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Stephen Millard Harrington

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Stephen Millard Harrington Obituary
HARRINGTON, Stephen Millard Cherished family member, passionate adventurer, beloved member of the US wingsuiting community and a respected information services professional who lived in Boston, died unexpectedly in a tragic skydiving accident on November 11, 2009 in Murrieta, California. He was 40 years old. Harrington helped set the United States record for wingsuit jumping earlier in the day, when he joined 67 divers in an arrowhead formation at Skylark Airport in Lake Elsinore in California. The jump raised $5,000 for education awareness. Steve was particularly fond of events and jumps that he participated in that were for the benefit of charity. When Harrington made a last jump that day to celebrate with three friends, tragedy occurred when he hit the tail of the twin-engine plane he jumped out of; he died from injuries sustained in the accident. Those who knew Harrington understood that his passions were family, friends, and wingsuiting. Steve loved to feel alive and fly free - and this passion took him all over the world including Siberia, the North Pole, South America and to the quiet town of Pepperell, Massachusetts, where he completed many of his 5,000-plus jumps. Harrington loved sharing the sport of wingsuiting so much that he co-founded Flock University, a school dedicated to wingsuit flight. Harrington was also a member of the United States Parachute Association. Flock University called Harrington "a trailblazer both in the sky and in his personal life." Harrington married his long-time partner, Adam Wright, on June 23, 2001, in a heart-felt outdoor commitment ceremony at his family's home in Wellesley, where he grew up. When the Commonwealth of Massachusetts legalized gay marriage, Harrington and Wright renewed their commitment to one another with a wedding on June 23, 2004, again at Harrington's family's home, surrounded by their loving family and friends. "Steve is loved by everyone who knew him," said Wright. "Steve lived life to the fullest and filled those in his life with his unwavering and unmatched positive attitude, sense of humor, and generosity," said his devoted sister-in-law Kelly Harrington. At Wellington Management in Boston, where Harrington was a Vice President, he conveyed his enthusiasm about wingsuiting to friends in colleagues, who would often ask him about his jumps and trips. Harrington worked in Information Technology at Wellington for 12 years. He was known for mentoring colleagues, and often volunteered his time to coach colleagues on professional development issues. Harrington's colleague Sara Lou Sherman said, "As an IT guy, his skill was exceptional, his curiosity about the business was extraordinarily valuable and his creativity and dedication contributed to the superior work product that he always delivered to his clients. But my favorite interactions I had with Steve centered around art and skydiving." Prior to working at Wellington, Harrington worked at Mellon Bank in Boston. Harrington was a graduate of Bryant College in Smithfield, Rhode Island, where he received a Bachelor of Science in 1991. While at Bryant, he was president of his fraternity Tao Epsilon Phi (TE), which became Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) after he graduated. Under Harrington's leadership, TE became a leader in charitable giving in Smithfield and the broader Rhode Island community. After graduation, Harrington maintained close ties to Bryant; he was active in the alumni group, and volunteered his time sharing his experiences in business with Bryant students over the years. Harrington graduated from Wellesley High School in 1987. A former Wellesley High School classmate said, "Steve always saw the good in people and always had a smile and a kind word. He was passionate about everything he was involved in." Harrington's love of adventure had early roots in the woods of Nobleboro, Maine, where he spent memorable summers at Camp Kieve, canoeing on the Allagash River and hiking in the mountains of Maine and New Hampshire. Years after Harrington's' camping experience ended, he stayed active in the camp's alumni organization. According to camp President Dick Kennedy, "Steve was an adventurer. He tried everything with relish, he willingly made himself vulnerable to others, and he was always a participant rather than an observer." Charitable giving was very important to Steve; in particular he was devoted to the Human Rights Campaign and MassEquality.org, which is committed to protecting marriage equality in Massachusetts. Harrington was born in Boston on November 25, 1968, just minutes prior to the birth of his twin, Parker James Harrington. Steve used to joke that he won their first fight because Parker was born with a broken arm. Harrington was the loving son of Francis A. Harrington, Jr. of Marlborough, MA and Charlotte (Millard) Harrington of Wellesley, MA; beloved husband of Adam A. Wright of Boston; twin brother of Parker J. Harrington and his wife Kelly of Westwood, MA; brother of Francis A. "Fred" Harrington and his wife Alanna Bravman of Holliston, MA; and Jonathan B. Harrington and his wife Jessamy of Houston, TX; Godson of Carolyn Wellington of Sutton, MA and George A. McEvoy of Boothbay, ME. He is also survived by a nephew and seven nieces. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 21, 2009 at 11 am at the Wellesley Village Congregational Church, 2 Central Street, Wellesley. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Human Rights Campaign, 1640 Rhode Island Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20036 www.hrc.org or Mass Equality, 262 Washington Street, 7th Floor, Boston, MA 02108. www.massequality.org J.S. Waterman & Sons - Waring Wellesley 781-235-4110 www.jswaterman.com

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