James E. "Jim" Harrington Jr.
WILKES-BARRE — James "Jim" E. Harrington Jr., 65, of Wilkes-Barre, died Oct. 1, 2016, of a heart attack at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital. He is survived by his loving partner of many years, William "Bill" Browne, of Wilkes-Barre; his sister, Margaret "Gret" Lotz, of Royersford; nephew, Jeffrey Lotz, of Collegeville; niece, Jeanette Roberts, of Phoenixville; and five great-nephews of whom he was very proud. Jim was born Sept. 19, 1951, in Hazleton, to parents James E. Harrington and Margaret (Mondik) Harrington, of Wyamissing, who have both preceded him in death. Jim attended Wilson High School, in Wyamissing, where he graduated in 1969. He then went on to study music, specializing in the organ, at the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, graduating in 1973. In later years, he served on Oberlin's Alumni Executive Board and was an admissions representative. An exceptional musician, Jim further pursued his studies as a graduate student at Yale University School of Music where he received his master of music degree in 1975. Jim moved to Wilkes-Barre in 1985 and began a long and distinguished career at Wilkes University, where he was a professor of music, and also served as the interim chair of the Department of Music, Theater and Dance, as well as assistant to the dean, and academic service coordinator. A passionate and devoted teacher, Jim's many students remember him as being a role model and friend, encouraging them to work hard, to pursue their dreams, and to stand up for their beliefs. Jim was actively involved in the local LGBT community, and was interviewed more than once by the local papers on behalf of current issues. He was a true leader who paved the way for the LGBT Reach Group, Pride of NEPA Social Group, Michael Pierson Memorial Project, NEPA Rainbow Alliance and the LGBT Center of NEPA. He hosted countless safe-space groups at Wilkes University and founded the "Safe Zones" on campus program in the 1990s, and continued to be supportive until his passing. Relatives, students and friends are respectfully invited to attend Jim's memorial service, which will be celebrated at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, at Wilkes University's Dorothy Dickson Darte Center for Performing Arts, located at the corner of South River and South streets in Wilkes-Barre.
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