Tuesday, November 1, 2016
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
120 South Woodhams Street
Plainwell, MI 49080
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Plainwell Athletic Booster
684 Starr Road
Plainwell, MI 49080
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Dale Harrington was the type of guy everyone liked to know and love, and with his fun-loving spirit, it was easy to see why. A friend of many and a stranger to few, Dale was a hardworking man and it showed. For the family entrusted to his care, Dale was ever loving and dedicated. Although set in his ways, Dale told it like it was in all he said and did. No one ever doubted where they stood with him, and for his honesty, he was well respected. Accepting of all and loving towards many, Dale will be dearly missed and fondly remembered.
By 1955, the hottest thing on wheels was the '55 Chevy and it was most certainly the shape of things to come for the auto industry while even the mention of the chart-busting hit, “Rock Around the Clock” drew all to the dance floor. At the same time, nearly every American home with televisions had their sets dialed to, “The Mickey Mouse Club”, along with dreams of visiting the new and popular, “Disneyland.” And a favorite of young boys everywhere, Davy Crockett films introduced a world of adventure for those wearing his ever popular, coonskin cap. In the Michigan city of Kalamazoo, October 12, 1955, marked an especially memorable day for Elver and Jean (Krohn) Harrington when they celebrated the birth of their son, Dale Allen Harrington.
Even though Dale’s birth certificate stated he was born on October 13, 1955, his mother knew different. Everyone always recognized his birthday on the 12th, and Dale took full advantage of letting others know how special he was and that his birthday was to be celebrated both days! The only agency that did not recognize Dale’s birth day being the 12th was the State of Michigan.
Dale was the youngest of four children, joining his older siblings, Karen, Dick, and Mike. Like many young boys, Dale found his share of mischief, and then some. He shared many adventures with his brothers and neighborhood friends. The Harrington home was a busy place of activity, and to support their growing family, Dale’s father owned Harrington Auto Service in Otsego where Dale learned from a young age his skill with auto mechanics and his love for cars, in general. Their Texaco Station at Westnedge and Whites Road in Kalamazoo was the place to go in the area. Dale’s mother had her hands full at home as a homemaker, and for a time she worked for a tire wholesaler in Cooper Township.
Plainwell Public Schools provided Dale with his early education before he went on to graduate from Plainwell High School in 1973. From his earliest years, Dale was into cars, and for 45 years he worked as a dedicated and dependable mechanic in the Kalamazoo and Plainwell areas. Quite active with auto racing, he participated in many drag races at the strip in Martin. More often than not throughout his life, he raced late model stock cars, mainly at Kalamazoo Speedway.
While out with friends one night at the Backdoor Bar in Kalamazoo, Dale met the love of his life, Deborah Curtis. An attraction was evident right from the start, and together they spent their first date at Schuler’s Bowling Alley in Niles, Deborah’s hometown. They were giving away a live turkey for Thanksgiving, and Dale did his best to win it for her. He may have impressed her with his bowling, but not so much with the turkey!
Deeply in love, Dale and Deborah were happily married on October 15, 1977. They were blessed with two children when their daughter, Melissa came along, followed by their son, Matthew. Later in life, a young girl by the name of Nettie Pidgeon came into their lives and won their hearts. Dale and Deborah took Nettie on as if she were their own, attending special events she was involved in, considering her their daughter in every respect. Up until meeting Deborah, Dale had lived a very colorful life and continued to do so to some extent. Having a family of his own tamed his spirit, and in all ways, he was a loving and giving provider. Dale may have been set in his ways, but he was an honest and hardworking man who would do anything for a friend.
For most of his life, Dale was an avid bowler. He never scored a perfect 300 game, but he came close at 299 several times. His four grandsons, Jacob, Nickolas, Zackary, and Dagan were his pride and joy. He spent great times playing hoops in the driveway with them, as well as attending their sporting events. Nettie’s daughter, Peyton also held a special place in Dale and Deborah’s hearts. Dale was a big family man. He loved playing card games, especially Tunk with his family.
When it came to TV, he enjoyed watching Michigan Outdoors and Off the Radar. But Dale loved all Michigan sports. He was a huge fan of the Detroit Lions, Tigers, and Red Wings, and he was a fan of U of M and MSU. By far, Detroit Tigers baseball was his favorite and he loved going to the games and keeping up with their stats. The only thing that ever drove Dale absolutely nuts was when two of his teams were playing at the same time and he couldn’t just watch one or the other because the commercials came on at the same time, too! He also liked NASCAR and was a big Dale Earnhardt fan.
Sunday was Dale’s favorite day of the week. Deborah always made a big breakfast which he loved, and to him, it was a day for relaxing and watching sports on TV. He was never much of a cook himself. In fact, unless it could be put in the microwave or called into Joe’s Pizza, Dale never cooked. He loved reading the newspaper, and as far as music went, Dale loved the Beatles, Humble Pie, John Lennon and "Mercedes Bendz" was his favorite song by Janis Joplin. Of course, his favorite colors were Plainwell blue and white.
A straight-forward man who was set in his ways, Dale Harrington counted his family as his greatest blessing. For those who knew him best, he was good at what he did, and he was honest to the core. And for all that he was and for all that he gave, he will be tremendously missed by those he leaves behind.
Dale A. Harrington, of Plainwell passed away on Saturday, October 29, 2016, at the age of 61. Dale was born on October 12, 1955, in Kalamazoo. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Deborah; three children: Melissa (Rich) Green, of Allegan; Matthew Harrington, of Plainwell; Nettie Pidgeon, of Portage; five grandchildren: Jacob Agy, Nickolas Agy, Zackary Agy, Dagan Harrington; and Peyton Pidgeon. He is also survived by his siblings: Karen (Earl) Stedman, of Gobles; and Dick (Pam) Harrington, of Otsego; and several nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents: Elver and Jean Harrington and one brother: Mike Harrington.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday from 4 to 7pm at Life Story Funeral Home, 120 S. Woodhams, Plainwell (269-685-5881). The funeral service will be held on Wednesday at 11AM at the funeral home. Please visit Dale’s web page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign his guestbook, and share a memory and/or photo. Those who wish may make contributions to Plainwell Athletic Boosters.