It is with deep sadness that we mourn the passing of Mary (Polly) Harrington after a long illness. Mary was born on November 23rd, 1923 in Chicago, Illinois. Her mother, Evelina (Belden) Paulson was a pioneering social worker and activist who was instrumental in creating the first juvenile court system for boys in the country. Her father, Henry T. Paulson, was a lawyer. Mary and her brother Belden grew up in Oak Park, Illinois. Both are alumni of Oberlin College and the University of Chicago. After graduation, Mary had a distinguished career as a religious journalist. She served for many years as a reporter and editor for the Religion News Service. She continued writing throughout her life. She penned thousands of articles and published two books, one of which she just completed in early 2017.
In 1957, she married Dr. Gordon K. Harrington, also a graduate of the University of Chicago. Mary and Gordon moved to Ogden, Utah in 1969. Gordon is a retired history professor at Weber State University, where he taught for more than 35 years. They had two children, Jonathan and Charles. Charles, a loving and accomplished soul who was known for his amazing memory and friendly demeanor, remained in Utah until his untimely death in 2015. Her other son, Jonathan, is a college professor who lives with his wife Kathy and daughter Kela in Mercer Island, WA.
Mary was a wonderful mother. Mary served in numerous volunteer leadership positions including long stints on local and/or regional boards of the Association for University Women, Rocky Mountain Conference of the United Church of Christ, Family Counseling Service, Church Women United, United Church Board for World Ministries, Utah State PTA, Ogden Interfaith Works, Utah State Education Commission, and the Utah Federation of Women’s Clubs. She also taught journalism and writing classes at Weber State University. Mary and Gordon are long time members of the United Church of Christ Congregational Church in Ogden, UT. Both were very active in church affairs throughout their lives.
Mary is survived by her husband, Gordon; son, Jonathan; granddaughter, Kela; and brother, Belden.
Anyone who is interested is invited to attend a viewing at Leavitt’s Mortuary, 836 – 36th St., Ogden, UT on Friday, July 28th from 6-8 PM. The funeral will be held at the United Church of Christ Congregational, 3350 Harrison Blvd. Ogden, UT 84403 on Saturday, July 29th at 10 AM. Private family burial.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the United Church of Christ Congregational for the Dr. Gordon and Polly Harrington Church Memorial Endowment fund.