Donald Paul Harrington, age 83, of Fairview, MI, passed away Tuesday, November 5th, at St. Mary's Medical Center, Saginaw. A retired superintendent of Fairview Schools, born on July 20, 1930, he was one of 9 children born to Hugh and Olive Harrington. The majority of his formative years were spent near Gaylord in the small town of Hetherton. Following graduation as Valedictorian of his class from Johannesburg High School in 1948 he went on to attend Geneva College in Beaver Falls Pennsylvania as a Pre-Law student majoring in history and government graduating Magna Cum Laude. It was there that he met his wife and life long companion for the past 62 years Marie (Klenck) Harrington whom he married May 31, 1952. Following graduation he was called to the service of his country and served the next two years in the United States Army stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey, assigned to the Adjutant Generals Corp. Honorably discharged in 1955, he resumed his academic career returning to Michigan to attend for a short period Central Michigan University and then on to the University of Michigan where he received his Masters Degree, with Honors, in Public School Administration. He declined an opportunity within the Detroit Public School administration and instead accepted a position in 1957 with the Fairview Schools in Oscoda County, Michigan, as High School Principle as well as to teach government and history. With the retirement of the then current Superintendent of Schools in 1962, Don as he was most commonly addressed, was offered and accepted the position of Superintendent of the Fairview Schools, a position that he held continuously for 30 years until his retirement in 1992. During his tenure he was most proud of the many advances he was able to accomplish to augment the educational opportunities for the students of his community as well as overseeing two major construction projects to the school, including the elementary wing named in his honor. A compassionate and caring educator he was particularly fond of the athletic programs and felt that extracurricular activities were an important facet of a student's overall education. Additionally, he was instrumental in the development and oversight of Kirtland Community College as well as his service as a leader in the COOR Regional Intermediate School District. As one the most senior and respected superintendents in the State of Michigan he fought tenaciously for the rights of Northern Michigan school districts at the bequest of his peers at both the state and Federal levels, and was considered a valued advisor to Governors Engel and Blanchard. Post retirement he remained active in his civic commitment to his community and was honored to have been asked to oversee the design and construction of the AuSable Valley Senior Citizens Community in Fairview. He was both a deacon and then an elder in the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Hetherton. He was particularly fond of singing the Psalms in his beautiful Irish-tenor voice during weekly church services. His service to his Lord framed his everyday life and decision making, serving as living testimony to all those around him. He enjoyed sports playing in the local softball leagues, as well as his fondness for hunting and fishing and golfing with his boys and his friends. He lived for UofM football loved his Tigers and of course the Fairview Eagles A devoted husband, father and committed Christian, he is survived by his wife Marie. His brothers; Harold, Milton, and Gordon. Sisters; Elsie and Harriet. Children; Steven (Coleen), Nancy, Rebecca (Tom), Timothy and Cyndee (Todd). Grandchildren; Danielle, Samuel, Paul, Stephen, Sean, Jacob, Matthew, Nathan, Sarah, Brendan, Shane, Alan and Alyssa. Great grandchildren; Peyton, Bayleigh and Brinley. Visitation will be on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 from 5-9 PM at the Lashley Funeral Home, Mio and on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 from 10 AM until the time of Funeral Services at 11:00 AM at The Fairview Mennonite Church. Per his wishes he will be laid to rest in the Fairview Cemetery, Fairview Michigan, next to his grandson Joshua, with Military Honors offered by The Luzerne American Legion Post # 162.
"Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever" (Psalm 23)
Arrangements by Lashley Funeral Home, Mio.