Betty Harrington, of Melrose, MA, formerly of Newburyport and Plum Island, entered into eternal rest on Monday, April 18, 2022 in Malden, MA, at the age of 97. Born on February 3, 1925 in Malden, MA, to Mary C. (Dolan) and Joseph J. Flanagan, she grew up in Edgeworth with her siblings Joe, Phil, Kay, Ed, and Anne; her grandfather Dolan; and her Aunt Anna. Her Catholic upbringing and education at the Immaculate Conception elementary school and Girls Catholic High founded her enduring faith. Her spirited childhood memories defy the fact that she grew up during the depression, and in fact, shaped how she met life’s challenges throughout her lifetime. Betty was grateful for all of God’s gifts and was generous in sharing them. She created magic out of seemingly nothing, stretching a meal to accommodate unexpected guests, turning hand-me-downs inside out to create new outfits, knitting and crocheting sweaters, hats, and mittens, sewing Halloween costumes for her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and baking bread and cakes and cookies for family, friends and fundraisers.
She did all these things with enthusiasm and a pot of coffee. And goodness, she could sing! She sang on Boston radio during WWII, sang solos in church choirs in Malden, Newburyport, and Hillsboro, NH, performed at her children’s school St. Patrick’s Day Pageants, and most famously as Miss Chum Bucket with the Plum Island Mother’s Club during Yankee Homecoming Week.
Betty lived a full and loving life. She met her husband Mike while working at the A&P Tea Co. in 1947. They married two years later and lived in Malden until the summer of 1958, when Mike put a down payment on a house while vacationing on Plum Island. Moving to such a remote location meant that Betty had to learn to drive, quickly, which she did with the grace of God in a Ford Model A. In 1971 Mike’s job relocated them to Hillsboro, NH, where they lived until their retirement in 1986, upon which they returned to their beloved Plum Island. They loved being close to their grandchildren, taking them on camping trips to the mountains and having them stay with them at the beach. And they loved the freedom to escape to Florida in the winter months. Sadly, Mike passed unexpectedly just 5 years later, on October 15, 1991. She continued to winter in Florida with her siblings, and especially treasured her time with her younger sister Anne in Zephyr Hills.
Even after moving to the Heritage House in Newburyport, Betty and her dear Island friends Claire and Teresa shared many lunches and outings. She greatly enjoyed the camaraderie of the IC after church coffee clutch at McDonald’s, the Daughters of Isabella, and the knitting circle at the IC parish, creating prayer shawls and chemo caps. It was through this work that she felt called to be trained as a volunteer with Hernando-Pasco Hospice, Inc. You see, to fully appreciate Betty is to understand that everything she did was inspired by her faith, compassion, and love.
In June 2021 Betty moved to the Fitch Home in Melrose, MA, where she was warmly welcomed and cared for by staff and residents alike. Her family is grateful that her final months were spent enjoying daily activities, warm conversation and companionship during meals, and the peaceful setting on Ell Pond.
Betty is survived by her devoted daughters Susan (Christopher) Gosselin of Springfield, and Maribeth Harrington and her husband Walter Landergan of Charlestown; her loving grandsons Brett (Carrie) Harrington of Amesbury, Mark (Rachel) Gosselin of South Hadley, and Ryan Gosselin and his partner Shana Stratton of Amesbury; and her cherished great-grandsons, Connor and Jack Harrington of Amesbury, and Evan Gosselin of South Hadley.
She is also survived by her dear in-laws, Catherine (Harrington) Dickinson of Wilmington, James Harrington of Arlington, and Anne (Harrington) Sullivan of Charlestown; her former daughter-in-law Bonnie Harrington of Exeter, NH; many doting nieces & nephews, lots of fans, and some very special friends.
Betty is predeceased by her husband Michael B. Harrington, Sr., her son Michael B. Harrington, Jr., her granddaughter Cori Lyn Harrington, her parents, and her siblings and their spouses, Joseph (Regina) Flanagan, Philip Flanagan, Kay (Duke) Duguie, Edward (Mary) Flanagan, and Anne (Skip) Squires.
Family and friends may call from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM on Tuesday April 26, 2022 at the Twomey, LeBlanc, & Conte Funeral Home 193 High St. Newburyport, MA 01950. Her Funeral Mass will follow at 12:30 PM at Immaculate Conception Church, followed by burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery. THERE IS NO LONGER ANY PARKING AVAILABLE BEHIND THE FUNERAL HOME PER ORDER OF THE CITY OF NEWBURYPORT. Please note that wearing masks is welcomed.
In lieu of flowers the family asks consideration of donations in Betty’s memory be made to the non-profit residential care community, The Fitch Home, 75 Lake Avenue, Melrose, MA 02176. (https://fitchhome.org)
For directions or to offer online condolences please visit www.tlcfuneralhome.com
In Betty’s words, Goodnight and God Bless!
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