Dr. John L. Harrington, MD, 92, of Warren, PA., died Wednesday morning, February 3, 2021 at the John & Orpha Blair Hospice Home, Warren, PA.
Dr. Harrington was born in Warren, PA., on November 11, 1928. He was the son of Thomas E. and Anna L. Munson Harrington. He attended St. Joseph Elementary School and graduated from Warren High School Class of 1946. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree with Honor in Pharmacy from the University of Pittsburgh in 1950. He was employed as a pharmacist at Gaughn’s Drug Store. In September of 1951 he returned to the University of Pittsburgh, to attend Medical School and received his Doctorate Degree in 1955. He served 2 years Externship and Internship at Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh, PA. He entered the United States Air Force in 1956, serving as a Flight Surgeon, and was assigned to Andrews AFB in Washington, D.C., for 2 years and a year later, in 1982, he enlisted in the Active US Air Force Reserves, serving at Luke AFB in Arizona for over 3 years, attaining the rank of Colonel.
He returned to Warren in 1958 and established a solo General Practice of Medicine. In 1966, he entered a Psychiatric Residence Program at the Institute of Living in Hartford, CT for 3 years, being appointed Chief Resident for his third year. The internationally renowned Viennese psychiatrist and author Victor E. Frankl, MD PhD in, one of his many books, “The Unheard Cry for Meaning” quoted Dr. Harrington from a paper written while he was Chief Resident titled “A Review of Paradoxical Intention”.
In 1969, he returned to Warren, PA., and established a private and community practice of Psychiatry and, as well, was instrumental in the initiation and implementation of the Mental Health Unit, now Deerfield Behavioral Health, at Warren General Hospital. He also was instrumental in the establishment of a local State/County sponsored Mental Health Clinic and was Medical director of the Clinic for 11 plus years. He was a Past President of the Medical Staff of Warren General Hospital and the Warren County Medical Society. He was the first full time Community Psychiatrist in private practice in Warren and was Board Certified in Psychiatry.
He was active in community affairs serving as President of the Warren Boys Choir, the Warren County Unit of the American Cancer Society and was an active member of other local community organizations. He was a past member of the Conewango Valley Country Club and the University Club in Pittsburgh, PA.
In 1980, he left Warren, moving to Scottsdale, AZ to accept a position as a Staff Psychiatrist at the VA Medical Center in Phoenix, AZ. There he held several clinical, administrative and academic positions including, Assistant Chief of Psychiatry, Director of Psychiatric Residency Training, and Coordinator of a Specialized Inpatient Treatment Program for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder that was related to combat experiences. He was instrumental in the initiation, training and implementation of this PTSD Program, which was one of the first such Programs in the VA System. He also served as a member of the VA’s Chief Medical directors Special committee for PTSD. He received an appointment from the University of Arizona, College of Medicine as a Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry.
He was a member of several professional societies, including being a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Fellow of the Academy of Psychosomatic Medicine now named the Academy of Consultation and Liaison Psychiatry.
He retired in 1997 and returned to Warren. He was a member of St. Joseph Church and was involved in several ministries, including being a Eucharistic Minister; served on the RICA Team, the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults and the Nursing Home ministry. He also served on the Warren and Forest Counties Human Services Advisory Board for Mental Health and Mental Retardation.
He is survived by his 2 children, his daughter, Holly Lee Harrington of Warren, PA., his son, John L. Harrington, Jr. and wife, Coleen of Phoenix, AZ., his sister, Anne Gay of Warrenton, VA., 5 grandchildren – Katie Kibbey Simbeck and husband, Tim of St. Mary, PA., Beau Kibbey and his wife Tammy of Russell, PA., Jennifer Gusse and her husband, Zachary of Cave Creek, AZ., Zachary Dyer, USMC with Home of Record of Phoenix, AZ., Heather Harrington of New Port Beach, CA., 5 great grandchildren – Olivia and Charlette Gusse of Cave Creek, AZ., Sawyer Kibbey and wife, Hadley of Russell, PA., Mile Simbeck and wife, Lexi of St. Mary, PA., Logan Dyer Ayers of Bellingham, WA., several nieces and nephews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife in June of 1990, Marilyn Marti Rice Harrington, whom he married October 11, 1952 in Pittsburgh, PA., an infant son, Kim; a brother, William Harrington, 2 Sisters – Alice Johnsen and Ella Cashman, a grandson, James Rex Harrington.
Friends will be received at St. Joseph R.C. Church, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Warren, PA., on Friday, March 19, 2021 from 11:00 A.M. until 12:00 Noon when a Mass of Christian Burial will be conducted by Fr. Richard Tomasone, Pastor, officiating. Interment will be in St. Joseph R.C. Cemetery where full military honors will be conducted by members of the U.S. Air Force and members of the Warren American Legion Post 135 and Sheffield and Clarendon V.F.W funeral honor guard.
Those wishing to place memorials may do so through St. Joseph Church Educational Center Fund, or Hospice of Warren County, wwwhospiceofwarrencounty.com, 1 Main Avenue, Warren, PA. 16365 or a charity of one’s choice. E-mail condolences may be sent by visiting www.