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Raymond Harrington

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BENNINGTON -- Raymond D. Harrington, 84, a former resident of Eagle Street in Shaftsbury, died Thursday, Jan. 18, 2007, at the Vermont Veterans Home in Bennington, following a long illness.

He was born at the family home on East Road in Shaftsbury on Sept. 20, 1922. He was the son of the late Harold and Burdella (Bump) Harrington. He received his education in Shaftsbury, where he attended a one-room schoolhouse.

Prior to joining the Army, Ray worked on the family farm. On Nov. 13, 1942, Ray enlisted in the Army in Arlington. Two years to the day after he enlisted, Ray boarded a crew ship to Liverpool, England. Ray was a member of the 30th Old Hickory Division. Raymond and his division headed toward the coast of France. They arrived on the coast on June 16, 10 days after D-Day. Raymond was a radio man and was always on the front lines.

Within 72 hours Ray’s company came under heavy fire from the Germans and they were ordered to surrender. The American soldiers were separated by rank and ordered to different prison camps. Ray endured harsh conditions. The Nazis had to keep the prisoners moving because of pressure from the United States and Russia. Raymond would walk 15 to 20 miles a day.

While a prisoner Ray walked 1,500 miles within Germany. One evening Ray’s captors were overcome by American troops and the Germans were forced to surrender and to release the prisoners. Ray was first brought to Havre, France, and later to a hospital in New York City, where he recovered from his injuries. For his service to his country, Raymond received many medals and decorations including a Purple Heart, a World War II Victory Medal, an American Campaign Medal and the EAMET Medal.

After being discharged from the service Ray returned home and began working for Morse and Butler Construction. He later worked at Bijur in Bennington for many years, from which he retired.

He was a member of the Board of Civil Defense and a member of both the Bennington Rural Fire Department and the Vermont State Auxiliary Police. He enjoyed hunting, fishing and tinkering with his cars. He could fix just about anything. He was a jack of all trades. Ray’s family was his main interest.

Survivors include three daughters, Dolly Bouteiller of Shaftsbury, Laurie Berard of Manchester, and Theda Silvernail of Ellenton, Fla.; two sons, Phillip Fortune of Hoosick Falls, N.Y., and Edward Fortune of Bennington; 20 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren; a sister, Mabel Elwell of Bennington and a half-sister, Linda Herrick of Missouri; several nieces, nephews and cousins. He was predeceased by a brother, Solomon Harrington.

The funeral with military honors will be held from the Mahar and Son Funeral Home on Monday Jan. 22, 2007, at 10 a.m. with the Rev. Robin Greene, chaplain of the Vermont Veterans Home, officiating.

Friends may call at the Mahar and Son Funeral Home on Sunday Jan. 21 from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m., when the family will be in attendance.

If friends desire, contributions in memory of Raymond D. Harrington may be made to the Vermont Veterans Home Dementia Wing through the office of the Mahar and Son Funeral Home, 628 Main St., Bennington, VT 05201.
Published in Bennington Banner from Jan. 19 to Jan. 20, 2007
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