Robert "Bob" Harrington

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  • "robert, you were one of the richest human beings on this..."
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Robert Harrington ""Bob""
AIKEN, SC - Robert Jeffries (Bob) Harrington, 91, beloved former headmaster of Aiken Preparatory School, passed away Wednesday, June 28, 2017, after a long illness. He died peacefully at home surrounded by loving family.
Bob was born January 14, 1926, in Providence, RI. He attended Moses Brown School from 1930-1943, graduated from Harvard College in 1947, and received his M. Ed. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1960. He started teaching at Aiken Prep (APS) in fall of 1947 which commenced a long teaching career. He mainly taught English and Latin. Bob was headmaster from 1971-1988, but after "retirement" still remained highly involved with the school, continuing to teach Latin (even teaching his two grandsons in class), coach tennis, and work with alumni. Bob was instrumental in the school's successful merger with Mead Hall in 2012. He also taught at St. Mark's School, Southborough, MA (1950-1953); Eaglebrook School, Deerfield, MA (1953-1954); Tabor Academy Summer School, Marion, MA (1947-1949, 1953-1955). He was headmaster of Aiken Day School from 1962-1973 (simultaneously heading two schools for two years).
Bob was awarded the Order of the Palmetto, the highest civilian award in the state, in 2007 in honor of his exemplary teaching career.
Bob's involvement in the community included St. Thaddeus Vestry (1976-1979); Mead Hall Episcopal School Board; APS Board; Palmetto Association of Independent Schools Board; Aiken County Historical Museum Board; Hopeland Gardens and Rye Patch Board; Aiken Historic Foundation Board; and Sectional Leader - United Way of Aiken. He was a member of Green Boundary Club, Rotary Club, and the Aiken Tennis Club.
Bob played tennis most of his life, having grown up in a tennis-playing family. In lawn tennis he twice won the City of Aiken Doubles Championships, and with his father was ranked six times nationally for father/son doubles, including #7 in 1950. He was an avid baseball fan, following the Boston Red Sox all his life, and later the Atlanta Braves. Bob was considered a walking encyclopedia of baseball facts.
Beloved by family, friends, colleagues, students, and alumni, Bob was known to be a consummate gentleman and scholar - personable, funny, and interested in participating in life to the fullest.
A neighbor commented, "Bob was an example of living life with grace and strength."
Survivors include Nancy, his devoted wife of 63 years; a daughter, Elizabeth Watkins (Bill) of Durham, NC; a son, Robert J. Harrington, Jr. of Aiken; two grandsons, Zach Harrington and Jake Harrington; a sister, Katherine Pillsbury of Duxbury, MA; a brother, Carroll S. Harrington (Molly) of Chepachet, RI; and two four-legged companions, Fenway and Wrigley.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mead Hall Episcopal School, 619 Barnwell Ave., NW, Aiken, SC 29801.
A visitation will be held from 6-8 PM on Wednesday, July 5, 2017 at the funeral home. A private interment will be held in Bethany Cemetery. A memorial service is being planned for October.
Arrangements are being handled by SHELLHOUSE FUNERAL HOME, INC., 924 HAYNE AVE., AIKEN, SC
Bob's online guest book may be signed at www.shellhousefuneralhome.com
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Funeral Home
Shellhouse Funeral Home, Inc. - Aiken
924 Hayne Ave.
Aiken, SC 29801
(803) 642-3456
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Published in The Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star on July 3, 2017
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