May They Rest in Peace: Kathleen Marie Harrington

Kathleen Marie Harrington (nee: Byrnes), age 87, of Livonia. Kathleen was born in Detroit on July 14, 1932, one of six children of James John (“Jim”) and Elizabeth (O’Brien) Byrnes. She attended and graduated from Gesu Grade School, Immaculata High School (Class of 1950) and Marygrove College (Class of 1955). Upon college graduation, she became a third-grade teacher in Detroit until her marriage.

Kathleen met her husband-to-be, Timothy, through the Third Order of St. Francis, introduced by the priest who would eventually marry them, Fr. James Marvin, OFM. Tim and Kathleen were married in the church at Duns Scotus College on July 12, 1958, and were blessed with twin daughters less than a year later. By November of 1967, Kathleen had borne her eighth and final child, Shelagh Marie. All eight Harrington children attended and graduated from Our Lady of Loretto Grade School and Bishop Borgess High School. Kathleen was a cheerful and loving mother very involved her children’s’ school activities.

Kathleen Marie Harrington

Kathleen returned to teaching in 1977 and taught in the Archdiocese of Detroit for the next 30 years, first, at St. Christine’s in Detroit and later at Divine Child Elementary School in Dearborn. She loved teaching and after her retirement in 2007, was approached by many of her former students, who expressed their gratitude for the gentle discipline and affection they received from her.

Kathleen and Tim enjoyed a very happy union and loved and were deeply devoted to one another. After the children were out of high school by the mid-80s, their social calendar was filled with family, parish and Irish parties and social and sporting events including many sunny Sunday afternoons watching their two younger sons on the Gaelic football pitch. They were also able to enjoy a number of trips around the country and to Europe, often with family or parish friends.

A devoted Catholic, Kathleen was a veritable repository of the lore and arcana of the priests and religious and their associated parishes and schools in the Detroit Archdiocese from the 1940s to the 2000s. Along with Tim, Kathleen was an active member of Our Lady of Loretto, St. Sabina’s, and St. Kenneth’s parishes, serving as a lector and volunteering on many committees.

Kathleen’s 31 grandchildren were a source of great joy and she happily doted upon them hosting birthday and holiday parties for the last few decades. She was further thrilled with the arrival of her seven great grandchildren with two more on the way.

As noted above, Kathleen was the beloved wife of the late Timothy Harrington for 52 years. Cherished mother of Maureen (Gordon) Sherry, Kathleen (Kevin) Carney, Tim (Lori), Mary Pat (Michael) O’Malley, Patrick, Margaret Mary (“Peggy”) (Gabriel) Shivers, Michael (Maria), Shelagh (Craig) Gleeson. Loving grandma of John, Ann, Peggy, Kevin, Maureen, Julia, Brendan, Timothy, Elizabeth, Michael T., Grace, Rosemary, Colleen, Norah, Patrick, Mary Clare, Kate, Jack, Frank, Rosie, Brigid, Robert, Patrick, Gabriel, Margaret, Michael J., Catherine, Brigid, Mary Kate, Claire, and Meghan. Cherished great grandma of Joey, Charlie, Kate, Jack, Elizabeth, Liam and Josie. Dearest sister of Marilyn (Dick) Diebold, John Boyle, Patrick Byrnes, Bishop Bernard Harrington, the late O’Brien (Frances) Byrnes, Joan (Dick) Bauser, Irene Boyle, Marcia Byrnes, Jack (Margie), and Irene Harrington.