Steve Harrington

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Here is Steve's obituary posted by his sister Jane in Minneapolis:
Harrington, Stephen Harris Jr. age 72, died at his Bayport home of pulmonary fibrosis January 6, 2016. Stephen is survived by children Sarah (Jeremy) and Margot (Chad); grandchildren Indira and Heidi; sister Jane Keyes; niece Alicia; loving family & friends. A celebration will be held in the summer in Stephen's memory. Memorial donations may be made to donor's choice or Lakeview Hospice, 1715 Tower Drive W, Stillwater 55082.


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Steve with Wendell Refior, Oct 29, 2015

Steve Harrington was running out of breath at the end and yet it was a gradual decline of several years, especially the last two years. He used many of those precious breaths talking with me, working on building the soon to be publically launched ICA Global Archives Online. He also gave several thousand dollars of his own money, in addition to those hundreds of hours we planned, designed and guided a consultant programmer to build a new Archives system to be available to any ICA colleague around the globe, when granted a User ID. We built it in his lifetime. It was launched first as a prototype and is now in active, perhaps probationary, test or proof stage of development. Before the end of 2015, we halted the old and rung in the new, database system, that is. Steve and I celebrated and smiled in confidence that this will bring dozens or even hundreds of new users to the Archives, and will bring thousands of new breaths of enthusiasm.

Steve relished in leaving a living legacy by bringing the ICA wisdom to new communities of teachers, researchers and social pioneers that would carry the torch of spirit and inspired methods and wisdom into the future. Characteristically, Steve joked and laughed, told lots of stories all while pushing me and pushing the Archives team to focus on wider and wider audiences and toward a new vast Internet population of potential users and eventually contributors to the Archives and to the broader ICA mission.

For two years, Steve became a kind of brother to me, and we fought sometimes as expected but we never let anything get in the way of getting back to the task at hand on the Archives Online. I will sorely miss the almost daily chats and working sessions with Steve. I did tremendously enjoy visits with Steve in January and then late October last year. We understood each other, and both cherished that we complemented each other. He was the visionary and global thinker. I was the details guy who could get things done and help smooth relations with our colleagues when the pushing and shoving got heated. Still Steve could rise above it all, at least by the next day, and focus, focus, and work as a man possessed. As such, it still amazes us all that he accomplished so much and helped us all accomplish more for the mission, because he cared so much. We were all blessed; the blessing will live on.

Wendell Refior

Steve constantly pushed the mission of the Global Archives ahead. He was always researching, exploring and tinkering with new ways to deliver our message. Although, I will miss him, I celebrate the completion of his journey on this earth.

Steve Ediger

Some pictures ...
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Steve Harrington, Loren Weybright, and sister Jane, Birthday Dinner

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Birthday Dinner

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On Way to Guthrie Theatre

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Dinner out

Steve and I had grown quite close over the last three very short years that we knew each other, first online, and then in person across several visits made more recently. On my last visit, mid-October, we were able to accomplish a lot in planning for my next Nepal trip in November. But we both took plenty of time to take in the view of the St. Croix River, and chat about family and friends.

He and I had one of our regular online chats on New Years Day, January 1. Going over my notes, I find that Steve made reference to a dozen new and revisited ideas for action during that last half hour conversation. That included time for pauses for him to catch his breath.

Now, ten days after his passing, I am just beginning to understand the influence of Steve's presence on my own life and in the mentoring and networking that I am doing here in Nepal. I miss him deeply, but I am building new relationships and working with folks in new ways, due, in a large part to my relationship with Steve. His calm manner, insightful conversations and prompts have given me strength and a level of creativity that I did not realize was inside of me, over my 75 years. I can readily apply to my own life one of his favorite phrases, "Falling forward," and I pass it on to the teachers I work with, as we all reflect and grow from our past actions. Yes, Steve's work lives on here in Nepal, too!

Loren Weybright

Some of Beret's photos ...

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Steve at Archives Fall 2012 Sojourn in Chicago with his trademark smile

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Steve with comical hat (Fall 2012)

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Working or Sleeping? (Fall 2012)

In response to death of Steve Harrington...

When I called Steve's sister Jane yesterday, he had just had a shower and wanted to talk. It was a slow and thoughtful conversation of about 15-20 minutes. There were some long pauses and he wanted to keep talking. He said he enjoyed talking to people a bit. I mentioned that Wendell, Paul and I had talked just before I called Steve. I asked him if he would like to listen in on conversations when he wasn't up to talking and he said "yes" he would like that a lot.

