Obituary, Scott Valley

the Obituary of Mary Lambert Harrington

Mary Lambert Harrington
1929 – 2024

Mary Lambert Harrington 1929 – 2024 Mary was remarkable in every way and a source of good in the world for 95 years. She remained positive through the many challenges of life and was a rare and loving presence to those around her. Gratitude and charity marked her life.

Mary Lambert Harrington, 95, of Tallahassee, Florida, died on May 24, 2024. Mary was a true Tallahassee Lassie, born here in 1929 as one of nine children. She graduated from Leon High School before attending Southeastern Bible College in Lakeland, Florida. Mary was a talented singer and choir director with a lifelong passion for music – she loved Mahalia Jackson, Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and everything in between. She sang and recorded professionally with the Southeasterners.

After college, Mary married Nick Harrington, had three children, and their home became the center of extended family holidays and gatherings. Mary was a loving, devoted wife and mother. Mary’s creativity and energy filled the home and the lives of her family with music, curiosity, fun, and unconditional support. After the kids were grown, Mary studied at FSU in theology and other subjects for the pure love of learning. She was a deeply devoted Christian and a model of a life in Jesus. Mary embodied tolerance and forgiveness. Her interest in church history, American history, and “how to live well” made her an open-minded listener who loved to share ideas. A lifelong learner indeed, Mary was hungry to grow and to increase in understanding.

Mary made and retained countless friends throughout her life and was a prolific writer of letters, emails and text messages. She corresponded with people of all ages, nieces and nephews, siblings, cousins and extended family. In her communications, Mary was steadfastly positive and supportive. She and her dear friend Nancy Paulding Plank had a saying, “No organ recitals”, by which they meant they’d make no complaints about health and aging for more than five minutes! Despite this, Mary was a patient listener for others’ complaints. She was a faithful friend and a trustworthy confidant.

Mary worked as a medical transcriptionist much of her adult life, starting in the practice of David Ochs, MD, followed by many years at the Tallahassee Orthopedic Clinic where she found a work family and made strong and lasting friendships. She had a tireless work ethic, was productive into her 80’s and then continued to volunteer where needed.

In 2010, Mary moved to Etna, California, to live nearer her daughter Melanie and son-in-law Philip. She quickly built a community of close friends. She actively appreciated the mountain views, ways of ranch life, and local music scene. Mary was much missed when she returned to Tallahassee in 2023.

Many of Mary’s family and friends have been graced by gifts of her ϐine embroidery, often personalized to celebrate weddings, birthdays, or a new puppy. She was an avid reader (she’d say, “So many books and so little time!”), and, in 2017, published a book of her own poetry, “Southern Sweet Tea: Poetic Reminiscences” on Amazon. Mary loved a good joke, a good cup of strong coffee, and a good song.

Mary is survived by her sister, Grace Strohman, her children Sallie Harrington, Melanie Harrington (and Philip Garis), and Nicholas Harrington (and Karen Harrington), grandchildren and great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, as well as grand-dogs Farley and Dusty Rose and grand-kitties Polly and Rex. 

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