Groton - Irene Harvey, 87, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014.
Born in Philadelphia, Pa., the daughter of Walter and Helene Nagorski, Irene graduated from Frankford High School and Frankford Hospital School of Nursing.
In 1950 she married her high school sweetheart, John "Wes" Harvey, a distinguished graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. Wes Harvey was the commanding officer of the USS Thresher SSN 593 when she was lost at sea on April 10, 1963. Irene was a devoted Navy wife and mother. As a nurse and Navy widow, Irene touched many lives. She believed that the meaning of life is not to be found in mere survival. Instead, life's purpose is to be found somewhere in the process of caring, sharing, and loving.
Active in local politics, Irene attended the Inaugural Ball of President Johnson with the democratic national committeewoman. On May 17, 1969, Irene sponsored and christened the USS Flying Fish SSN 673, which was built by General Dynamics in Groton. Irene served on DACOWITS, the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services. The committee traveled to every major military installation in the country to interpret to the public the need for and role of women in the services and to promote public acceptance of the military service as a career for women. She was the first postal nurse in Connecticut and worked at the Brewery Street facility in New Haven, retiring as head nurse in 1986. The USPS became her extended family.
She leaves behind two sons, John and Bruce and his wife, Maresa; and two grandchildren, Laura and John.
Services will be private.
The Farley-Sullivan Funeral Home, Wethersfield, has care of the arrangements.
To extend online condolences please visit www.Farleysullivan.com
Memorial donations may be made to: USS Thresher Memorial, P.O. Box 321, Kittery, ME 03904.