Dennis Bernard Joseph “Bernie” Harrington died Dec.29, 2011. He collapsed after a public meeting he attended as mayor of Walkerville, a job he held for 26 years. Bernie, born on Oct. 26, 1940, was the first of six born to our parents, John and Madeline (DaDeppo) Harrington.
Our brother spent his entire life in Walker-ville and was proud to serve as its mayor. He was especially diligent in the oversight of Superfund activities, and worked every day maintaining Walkerville as a governmental entity and performing more functions than any of us knew.
Bernie graduated from St. Lawrence Grade School in 1954 and from Boys’ Central High School in 1958. He worked for a number of years for Metals Bank and then for more than 20 years for Anaconda Minerals as a sampler in the underground mines and at the Berkeley Pit.
Bernard was always active in our community. He was a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 668 for many years, serving as grand knight, financial secretary and faithful navigator of the 4th degree. When Council 668 decided to build housing for seniors, Bernard was a member of the board that funded and constructed Columbus Plaza and Highland View Manor.
He served for many years as the President of the St. Vincent DePaul Society. He was a member of the Save St. Lawrence Church Foundation and spent countless hours greeting visitors and showing them the beautiful frescoes and altar of the historic church. He was also a tireless worker at the Blaine Community Center, being on hand to open it up in the morning and close it at night. And yes, to those of you who’ve asked, he kept his lifelong love of model trains and although he didn’t have the time for them he once did when the neighborhood kids crowded in to our basement, he still had a train table.
Bernie is survived by his brothers and sisters and their families, Cathy and David Fahrenbruck, Corvallis, Leonard Harrington, Klamath Falls, Ore., Colleen Hare, Buena Park, Calif., John and Trudy Harrington, Butte, and Mary Ann Harrington-Baker, Butte; nieces and nephews, Sylvia and Todd Roblyer and children William, Devin and Ariel, Mary Herndon, daughter Kaitlyn and her son Joseph, Ty Harrington and son Cameron, Tara and Megan Harrington and Bernadette Harrington. He is also survived by numerous cousins, including Dan and Pat Harrington of Butte. Perhaps the one who will miss him most is his devoted dog, Angel, who was always at his side.
In lieu of flowers, we request donations to the Committee to Save Saint Lawrence, P.O. Box 7728, Walkerville, MT 59701, the John and Madeline Harrington Family Scholarship, c/o Montana Tech Foundation
1300 West Park, Butte, MT 59701 or a charity of the donor’s choice.
Everyone we’ve spoke with over the last couple of days said that they are just now realizing how much work this wonderful man was doing and that it will be a challenge to replace him. We want to thank all of you in advance for you kindness to us in our great loss.
Services will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012, at 10 a.m. in St. Lawrence Church. The Rev.Brian Miller, Christ Church Anglican, will officiate.