Obituary Photo

Dr. Joan F. Harrington, 89

Dr. Joan F. Harrington died peacefully May 22, 2023, at her Middleburg, Florida home, with her devoted family at her side.  Joan was pre-deceased by her husband William J. Harrington and is survived by her six children; Fran, Bill, Bob, Cathy, John and Jim.  We mourn her passing but know she is now with the love of her life, Bill, her husband of 61 years.  Joan was born in Providence where she met and married Bill and they raised their family in Warwick, RI, which included summers at Bonnet Shores Beach Club in Narragansett, RI.  Their” adventurous” retirement included six months every year for over 20 years in their paradise home on the island of St Kitts in the Caribbean.  Joan wrote about their challenges and joys in forgoing traditional retirement spots in her book, “Live de Life-Caribbean Island Style.”

In 1968, Joan began a remarkable odyssey of attending the University of RI in the midst of raising her six children.  Joan achieved her bachelor’s in English in 1974, and immediately enrolled in a master’s program, where she got a teaching assistantship.  Joan went on to become an English teacher and director of the Phoenix program at Cranston East High School while pursuing and receiving a PhD in English from URI in 1987.  Despite her diminutive stature, Joan was a presence!  She was frequently characterized as tenacious, brilliant, and exceptionally energetic.  Joan was a role model to all who knew her, including her children and 16 grandchildren.  Even during her final years battling Alzheimer’s, Joan exemplified a strong spirit, a kind heart, and a graceful dignity, continuing to teach all who knew her what mattered most: love, acceptance, and family.

A celebration of Joan Harrington’s life will be held Saturday, December 2, 2023 at 10:30am at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Church, 360 Cowesett Rd., Warwick, RI 02886.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made in Joan’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association,

Arrangements are under the care of Russel Haven of Rest Cemetery, Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 2335 Sandridge Road, Green Cove Springs, Fl 32043. Family and friends may share their condolences at: 904- 284-7720