In 2006, Farish, a veteran of World War II's Normandy invasion, bought 300 acres of farmland in the western confines of Lake Worth and created the South Florida National Cemetery, the only Veterans Administration cemetery in a 50-mile radius.
One of Indiantown's biggest landowners, Farish was personally supervising the transitioning of his orange groves into cattle land.
Farish, who leaves three daughters and his wife, Loreen, was vacationing at his Boca Grande home on Labor Day when he felt sharp pains in his abdomen. He was diagnosed with hiatal hernia that had grown so large that it pushed on some of his organs.
Republished with permission of the Palm Beach Post
He had surgery Sept. 7 at Baptist Hospital of Miami. His chances for a full recovery were such that he was moved out of the ICU and into a regular hospital room a week ahead of schedule. He died unexpectedly about 5 p.m. Sept. 15.