10/21/1947 ~ 8/21/2022
Bob Harrington passed away peacefully and surrounded by loving family members on August 21, 2022 in Millcreek, Utah, after a courageous battle with sepsis and heart failure.
Bob loved people and was larger than life. He was tremendously outgoing and viewed the world as a place filled with best friends that he was about to meet for the first time.
Bob was born on October 21, 1947 in Ogden, Utah. He was the second child of LaRee Hymas and William Francis Harrington. He loved his parents and three sisters immensely. Bob grew up in East Millcreek where, as a young boy, he went by the nickname “Butch,” fished on the nearby creek, and caused his share of mischief.
Bob forged lifelong friendships in his neighborhood as a proud East Millcreek Tiger, Wasatch Warrior, and Skyline Eagle. He loved to spend summers as a child on the family farm near Liberty, Idaho, where he ate fresh raspberries, milked cows, swam in the nearby spring, and stood in awe of the grit and toughness of his Idaho relatives.
Bob served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Southern California and Arizona. His natural love of people, outgoing personality, and endless self-confidence made him an exceptional teacher and missionary. He shared his deeply-held beliefs with wonderful people in places like Laguna Beach, Anaheim, San Diego, and Phoenix. It was the perfect fit and he cherished and recounted his missionary experiences throughout his life. He loved the scriptures and instilled his devotion to the gospel of Jesus Christ in his children, reminding them often to “stick to the Plan.”
Bob attended the University of Utah where he received a B.A. in Philosophy, lived in the Sigma Chi Fraternity house, participated in student government (he loved the free basketball tickets), and drove an old MG sports car. Near the end of college, Bob took a beautiful former BYU cheerleader on a blind date to a University of Utah Homecoming football game. He fell in love in an instant, and that BYU graduate, Jane Rasmussen, was willing to set aside college rivalries and become the love of his life. Bob and Jane married on June 8, 1971 in the Salt Lake Temple.
Bob and Jane spent their first year of marriage in Edinburgh, Scotland, where Bob studied as a graduate student in the Divinity School of The University of Edinburgh. Bob loved raising the hackles of his stodgy professors by writing controversial papers on religion, but after a year of adventure and cold Scottish weather, Bob and Jane learned they were expecting their first child and returned home where Bob earned a Juris Doctorate from the University of Utah Law School. They later spent ten wonderful years in Park City and eventually moved to Holladay, Utah where they lived for over 35 years.
Bob’s greatest life work was the love and loyalty he showed his wife, four children, and thirteen grandchildren. He was their most enthusiastic fan and cheerleader. Bob almost never missed a game and some of his best memories were coaching his kids in little league. But his mentorship went far beyond sports—he gave his kids the best advice and encouragement, including daily pep talks and speeches while he drove them to school or caught up over the phone. He employed many themes and phrases, each perfect for the situation, including “be a tiger,” “get in the game,” “keep it light,” “go jungle,” “be somebody,” “enjoy the ride,” and “life is like building a brick wall, one brick at a time.”
Bob had many gifts. He was an electrifying public speaker and masterful teacher. He was hilariously funny, quick-witted, and a natural off the cuff. He was a storyteller who loved to make people laugh and was always at his best at the head of the dinner table over a great meal. He loved teaching Sunday school and threw his heart and soul into serving as a Bishop of a University of Utah singles ward.
His hobbies included introducing himself to large groups of strangers, interjecting steady humor during church meetings, fly fishing, and making eight or ten of the most beautiful snow skiing turns you have ever seen (before his legs turned to Jell-O). He loved family trips to Jackson Hole, Yellowstone, and Newport Beach, all of which centered on laughing hard and creating memories with his wife, children, and grandchildren. He cheered on the Utes rain or shine at Rice-Eccles Stadium and cherished his many friendships, including his friends from the Study Group. He was the centerpiece at weekly lunches with friends and fishing buddies at Yanni’s and Crown Burger where he would fire off trivia questions and discuss anything under the sun.
His life and home were filled with books and in his final years he got a rush from authoring three legal thrillers based on his fictional lawyer “JD Beck” and his trusty fixer, “Hector Rojas.” He loved talking about his books, which he joyfully described as “pure trash and non-stop action.” There is no doubt that he wrote himself as the protagonist.
Bob is survived by his wife, Jane, his sisters Suzanne Harman (Richard) and Becky Harrington, his children Sarah Jane Dunn (Jeff), Kelley Green (Jeramy), Kate Mooth (Steve), and Bobby Harrington (Danielle), and thirteen grandchildren, with the fourteenth on the way. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister and brother-in-law, Kathleen and William Edwards, and his sister-in-law, Jill Rasmussen Latimer.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, August 31, at the Cottonwood 2nd Ward Chapel, 2080 East 5165 South (Donelson Lane), Holladay, Utah 84117. The family will receive visitors at that same address on Tuesday, August 30 from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., followed by a celebration of life with tributes and dessert from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. The family will also receive visitors from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. immediately preceding the funeral (August 31).
There recordings will be active for 60 days from 8/31/2022