JOHN WILLIAM HARRINGTON, SR.
Naples, Florida — Naples resident John William “Bill” Harrington, Sr. passed away after 96 years on August 15, 2021. He was born February 25, 1925, to the late Edward Francis, Sr. and Ella Rita Harrington in Milford, Massachusetts. He was married to “the love of my life,” B. Louise Harrington.
We celebrate the life of our husband, dad, pop, great-pop, sibling, uncle, friend, and our hero (“Dad”); a jack of all trades and a master of many. Growing up Dad always had a lesson, whether it was having honesty, loyalty and respect for others, being disciplined and hardworking, sharing with others, how to work on cars, how to do yardwork, and so much more, including how to raise beagles. He was always teaching something.
Bill grew up in Roslindale, MA and joined the Navy during WWII right after high school at the age of 18. He was in training to be a pilot off aircraft carriers when the war ended. During his time in the Navy, he was sent to MIT, and after having received an Honorable Discharge, he went to Northeastern University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering.
He was hired by Western Union Telegraph Company right out of college and became their youngest executive. He remained with the company for his entire working career and retired from Western Union International as Senior Vice President at the age of 55. All who knew him thought that he would be so bored that he would soon return to work. On the contrary, he was never bored a day in his life!
While he was still in college, he married Louise and they celebrated their 75th Wedding Anniversary on July 7th of this year. They had six children, Kathleen “Kathy” (Beau, predeceased), John William, Jr. “Bill” (Sheila), Thomas “Tom” (Cheryl), Richard “Rick” (Patsy), Karen (Sam), Mariellen “Bonnie” (Sean.) Pop had 14 grandchildren, 4 step-grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and 9 step-great grandchildren. He took time with each of them, and they all knew how much he loved them and how very special they were to him.
Bill is also survived by his sister, Ella Rita “Sis” Connelly, a brother Edward Francis “Ted” Harrington, Jr. (predeceased), and a very long list of nieces and nephews, grand nephews and nieces, great-grand nephews and nieces, and by many friends.
After he retired, he traveled the country with his bride in the United States and Canada by water onboard their boat “The Wanderlust;” on land in their motor home; and in their Volkswagen Convertible that he refurbished and had appropriately licensed as “Das Bug.” During that time, he was also planning the home that they would someday build. They bought a five-acre lot in Maine and from the blueprints that he designed the two of them set out to build their dream home with their own hands. Upon its completion, he began to fill their new home with furniture that he himself had made.
At the age of 70 he got his first laptop computer and quickly mastered it. He became quite proficient in its use, as well as the many subsequent computers to which he had upgraded.
He was a gentleman in the truest sense of that word and always gave back. While in Denmark, Maine, he taught computer at the local library and helped people with their résumés. He was very involved in the Historical Society and wrote articles for the local paper that shared the history of the area; he was an avid reader; and an environmental activist.
He loved Ireland, the home of his ancestors, and he and his wife visited there twice. He was in search of information to complete the genealogy research that he and his wife had worked on for both sides of their families. On their most recent trip abroad, one of his fondest memories was exploring Paris with his one true love, at the age of 80.
They were snowbirds between Maine and Florida for many years, where he loved fishing “The Ten-thousand Islands” out of Port of the Islands until the age of 94. He has always been an inspiration to all who knew and loved him. We will all continue to live by his lessons. His was truly a “life well-lived.”
A Mass will be said at St. Peter The Apostle Catholic Church, Naples, FL, followed by a celebration of his life. Bill will be interred in the Veteran’s National Cemetery, Sarasota, FL.
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