Paul and I had lunch with Jane, Steve an Steve's daughter Margo on December 28th. Margo is an amazing woman and Steve was obviously pleased to have her there. Paul brought an art show in a box (about 12 paintings) and Steve was thrilled with the private showing and said it was the best present Paul could ever give him. He wanted to see each painting up close and from afar. We talked about getting together when I returned from the ToP conference.

Steve and I first met in the early 70's when folks from the early Ecumenical Institute Minneapolis Region Metro Cadre were recruiting for RS-1. I went to Jane's house to recruit her and Steve was visiting. As I recall, Steve went to the course and Jane did not. Steve always claimed he could recall what I wore that day and we'd laugh because I had no recollection. I also recall one very long dinner conversation that Steve, Kathleen Joyce (former ICA Board Member) and I had after I'd come from California to do a ToP course with a local team who wanted to become "official" ToP trainers. In those days, since everyone was familiar with individual aspects of the course, it was a matter of doing the course with someone who had done it, newly packaged, as ToP. We talked ICA methods theory, value, and a million other things, jumping from idea to idea. Fun evening!

For many years Steve was a major contributor to the work of the ICA Global Archives from afar. Then he showed up on site in Chicago and pushed us all hard to get archive material digitized; to look at the concept of curating collections and dragged many of us reluctantly into figuring out how to use gmail, google documents and engage in ongoing, online conversations. He introduced the concept of digital postcards to quickly and imaginally share archive work.

Steve was a brilliant worthy adversary, friend and colleague. I will miss him and celebrate his completed life.

Beret Griffith

I did not know Steve Harrington personally. What I do know from stories and his entries onto the listserve is that he was committed to the "mission", intense, talkative, and a creative thinker. I will miss seeing his name .... I am sure the stories will continue. Thanks to all who share their stories of Steve as we do when a colleagues dies. It makes his life more real to me.

Nancy Lanphear

Steve worked with Susan (Wegner) many years ago on the Machakos game. More recently I recall going on a few walks to the lake with him when we were at an Archives Sojourn. He did pretty well despite having to lug around his oxygen concentrator. Sometimes I wondered if he would end up outliving us all, but it was not to be. I did get a chance to work a little with Steve's amazing daughter Margot on our Wordpress site, and went out for a memorable dinner with Steve, Margot, and Margot's partner in Chicago.

Steve's vision always exceeded his grasp, but that's not a bad way to live. He certainly modeled a passionate way to live as his physical circumstances became more challenging. He certainly will be missed.

Tim Wegner

This poem is how I met Steve, maybe not for the first time, but the wondrousness of his unique self.

What Happened When He Went to the Store for Bread Poem by Alden Nowlan

For Michael Brian Oliver

Because I went to the store for bread one afternoon when I was eighteen . . . and arrived there just in time to meet and be introduced to a man who had stopped for a bottle of Coca Cola (I’ve forgotten his name), and because this man invited me to visit a place where I met another man who gave me the address of yet another man, this one in another province, and because I wrote a letter and got an answer which took me away from the place where I was born, I am who I am instead of being somebody else.

What would I have been if I hadn’t left there when I did? I would have almost certainly gone mad; I think I might have killed somebody. But even if something else had saved me from madness, I would not be the same person. I’d have spent thirty years in a different world and come to look at things in a different way that even my memories of childhood and youth would be different; it might even seem to me now that there was never anything to escape from.

And then too, there are those who are other than they would have been, because of some small act of mine; I played a certain record once because I liked it, and because he liked it too, a stranger became my friend and, as such, met the woman he married, and now they have two children who would not have been born except for my taste in music.

Carrying this thought farther still, there must be people in cities that I’ve never visited whose lives have changed, perhaps not because of what I’ve written but because I wrote: it might be they didn’t like my play and so left early and because they left early something happened that would not have happened if they’d stayed -– I put it that way so as not to sound immodest. God knows, there’s not a lot to boast about when so much seems to depend upon the time of day a boy goes out to buy a loaf of bread.

What Happened When He Went to the Store for Bread, Poems by Alden Nowlan

Nineties Press Saint Paul, Minnesota Distributed by Ally Press Center 524 Orleans Street Saint Paul, MN 55107

Read in a Trainers meeting sometime in the 90’s by a fellow named Steve Harrington

Jim Wiegel

Dear fellow travellers, Although we too did not know Steve personally, he was very much one of these travellers in our lives in recent times through technology. Steve, Loren and I, had many conversations on Skype and hangout over the last 3 years. This included much collaboration and mentoring between the 3 of us in supporting Loren’s face to face work in schools in Nepal.

