Jeffrey Harrington was a lifelong tradesman who took great pride in his job, supporting his family and restoring old vehicles to their former glory.
He passed away at Saint-Pierre Hospital on Saturday January 22, 2022, surrounded by his loving family after a long and hard-fought illness. He was 63 years old.
Born in Albany on September 29, 1958, he was the son of the late James Harrington and the late Shirley Merriman. He grew up in Altamont, the second of five siblings – four boys and one girl. Her father worked at the post office and her mother stayed home to raise their children.
“We were a big, close family. It was crazy. It was noisy. We laughed a lot and had a great time on Thatcher Drive. We never knew we didn’t have a ton,” said Mr Harrington’s sister, Ellen Fisher.
As an older brother, Mr Harrington would watch over her, she said. As a young man, Mr Harrington spent time with friends as they cycled through the village.
“Jeff didn’t like to sit still,” his sister said. “He was always on the move.”
He began working as a painter at the Heritage Village flats in Guilderland and rose through the ranks to become superintendent of the large complex, a position he held for 18 years, his son Daniel Harrington said.
Daniel Harrington is a member, like his father, of the UA (United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices) Local 7 Plumbers & Steamfitters.
“He was an extremely hard worker,” Daniel Harrington said of his father.
“I grew up, the first 12 years of my life, in Heritage Village,” said Mr Harrington’s youngest son, Sean. “He was proud to be able to buy the family home.”
This house, on State Farm Road in Guilderland, was built in the 1920s as a weekend home.
“It had been untouched since the 1960s and needed to be gutted and rehabilitated,” said Daniel Harrington, who as a teenager helped his father with projects ranging from building a new kitchen to installing a boiler.
He described the house as “a constant building project” for his father. Mr Harrington has always taken meticulous care of his home and possessions, his family said.
In 2001, Jeffrey Harrington added a large two-bay garage to the home.
“He’s been working on cars his whole life,” Sean Harrington said. His family said his fully restored 1956 Chevy pickup truck was a source of pride and joy for him, winning numerous awards at motor shows in the capital region.
“Part of his lifelong dream was to have a garage for himself,” said Sean Harrington, calling the 2001 addition “his happy place.”
Another happy place for Mr. Harrington was the family camp on Lake Efner in Corinth, New York. Mr. Harrington has been an avid fisherman and hunter throughout his life.
The ever-growing Harrington family get together “nearly every week,” Ms. Fisher said, celebrating birthdays and holidays. A second camp, near the family’s first camp on Lake Efner, was purchased to accommodate new generations of Harringtons.
“We always go to this lake; it’s a huge part of our family,” Sean Harrington said.
“I’ve spent my whole life trying to emulate my dad,” Daniel Harrington said. “I followed in his footsteps as a trader and now as a father myself,” he said, adding, “He was an incredible grandfather; my kids love it.
Sean Harrington said he wouldn’t have bought the two-family house in Voorheesville that he bought in 2013 if it hadn’t been for the support of his father and brother too.
“My dad was able to help tremendously with my house,” he said. “He was so practical and so knowledgeable.”
Mr Harrington’s partner, Jill Raymond, described him as a problem solver. He viewed each job as a challenge, she said. “He liked to understand, like putting the pieces of a puzzle together.”
Jeffrey Harrington is survived by his beloved sons, Daniel Harrington and his wife, Corinne, and Sean Harrington; by his cherished granddaughters, Norah and Maggie; and by his partner, Jill Raymond.
He is also survived by his sister, Ellen Fisher, and her husband, Kirk; by his brothers, James Harrington and his wife, Lynda, Greg Harrington and his wife, Patti, and Eric Harrington and his wife, Lisa; and by a large loving extended family.
His beloved wife of 34 years, Jane “Mitch” Harrington, died in 2014.
Memorial donations may be made to Guilderland Emergency Medical Services, 200 Center Drive, Albany NY, 12203.
Calling hours will be Friday, January 28 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Fredendall’s Funeral Home at 199 Main Street in Altamont.