Obituaries » Patricia L. Bates Harrington

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Patricia L. Bates Harrington

May 21, 1924 - October 28, 2019

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Patricia L. Bates Harrington, 95, of Lynchburg, died peacefully on Monday, October 28, 2019, at her home in front of her favorite view of Tobacco Row Mountain. Patricia was born on May 21, 1924, in Saginaw, Michigan, a daughter of the late Gerald and Henrietta Bates. She was the wife of the late Donald W. Harrington for 60 years. She was also preceded in death by two sons, Gregory David Harrington and Douglas Minor Harrington; and her sister, Yvonne Bogus of Sarasota, Fla.

She is survived by two sons, Michael Bates Harrington and his wife, Elizabeth S., Stephen Clark Harrington and his wife, Penny; daughter-in-law, Elizabeth I. Harrington; 11 grandchildren, Jeff Harrington and wife, Betty, Jill Wingfield and husband, David, Carter Harrington of Oakhill, N.Y., Blair Harrington, Margaret Harrington, Peter Harrington, Silas Harrington of North Charleston, S.C., Molly Deppensmith and husband, Andrew, Parker Harrington of Norfolk, Taylor Harrington of Raleigh, N.C., and Minor Harrington; and fifteen great-grandchildren.

Pat met Don while attending Central Michigan University during World War II, where he was attending officer candidate school. She was proud of her summer work making firing pins at Saginaw Gear for the war effort. She was a strong-willed partner to Don as they raised their family and relocated many times in pursuit of career and businesses opportunities. Those opportunities took them to Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Georgia. They moved to Lynchburg in 1966 to start Harco Fittings based on relationships developed at then Glamorgan Foundry and Lynchburg Foundry.

Pat was an accomplished artist who started her art career at an early age. She attributed her passion for art to her parents who “tolerated a mess” and to a superb public school system. She was known for simplified shapes and later developed a more abstract quality in her paintings. She won her first juried entry into art show in Atlanta, Ga., in 1964, and had her first One-Woman Show in Athens, Ga., in 1965. She continued studying art at the University of Georgia and Randolph College and numerous workshops well into her 80’s. She began painting in both oil and watercolor. As she described her transition away from oil, “On one occasion when my supportive husband returned from a business trip to Chicago, he brought me a new set of oil paints. When we discovered the staircase of our new home well decorated with bright green oil paint, the decision was made to use watercolor as a more practical medium for a mother with four boys”.

After moving to Lynchburg, she accelerated her painting and frequently dragged her husband to art shows and festivals throughout Virginia. Her art was exhibited throughout Virginia and the Southeast. She exhibited in numerous one-woman shows and was accepted in numerous juried shows around the nation. She also became a sought-after jurist on shows in the Southeast. She was very active in the Lynchburg art organization and served in leadership roles and on boards including Lynchburg Art Festival, Lynchburg Art Club, Roanoke Art show and the Roanoke Fine Arts Center. She and fellow Lynchburg Art Club members spent many happy hours hand painting lunch boxes served at annual Garden Days.

She assisted in founding the Virginia Watercolor Society (VWS) in 1980 along with fellow artists Lettie Frazier, and Ernest Johnson and John Will Creasy of Roanoke and served as president. She was accepted into the American Watercolor Society (AWS) 1977. That same year she received the Metropolitan Museum of Art award from the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club in New York City. In 1998, she won the Saunders/Waterford award from the AWS presented at the Salmagundi Club. She was accepted into the National Water Color Society (NWS) in 1999. She was also a member of the Southern Watercolor Society. Her works are included in numerous public, as well as private collections. Other awards included gold medal award Allied Artists, 1977; Water Media gold medal, 1992; Ida Wells Stroud Memorial award American Watercolor Society, 1993; Hal P. Moore award National Watercolor Society, 1995; and the Samuel Leitman Memorial award American Watercolor Society, 1996.

Throughout her artist career, Pat retained humility despite success in her profession. She felt committed to the community and initiated and underwrote local art programs. She firmly believed that getting young people started in the arts before they become so inhibited is of such importance. To encourage young artists, she initiated and funded the Lynchburg City Schools Youth Art Exhibit and Art Crawl with the help of Ellen Agnew and Ted Batt. The program provided a catalog to each student artist, art teacher and school in the Lynchburg City School System.

She created, organized and funded the art galleries at Allen B. Pearson Cancer Center. She wanted to create a warm and welcoming environment for the patients and their families for those undergoing treatment for cancer while showcasing the wonderful artistic talent from our area.

Along with her lifelong passion for the arts, Pat was an enthusiastic supporter of Lynchburg organizations who help make Lynchburg a better community including Academy Center for Arts, Amazement Square, Centra Health, The Salvation Army and many others.

Pat was a loving grandmother to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was constantly encouraging their creativity and inviting them to visit in her studio and “have at it”, mess or no mess.

The family would like to thank the companions from Generation Solutions for their kind and loving care and support, especially Bootsie Fipe, Ester Kinuthie, Carolyn Bullock and Marion Brown.

The family will receive friends from 5 until 7:30 p.m. on Monday, November 4, 2019, at Tharp Funeral Home, Lynchburg. A memorial service of Patricia’s life will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, November 5, 2019, at First Presbyterian Church, VES Road with the Rev. Chad McCain and Rev. Peter Thompson officiating, reception in Narthex. The family will be at Pat’s home at 1513 Old Abert Road for the rest of the day to receive visitors.

For those wishing to make memorial contributions in Pat’s memory, please consider Amazement Square, The Lynchburg Art Club, Meals on Wheels, and The Salvation Army.

Tharp Funeral Home & Crematory, Lynchburg, is assisting the family.

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