JObit: Harrington, William J. [MC1953 RIP] reported by Athanasidy, Patrice Liquori (MC1988)

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From Catholic NY

William J. Harrington

an attorney who was active in Church and community affairs and assisted numerous archdiocesan programs and institutions, including St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie, died Jan. 23 at Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, Conn. He was 78.

Mr. Harrington, who was known as B.J., was a trustee of the seminary and a leader in its centennial capital campaign, which enabled the seminary to become tuition-free for men studying to become priests of the archdiocese.

Auxiliary Bishop Gerald T. Walsh, rector of St. Joseph’s Seminary, told CNY, “No lay person that I’m aware of did more to help St. Joseph’s Seminary than B.J. Harrington. In a very quiet way, he recruited new board members for us, and he set an example for seminarians of how to handle a debilitating illness with a cheerful outlook. He was involved in so many Church groups for so many years.”

Msgr. Francis J. McAree, pastor of St. Gregory the Great parish in Harrison and former seminary rector, described Mr. Harrington as a man of exceptional “charity and gentility.”

“He was a tremendously admirable Catholic gentleman motivated by love of God and love of neighbor,” Msgr. McAree said in an interview. “He was especially devoted to the support and upbuilding of St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, and of the support for an increase in vocations. His charitable work at the seminary, and for the Catholic hospital system and the poor, was a tremendous example to everyone. He will be sorely missed but always remembered.”

He added that Mr. Harrington had “a gentle and kind sense of humor” that “put problems into a larger perspective and made them seem much more manageable.”

Recently Mr. Harrington was a leader in fund-raising for a new health facility sponsored by the Sisters of Charity, the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in Yonkers.

A specialist in estate and trust litigation, he practiced law for 51 years at Bleakley Platt and Schmidt in White Plains and was its chairman and managing partner for 35 years. He was legislative counsel to Lt. Gov. Malcolm Wilson, 1964-1973, and served terms as town attorney and town justice for the Town of Pound Ridge.

A member of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Westchester County, he was chairman of its Board of Stewards for more than 25 years.

He was a trustee of St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the Inner-City Scholarship Fund, and a member of the Cardinal’s Committee of the Laity. He was chairman of St. Agnes Hospital in White Plains and vice chairman of St. Joseph’s Medical Center’s Health Fund, Yonkers. Among the many other boards on which he served were those of Sacred Heart High School, Yonkers; Iona Prep, New Rochelle, and the School of the Holy Child, Rye.

Born in Yonkers, he earned a degree in accounting at Manhattan College and a law degree at Fordham University School of Law, which honored him with its Medal of Achievement. He received many other awards, including the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Cross. The Pregnancy Care Center, based in New Rochelle, honored Mr. Harrington and his wife, Audrey, with its Humanitarian Award.

He was a member of St. Patrick’s parish in Bedford.

He is survived by his wife; three sons, William, Brian and Peter; two daughters, Mary Pat McCarthy and Mary Beth Harrington; and two sisters, Mary Harrington and Jane Devlin.

Archbishop Dolan was to celebrate a Funeral Mass Jan. 27 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, with burial to follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Valhalla.

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Dear John,

   BJ is a member of the great Class of 1953.

   May He Rest In Peace.


McEneney, Mike (MC1953)

[JR: Thanks, Mike. Much appreciated.]

Harrington, William J. [MC1953 RIP]

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