Walter Louis Harrington
1923 - 2014 HINSDALE Walter Louis "Walt" Harrington, 91, of Old Brattleboro Road, a lifelong resident of the area, died Monday evening, March 31, 2014, at Brattleboro Memorial Hospital, following a period of declining health. Mr. Harrington was born in Brattleboro on March 11, 1923, the son of Raymond and Eunice Rogers Harrington. He attended Guilford Public School #3 and was a graduate of Brattleboro High School, class of 1941. With his wife, he hosted class reunions at their home from the 50th to the 70th reunion. He proudly served his country during World War II, in the Army Air Corps, as a P-51 Mustang instructor pilot at the Southeast Training Command Center in Georgia. He later flew F-86 jet fighters for the Massachusetts Air National Guard. For many years, he lectured and gave talks about flying in World War II to area schools and historical societies. Mr. Harrington served as director of the Brattleboro Ski Patrol at Hogback Mountain, where he retired after 40 years of service with the ski area. He was also an early member (#1109) of the National Ski Patrol. He was an American Red Cross first aid instructor for over 40 years and was the recipient of the U.S. Eastern Amateur Ski Association Safety Award, a national award. Mr. Harrington was a founding member of Rescue, Inc. and the organization's first paid staff member. He invented many first aid splints and procedures still in use today. He obtained a patent on the Harrington Whole Body Splint, an emergency backboard capable of applying cervical traction in the field. It is still utilized by many rescue squads and ambulance services. A highlight in his life included a 50 year search of finding the crash site of a close friend and fellow serviceman whose plane went down during combat in Germany. Mr. Harrington arranged to have a memorial stone of Vermont granite placed at the site with full military funeral honors performed on-site for the veteran. He was a former trustee of the Brattleboro Historical Society and Brattleboro Museum and Art Center. He was also instrumental in the moving of Brattleboro's Civil War granite monument to the current location on the grounds of Brattleboro Union High School. Mr. Harrington coordinated an archaeological dig of the original Fort Dummer site in 1971. He placed many artifacts in the Brooks Memorial Library for public display, which he donated to the library in 2008. He was a master woodworker and became a renowned maker of Shaker oval boxes, using local historic wood in his creations. This craft has been passed down to his son Scott, and in turn, his grandson, Scott II. He enjoyed numerous activities, including hunting, fishing, camping, and macro photography. He was also an amateur herpetologist who studied the physiological effects of timber rattlesnakes' venom on humans. Mr. Harrington was first married to Charlotte Agnew who is deceased. He later married Mary Adams, in Essex, Vermont on August 31, 1984. Besides his wife, Mary, of 29 years, he leaves one son, Scott Harrington and his wife, Irene, of Chesterfield, Va.; three grandchildren, Christine and Scott Harrington, II, and Kaitlin Harrington, daughter of Lance and Diana Harrington O'Hara. Additionally, he leaves one sister, Jeannine, of New York State and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a son, Lance C. Harrington and a sister, Marion Harrington who died in childhood. FUNERAL NOTICE: In accordance with Mr. Harrington's final wishes, there are no formal funeral services planned. His urn will be buried in the Harrington family lot in Morningside Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Mr. Harrington's name may be made to the Harrington Scholarship Fund in memory of Raymond and Eunice Harrington, c/o Brattleboro Union High School, 131 Fairground Road, Brattleboro, VT 05301. To sign an online register book with messages of condolence please visit www.atamaniuk.com. Arrangements are under the direction of the Atamaniuk Funeral Home.
Atamaniuk Funeral Home
40 Terrace Street Brattleboro, VT 05301-2923
Published in Brattleboro Reformer on Apr. 5, 2014