Obituaries » Tammy Jean Harrington

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Tammy Jean Harrington

August 7, 1957 - August 24, 2018

 Celebration of Life: A celebration of life will be held at 3:00 PM Thursday August 30, 2018 in the Gilbert Funeral Home, Algonac.  Visitation 1:00 PM Thursday until time of service

Tammy Jean Harrington passed away on August 24th, 2018 at her home in Algonac, Michigan. At the moment of her passing, she was surrounded by so many family and friends, a testament to her ability to draw folks together as a listening ear, voice of advice, and a comforting shoulder. Tammy was a spirited and strong woman with a warm smile and a penchant for fun. The last years of her life were plagued with a terminal illness, yet she still was able to bring family and friends together.

Tammy’s life began on August 7th, 1957 with her parents Thomas and Bonnie Coppola. Tammy had four siblings that were a constant presence in her life: Mary (Griswold), Bill, Thomas, and Robert. Mary moved to California after graduation, but even this great distance could not break Tammy’s bond with her sister. Mary and Tammy confided in each other frequently. Bill was Tammy’s support in life, and her youngest brothers she endearingly called “Tommie” and “Bobby.” Together they dealt with the trials of love and life as Bonnie succumbed to cancer and they lost Bill too soon. We can find comfort in knowing Bonnie, Bill, and Tammy are all together today as “spirits in the sky.”

Tammy made a home for gatherings with her partner-in-crime Wayne Harrington Sr. They married on September 6, 1975, and they loved and laughed together through forty-three years of marriage. Tammy and Wayne had three sons named Wayne Jr., Wes, and William. A tight bond was built as this family of five escaped to their cabin up North for snowmobiling, playing cards, singing, dancing, canoeing, and celebrating the special moments of their lives. Her boys describe her as an “amazing woman, strong, and willing to fight for everyone she loved.” She taught them to love, to work hard, and to be the rock for their families, but most importantly she taught them to be family. Tammy, Wayne, and the boys spent nights sitting around campfires or their wood stove generating more warmth than a fire could alone.

Tammy guided her boys to attract fun and caring women, and their family of five grew as Wayne married Nichole, Wes married Andrea, and William married Jill. Tammy opened her home and heart to her daughters-in-law, and together they made joy of being together. In time, Tammy was blessed with four beautiful grandchildren: Alicia (Wes’s daughter), Austin and Jenna (William and Jill’s children), and Iris (Wayne and Nichole’s daughter). Alicia, the eldest grandchild, was the first to inspire Tammy’s pride. She called Tammy her “Nama,” and they built a special bond over twenty-three years. Then, Austin (13 years-old) and Jenna (8 years old) joined the family and spent quality time with their grandparents adding voices around the campfire and riding golf carts. Just in time, Iris proved that you should never give up on building family. As the youngest Harrington (1-year-old), she will listen to and retell Tammy’s stories for the longest time. Finally, Alicia made Tammy a great grandmother with the additions of Parker and Hayden Gerow (ages 4 and 1). These grandchildren will all keep Tammy’s smile alive.

Tammy’s warm smile was accompanied by an abundant garden full of tasty tomatoes and vibrant flowers. She cared for these green spaces as a way of caring for her family. The tomatoes were canned and remade into Tammy’s famous spaghetti, which warmed many tummies. The flowers brought hummingbirds that inspired her spirit as the life of the party. She loved seeing hummingbirds as they enjoyed the sweetness of life, and she too enjoyed the sweeter things: singing and dancing until the sun came up. Tammy would sing, “When I die and they lay me to rest, I’m gonna go to the place that’s the best.” What she didn’t realize was that she built “the place that was the best” for all the people she touched in her life.

A celebration of life will be held at 3:00 PM Thursday August 30, 2018 in the Gilbert Funeral Home, Algonac.  Visitation 1:00 PM Thursday until time of service