We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Auclair Funeral Home and Cremation Service
Mary C. Harrington, age 88, of Fall River, passed away peacefully on June 30,
2022. She was the wife of the late William C. Harrington and the daughter of
the late Nora F. (Sloane) Johnson and Charles J. Johnson.
Born in Boston, Mrs. Harrington began her career at Dun & Bradstreet, where
she worked until marrying Mr. Harrington, also known as Her Husband, Bill
H., in 1968, following nearly 20 years of courtship. When asked what took
them so long to get married, they agreed that they were waiting until the Red
Sox won the AL East Championship, which, by luck, divine intervention, or
both, took place in 1967.
Devoted to social justice, Mrs. Harrington’s children recall their mother
escorting a group of Black teenagers into a local Jack-in-the-Box restaurant,
insisting that they all be served together, regardless of the color of their skin.
She also worked tirelessly with civil rights advocates in her community to end
segregation in the Boston Public Schools in direct resistance to the anti-busing
Mrs. Harrington moved with her husband and children to Fall River in 1976,
where she lived in various neighborhoods throughout the city. A devout
Roman Catholic, Mrs. Harrington’s fondest memories were of the faith
community at Santo Christo Church, the first parish to welcome her to Fall
River and where she forged several life-long friendships among her fellow
While residing in Fall River, Mrs. Harrington worked as a secretary at
Southeastern Massachusetts University (now UMass-Dartmouth) and later the
Fall River Chamber of Commerce. Following her retirement in 1996, she
volunteered with the Fall River Public Schools Grandparent Program, reading
to elementary school children, and serving as the district’s literary mascot by
donning a Cat in the Hat costume each year on Dr. Seuss’s birthday, March
An avid knitter, Mrs. Harrington enjoyed making mittens and hats for sale at
local consignment shops under the moniker “The Knitting Lady” and later for
her grandchildren. She made weekly trips to the Greater Boston area to see
them, often wearing her Cat in the Hat costume, which earned her the beloved
title of “Nana Cat” amongst children and adults alike.
Mrs. Harrington is survived by her daughter, Judi Harrington, of Medford,
MA; her son, Charles Harrington of Fall River, MA; grandchildren Rueben
(Ruth) McLaughlin and Ivy (Zoe) McLaughlin, and their father, Michael A.
McLaughlin, all of Saugus, MA. She is also survived by her cousins Joan
(Condon) McDonald and John Condon and their families.
Burial services will be private, and a Celebration of Life will be held at a later
The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, kindly donate in Mary
Harrington’s name to St. Jude’s Hospital for Children, the Dr. Seuss Museum,
or the Fall River Public Library.