Obituary: Marian (Haskins) Borden Harrington, 95, of Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. — Marian (Haskins) Borden Harrington, 95, of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, died peacefully at the Grand Islander Center on February 20, 2018, surrounded by her family. 

Born in 1922 in Illinois, she was raised in Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago. She attended Oak Park and River Forest High School, a distinction she shared with several notable alumni, including Ernest Hemingway and Betty White. She enrolled at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she met her first husband, Richard C. Borden. They lived in Chicago until 1948, when they moved to Portsmouth. Together they operated what was known as the Fair Oaks (now Borden Farm Apartments), a historic 44-acre farm that Richard inherited from his uncle, John L. Borden. The farm has been owned by descendants of the Borden family since the early 1700s. 

Marian and Richard raised two children on the farm, John G. Borden and Nancy (Borden) Weida. As children, John and Nancy played on the many large beech and black walnut trees that still grace the property. Their son John continues to operate a portion of the property, including the main house built c. 1865, as apartments. In addition to overseeing the farm, Marian was a longtime employee of Raytheon’s submarine plant in Portsmouth. When she retired, she was the executive secretary to Ralph Martin, the general manager of the plant. 

Many years after her first marriage ended, she met and married Francis “Hank” Harrington. They were married for 27 years in a state of blissful retirement. In the summers, they lived on Water Street in a house next to Marian’s daughter Nancy and two grandchildren. In the winters, they were snowbirds in the Lake Arrowhead community of North Fort Meyers, Florida. An avid golfer, Marian played many years on many courses—walking, not riding—with Hank, her family, and the many wonderful golfing friends she had throughout her life. 

Marian was an active member of her church. She loyally attended the Portsmouth United Methodist Church for more than 60 years. For the last several years, she had the distinction of being the oldest parishioner in the church. 

Marian’s greatest source of joy was her family. She is predeceased by her parents, John B. Haskins and Wilhelmina (Peterson) Haskins, and her beloved husband Hank. She is survived by her son John and wife Susan (Manning) Borden; her daughter Nancy and husband Richard J. Weida; and Hank’s sons Mark A. Harrington and wife Joanne (Basile) Harrington, and Paul B. Harrington and wife Marlene (Roppe) Harrington. Marian was blessed with six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren: grandson Jason C. Weida and wife Kyley (Lyon) Weida and their children, Bowen G. Weida, Alden P. Weida, and Sailor M. Weida, who was given the middle name Marian in her honor; granddaughter Kristen (Weida) Smith and husband Erik O. Smith and their children, Carter J. Smith, William B. Smith, and Liv C. Smith; grandsons Bennett P. Harrington, Dean J. Harrington, and Matthew Harrington; and granddaughter Leah Harrington. Marian also is survived by her good friend of many years, Marie Daley, of Newport, Rhode Island. 
Marian’s family would like to thank the Grand Islander Center and Beacon Hospice for their excellent care and attention to Marian over the last few years. Her family appreciates and will fondly remember all involved in her care. 

Calling hours will be held on Saturday, February 24, from 4:00-7:00pm in the Connors Funeral Home, 55 West Main Road, Portsmouth, Rhode Island. A private funeral will be held at Portsmouth United Methodist Church on Sunday, February 25, followed by a burial at Union Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to the Portsmouth United Methodist Church, 2732 East Main Road, Portsmouth, Rhode Island 02871.

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