Diethild G. Harrington, 82, of Westborough


Diethild G. Harrington, 82, of WestboroughWestborough – Diethild G. Harrington, 82, of Westborough, died Tuesday, May 9, 2017 after a brief bout with cancer and a related cardiac disorder.

Born in Vienna, Austria, on June 6, 1934, and she was the first of three children of the late Hermann and Gerda Mueller. She studied English and History at the University of Vienna, receiving her Masters in 1962. She met her future husband, Joseph Harrington, in 1961, and came to the U.S. in 1962 on a Fulbright travel grant. They were married in Boston on May 3, 1963.

She taught German and History at Abbot Academy in Andover until 1965. Their son, Joseph, was born in Vienna in 1967, and their son, Robert, was born in Evanston, Ill., in 1969. She completed her PhD at the University of Vienna in 1971, and came to Westborough in 1973.

She resumed her teaching career, first by volunteering at Westborough High School, then progressively as a lecturer at Central New England College, Wellesley College, Worcester State College, and finally Worcester Polytechnic Institute, teaching English as a Second Language and German language and history.  She was President of the Massachusetts Chapter of the American Association of Teachers of German, and in 1995 was the first recipient of their Educator of the Year award. She was President of the Westborough Music Parents Association for two years.

Diethild retired in 1996. From 1997-2000, she was President of the Austro-American Association of Boston. She stayed close to her Austrian roots, bringing cultural events to New England, hosting visitors, and traveling home frequently to visit family and ski the Alps. She was recognized by the Austrian-American Council of North America for her accomplishments.

She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Joseph Harrington, and their sons, Joseph and Robert, as well as Joe’s wife, Sara Sullivan, and their son, Joseph (“Jay”), and Rob’s wife Heidi Harrington and their two sons, Maxwell and Bradley. She is also survived by her sister and brother-in-law, Herburg and Dieter Ihringer. Diethild was predeceased by her sister, Reingard, as well as Reingard’s husband, Peter Somm, and his second wife, Katrin. Further, she is survived by her sister-in-law, Joan Smith and her husband Roger Smith, as well as her sister-in-law, Anne Heider and her husband R. Stephen Warner, nine nieces and nephews, and their seven children.

Calling hours will be Friday, May 26, from 4-7 p.m., at the David A. Pickering Westborough Funeral Home, 62 West Main St., Westborough. Burial will be private. A memorial service will be held Saturday, May 27, at 3 p.m., at 4 Jefferson Rd., Westborough.

In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to the Austro-American Association of Boston, 67 Bridle Path, Sudbury, MA 01776, or to a charity of one’s choice.

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