Phylis Jean Harrington

April 8, 1934 ~ August 4, 2020 (age 86)


Phylis Jean Harrington passed peacefully in her sleep on August 4, 2020 at her University Retirement Community home in Davis, CA at the age of 86.

Born in Kalamazoo, Michigan on April 8, 1934 to Lena and Bert Van Weelden, Phylis attended primary and secondary schools in Kalamazoo.

She graduated from Albion College in Albion, MI with her Bachelors Degree in 1956. While attending Albion, she met Kirke Harrington, whom she married in 1957 and together they moved to Ann Arbor, MI. While he attended UM School of Medicine, Phylis taught Home Economics at the Junior High School in Lakeview, MI in 1956-57, and was supervising teacher at Lincoln Consolidated School, affiliated with Eastern Michigan University, in Ypsilanti, MI from 1957-1960. They moved to Kalamazoo in 1960 and she went on to earn her Masters Degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI in 1961.

With her husband enlisting in the Navy, they drove across country to Skaggs Island Naval Base in Northern California where their eldest son, Daniel, was born in 1961.

Together they moved to Napa, CA, and in 1964, their two sons, Bradley and David were born.

During the decades residing in Napa, Phylis was very active as a volunteer at many levels in the Napa Valley Unified Schools, an Auxiliary Volunteer for Community Projects, an active American Association of University Women member making and enjoying lifelong relationships in an NAIC Investment Group and Antiques Club sections, was a co-founder of a Lupus Support Group, a 4-H leader, and a former member of Covenant Presbyterian Church.

She demonstrated her lifelong interest in education with participation in multiple continuing education courses during the time her children were in school.

When not focused on the arduous task of maintaining an immaculate household while raising three energetic sons, in her limited spare time she enjoyed gardening, sewing, entertaining, and walking.

For decades, the highlight of each year were summer vacations in Holland, MI spent together with families and extended relatives throughout Michigan’s Lower Peninsula.

In August of 2018, she and her husband moved into the University Retirement Community in Davis, CA.

As devoted and caring wife, dedicated and loving mother, and wonderful and cherished friend, Phylis Jean Harrington touched the lives of many in this lifetime.

Her husband of nearly 63 years, Kirke Harrington, survives her, along with three sons, Daniel Harrington of Menlo Park, CA, Bradley Harrington of Davis, CA, and David Harrington of Davis, CA, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Predeceased by Phylis are her parents Bert and Lena Van Weelden, and her sister, Lynne Ihrman.

As a spiritual and private person, she requested that no funeral or memorial services be held, and wished only a small, private family burial.

Words of sympathy and /or special memories and stories are most welcomed and can be submitted by clicking on the “Tribute Wall” tab above, or the “Share a Memory” icon on the left.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that any donations in her memory be made to one of her favorite charities, the Hospice of Napa Valley, now Collabria Hospice at 





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Private Interment

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