Earnest L. "Doc" Harrington, Sr.
All services celebrating the life of Earnest Larry "Doc" Harrington, Sr. will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church (313 Walnut Street), beginning with a Rosary Service on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 4:00 pm, immediately followed by a visitation from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. A funeral mass is scheduled for 10:30 am on Wednesday, October 9, 2013 concluding with burial at Highland Cemetery.
Affectionately known by countless people as "Doc", he passed away peacefully on Saturday, October 5, 2013 surrounded by his family in Hattiesburg, MS. Doc was born in Hattiesburg on December 29, 1931 in the same house his father, William Patrick "Smokie" Harrington, was born in.
A graduate of Hattiesburg High School in 1949, Doc began his collegiate career at Tulane University on athletic scholarship. He later returned to Hattiesburg to attend the University of Southern Mississippi and begin his life long association with the school. In 1954 he finished his undergraduate degree while working as an athletic trainer/manager. Doc served on active duty and in the Army Reserves for over 30 years and rose to the rank of Colonel. He returned to USM in 1958 to join the athletic staff full time. While working at the University, he received his Masters and Doctorate of Education Degrees.
From such humble beginnings, Doc went on to become one of the most influential athletic trainers in the nation, all while raising a family with his loving wife Phyllis, of nearly 60 years. Through his illustrious career at USM, Doc was an instructor in the Department of Coaching and Sports Administrations, a certified athletic trainer (NATA), a registered physical therapist and a corrective therapist. He was also the trainer on several U.S. Olympic teams and for 25 years in the annul Senior Bowl game. He is also credited as the driving force behind an athletic trainers certification program at USM. Doc was not only the athletic trainer he was the equipment manager and highly successful tennis coach. Professionally, he was recognized by numerous awards to include induction to the National Athletic Trainers Association Hall of Fame and most recently his induction into the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, the first athletic trainer to be bestowed the honor.
Known by his family as Pepaw, his quick smile, great stories and short cuts on the road to anywhere will always be missed. He had the uncanny ability to see someone he knew at any place or at any time. It never seemed to be about him, even in times of illness, he was always genuinely concerned about the well being of others. For many people, he was the go-to guy when things were tough. As a family man and mentor, Pepaw taught us all how to better ourselves by living a life dedicated to faith, family, hard work and humility.
Doc was preceded in death by his parents, William Patrick "Smokey" Harrington and wife Eleanor "Mamaw" along with his beloved daughter, Phyllis Marie Harrington Jackson. He is survived by his sons, Larry Harrington, Jr., and wife Rosie, of Hattiesburg, MS; Billy Harrington and wife Libby, of Hattiesburg, MS; and Kelly Harrington and wife Jennifer, of Birmingham, AL; his grandchildren, John Harrington and wife Kelsi, of Houston, TX; Zack Harrington and wife Hunter, of Starkville, MS; Ryan and Hunter Jackson, of Hattiesburg MS; Shelby, Parker, Anna-Marie and Hartley Harrington, of Hattiesburg, MS; Cooper, Dylan and Sydney Harrington, of Birmingham, AL; his brothers, William Patrick Harrington, Jr. and wife Mary; and Charles Micky Harrington and wife Neely, all of Hattiesburg, MS along with many other family members and friends.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the University of Southern Mississippi's Athletic Foundations Dr. E.L. "Doc" Harrington Endowed Scholarship fund.
Published in the Hattiesburg American on Oct. 8, 2013