In memory of
Rev. Dr. Harry Arthur 'Peter' Harrington Jr.
The Reverend Dr. Harry Arthur "Peter" Harrington, Jr. of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, went to be with his Savior on January 11, 2020, at the age of 80. Peter was one of a kind. Raised in what was then rural Shreveport, LA, his list of adventures and ill-advised exploits would fill volumes if he had ever had taken time to write them down. Peter graduated from Byrd High School in 1957 and when no respectable Louisiana college would accept him, he followed in his father's footsteps and spent the next four years diversifying Texas A&M University by bringing a certain backwoods bayou charm to the Brazos valley. On a summer job in West Texas, he rented a room from a local woman who assisted him in finding his calling by forcing him to church every Sunday morning. It was a revelation (in more ways than one), and after graduating college with a Wildlife and Fisheries degree, Peter attended Perkins School of Theology at SMU in Dallas (a school his grandfather helped to found), earning a Master's of Theology. After a turn as a pastoral counselor at the Houston Medical Center, he entered the Methodist Church as a pastor in the Louisiana Annual Conference - serving in Choudrant, Patterson, Newellton, Lake Charles, Lafayette, New Orleans, West Monroe, Baton Rouge, Welsh, Jennings, Kenner, Kentwood, and Prairieville. He was energy incarnate - always moving, always doing. I swear he crammed 150 years of living into 80 years of life, and it would be impossible to summarize his life, interests, and accomplishments in the space available. Peter was a lifelong learner; his interests were wide and varied and included just about anything involving the outdoors. He was a hunter and fisherman, an avid golfer, a diver, a world traveler, an amateur historian, a licensed private pilot who once proudly owned his own Piper J-3 Cub, a published expert on cacti and succulents, a photographer, an auto mechanic, a collector and cultivator of orchids, an expert griller, and a devoted disciple of Texas Aggie football. His pet menagerie reflected his appreciation of the entire animal kingdom - including possums, crows, snakes (even exotic vipers), turtles, rabbits, dogs, cats, spiders, hamsters, gerbils, flying squirrels, chickens, parrots, and probably a partridge in a pear tree at one time or another. He dearly loved our National Parks, and some of his most precious memories were of his time as a chaplain on Blue Ridge Parkway and in the Everglades. Along the way, he collected a Doctorate at Drew University and more friends than you can shake a stick at. He was a decisive church leader with a long record of bringing others to Christ, and a dynamic speaker whose preaching inspired so many. A gifted storyteller, Peter could certainly spin a yarn and raised embellishment to an art form All who knew him could recite one of his stories or the other - the one about the chickens, the snake in the sleeping bag, the bass he caught with his hands, the time with the oysters ("for God's sake, Harrington - they're fighting for their lives!"), spreading the ashes, the cows on the runway, bull riding, Domino the pigeon, stealing watermelons, Elvis Presley, alligator wrestling, Y.A, Tittle, Conway Twitty….. But there were also stories about Selma, sermons in the Senate, the little notes of encouragement to strangers thousands of miles away, the countless hospital visits and phone calls, the caring, counseling, support, compassion, and love. As many lives as he touched with his powerful sermons, he touched equally as many with his kind heart. Peter leaves behind his loving wife Claudia "Peewee" Hathorn, his son Jeff (Laura) Harrington of Pearland, TX, his daughter Leslie (Roy) Duffey of Las Cruces, NM, 6 grandchildren and 3 stepgrandchildren. He was a devoted father and loving grandfather, and was preceded in death by his beloved cat Koji. His absence will leave a hole in the lives of those he touched that can never be adequately filled. However, we are hoping that his absence will also create a hole in his garage, which is overflowing with plants of every kind that are awaiting adoption by willing and skilled gardeners. We will celebrate Peter's life on Saturday, January 25. Visitation at 12 pm and Memorial Service at 2 pm will be at Rabenhorst East Funeral Home, 11000 Florida Blvd, Baton Rouge. The family is asking for donations to charity in lieu of flowers.
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