It is with great sadness that we announce the unexpected death of our beloved husband, father, son, uncle, brother, and friend, SFC John Joseph Harrington Jr (ARNG). He was born to John Harrington Sr. and Leana (Gibbons) on May 31st 1990, in Hartford, CT and raised in East Berlin. After earning a state diploma, he enlisted in the Army National Guard in 2009 at the age of 19 as an 11 Bravo in the 102nd Infantry Regiment. In addition to being an infantryman, he completed Mountain Warfare School, he was a combat medic, and Army Flight Paramedic serving in two combat deployments to Afghanistan (2010), and Iraq and Jordan (2018). Between deployments, he worked as a patient care assistant at Hospital of Central Connecticut and St. Francis Hospital and was an Emergency Medical Technician at American Medical Response (AMR) in Hartford. He also attended Tunxis Community college and was part of the Veterans OASIS. He attended the Goodwin College Paramedic Program where he met his beloved wife Tessa (Gilbert). After graduating, he began his career as a Paramedic at AMR Hartford and an instructor for the Hartford Hospital Paramedic Program at the Center for Education, Simulation, and Innovation (CESI). Shortly after, he was selected to join the 3-126th MEDEVAC Unit in Windsor, CT where he served full-time as the Platoon Sergeant, Flight Paramedic, Training and Readiness Non-Commissioned Officer, and became the only Non-Rated Crew Member Standardization Flight Instructor in Connecticut. John was also accepted to flight school but turned down the offer to be with his troops on an upcoming deployment.
John and Tessa were together for eight years and in true patriotic fashion, started dating and celebrated their marriage on the Fourth of July. Their time together was full of inside jokes, clever banter, movie quotes, brunches, and hangouts with friends and family. He was her rock, her world, and her source of happiness. They loved each other unconditionally or as John liked to say: “in their own Harrington Way.”
Just prior to his second deployment, he and Tessa welcomed their son, John “Jack” Harrington III (4). Jack is not only the spitting image of his father, but he also loves everything about John, always referring to him as his “best friend, or buddy.” Jack would help John mow the lawn, change the oil, and visit the “Helicopter House” where Jack wants to work as a flight medic one day. Just like his dad. They welcomed their daughter, Piper (8 mos), earlier this year. Piper wrapped him around her finger the moment she arrived. She loved to nap with her dada, get kisses when he came home from work, and watch “Top Gun 2” with John and Jack.
In addition to his wife, two children, and parents, John is survived by his brother Tim O’Conner and sister in law Corey (Christoff), mother in law Jeanne Gilbert, brother in law Dean Gilbert (LT) and sister in law Allie (Wiggins) and their two children Peyton (2) and Bentley (7mos), brother in law Tucker Gilbert and his children Grant (3) and Wavey (2), countless Aunts, Uncles, and cousins, and brothers in arms: Adam Ordway, Scott Wilmont, and Jon Behuniak as well as the soldiers in the C-Co 3-126th MEDEVAC and C-Co 3-142nd Aviation Regiments. He was pre-deceased by his beloved Uncle Pete and his father-in-law Craig Gilbert, who loved John and was very proud of his service and personal accomplishments, John will be remembered by all through his infectious smile, his love for workplace shenanigans, his leadership in both EMS and the military, and his unwavering duty to his family, his soldiers and his country.