Edward F. Harrington, aged 93 of South Weymouth, died peacefully after a brief illness surrounded by his loving family on October 17, 2023.
Born in Boston to Edward and Marion (Sweet), Ed was a 1948 graduate of Boston College High School. He joined the Seabees in 1951 and deployed to Guam and the Philippines. Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5 was responsible for the construction of a runway which became Naval Air Station Cubi Point as part of Subic Naval Base in the Philippines. Returning to the States, he married the love of his life, Margaret (“Peggy”) McDonald of Dedham, in 1954. They started their lives, and their family of five children, in Roslindale, moving to South Weymouth in 1958.
Throughout his life, Ed exemplified the Seabees motto “Can do”. He enjoyed a long career as a heavy equipment operator for CJ Maney, JM Construction, and Reynolds Construction and was a career-long member of the Local 4 International Union of Operating Engineers where he continued to attend union meetings until just before his passing. Driving through the Commonwealth, he would regale his children with tales of the roads and buildings he constructed. It seemed to them that every town had been touched by his talent. He enjoyed seeing the construction activity dotting the Boston skyline acknowledging that meant good-paying work for current members of the union.
He emphasized the importance of education to his children and grandchildren. He learned, and taught others to do so, by being fully present in the world, and his travels filled him with the wonders of history and of the earth. An atlas, encyclopedias, and a well-worn dictionary were always handy for reference.
Upon his retirement, Ed remained active in construction projects on his home and the homes of his children. He selflessly dedicated his later years to caring for Peggy during her battles with Alzheimer’s disease and cancer which ultimately took her from him in 2015. Through his extraordinary devotion to her, he taught many people about what is truly valuable in life. After her passing, he enjoyed playing golf and could often be seen on the golf course at first light, getting in 18 holes, and then returning home to attend to his household chores. Winter drew him to the slopes for hours of skiing.
He will be fondly remembered for the yellow smiley face stickers he affixed to every birthday and holiday card, and for the Happy Birthday button he proudly wore on his lapel each birthday.
His life-long priorities were crystal clear – family and faith. He was a long-time communicant of St. Francis Xavier Church. He was predeceased by his father, mother, and siblings Alice, Ruth (Paul) Wenger, John, and Joan (Ed) Connor. He is survived by his five children, M. Kathleen of Weymouth, Maureen Herrmann (Ed) of Duxbury, Peg Mansfield (partner Ed Woods) of Quincy, Ed (Rose) of Greensboro, Georgia, and Bill (partner Terry Howard) of Weymouth. In addition, he is survived by his grandchildren, Matt Herrmann (Almina) of Potomac, Maryland, Erica Herrmann of Bethesda, Maryland, Greg Herrmann of Boston, Matt Harrington (Jenny) of Vidor, Texas, Chris Harrington of Elkridge, Maryland, Nicole Pirnie of San Diego, CA, and Beth Holland (John) of Woodstock, Georgia. He is also survived by his great-grandchildren, Chelsea, Joseph, Lily, Wes, Harper, Blake, Adam and Yasmin. Also survived by many beloved nieces, nephews, and his cousin Joanne Harrington.
Relatives and Friends are respectfully invited to attend a visitation for Ed on Monday, October 23, 2023, from 4-7pm in the C.C. Shepherd Funeral Home, located at 134 Pleasant St. (Columbian Sq.) South Weymouth. Relatives and friends will gather Tuesday morning in the funeral home for a Celebration of Life for Ed at 9:15am. A Funeral Mass will follow at Saint Francis Xavier Church in South Weymouth. Burial will be at Blue Hill Cemetery in Braintree.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Alzheimer’s Association or Jimmy Fund using the links provided on this page.