I would like to pay tribute to Steve’s contribution right up to the present:
  • The ‘baby steps’ in technology he encouraged myself and others to take
  • Steve’s passion for inclusive global communication – another conversation on this to be held later today. We will remember Steve.
  • Steve’s support for Winds and Waves, through his own contributions and encouraging others to share their stories
  • His contribution to the continuing conversations on Imaginal Education as part of communities of practice
  • The passion Steve had for the practical future and sharing of the Global Archives

We celebrate Steve’s completed life. Grace and Peace, Robyn and John Hutchinson

Dear Archive Colleagues,

I guess the tribute to Steve will be from this perspective although the transparency it contains would apply to so much of the other dimensions of his life and encounters with others.

The phrases that come to mind are; “Give it a try and see what happens.” A person who saw a potential colleague and revolutionary with anyone who was involved in some dimension of passionate service. Distance no longer determines creative effort. Always a smile at the end of an encounter. Imaginal education and methods are the key to every situation. A hundred emails, each filled with an idea, request, opportunity; on my computer the mailbox with his emails in them far exceeds anyone else. “Yes is a good answer, No is a good answer, but no answer doesn’t help”.

I could go on and on. I will miss that long white hair and walrus mustache before me and on my screen. He loved me in ways that touched my soul and called forth my own greatness. Thanks for the memories, thanks for the path cleared before us, thanks for the restless challenge to keep on keeping on. Bless you Steve, the path you carved with you life will be walked by those who will never know your footsteps. We’ll take it from here, that is my promise.

Journey On my beloved colleague.

Your “Buddy”, Jack Gilles

We celebrate the fully lived life of Steve.

Just within the last few weeks, he couraged me to create some preliminary video's on the work of imaginal education in our Leadership for Collaboration seminars. He celebrated the work we are doing and wanted it shared with others. He was a worthy partner in debriefing our work. I will miss him.

Journey on Steve.

Janet A. Sanders

I got to know Steve only recently through W&W. I admired his fortitude and determination to keep contributing despite his breathing problems. I'm glad I got to see and hear him just before Christmas during our online study of the Pope's book on the environment. I share with all of you the feelings of loss and gratitude for our fellow traveller.

Dharma (Dharmalingam Vinasithamby)

Lewie and I spent this afternoon in Bayport, MN with Steve's sister Jane Keyes and her daughter Alicia; Steve's daughter, Sarah Harrington, and his long-time friends, Bill Kaufman and Cynthia Mosedale. We reminisced and shared 'Steve stories' -- about his family and growing up years; about being a dad to Sarah and Margot; about his work with the ICA and the Archives; about grandchildren Indira (4 1/2) and Heidi (2). Alicia had made two beautiful picture story volumes -- one of Steve and his family, the other of Steve, Bill and Cynthia holding a pie-baking party during the Christmas season of 2014. We ended the afternoon by gathering around Steve in his bed, saying our good-byes, thank-you's and wishes to him, sending him out with poetry from Tagore, Hafiz, Pete Seeger's "How Can I Keep from Singing," and a Native American prayer. Colleagues, family and friends will be notified of a gathering this weekend, and there will be a larger memorial service for Steve in early summer, '16.

We spent an earlier afternoon with Steve just recently, and despite his failing health, he was still in the thick of his work with the Archives; still in touch with Loren Weybright in Nepal; telling us about the Post Cards from Bemidji with Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox; how "Mr. Orid" is being taught at University of Aruba (Jan Sanders, is that you?); how Ike Powell took Imaginal Education into the mental health world (which was of great interest to me); the Maker Movement (inventivity, tinkering, building, etc.); the Buck Institute of Education in Chicago (; the teacher's role as the "guide on the side;" Bruce Hanson and Appreciative Inquiry; the Great British Bake-Off, ...and so much more...he was struggling to breathe, but I was struggling to keep up with his incredible range of interest and care and concern. This is truly a man who 'died in his tactics.' He influenced many and will be missed by many.

Joyce Bonafield-Pierce Lewis (Lewie) Pierce Minneapolis

Hello to you all,

I remember Steve pretty well. I don' t know whether we ever worked together now, and my most recent memory of chatting w him is when Jim Weigel had a few of us using a Conference call to each other on a weekly basis- whilst we studied the book So Far

From Home, by Margaret Wheatley. Steve's comments were so interesting and very profound, and is/ was something of a real treat and delight to re connect with him after 30+ years.

His voice across the miles, was particularly gentle and nourishing as we worked our way through the Book- and excellent read. I felt I was journeying with dear colleagues although we could not see each other.

In respect to Steve and those who will miss him the most as his family.

With love, and peace is yours,

Isobel Bishop. xxxx

I only met Steve through the archives sojourn where he showed me a cartoon of Wiley Coyote and the Road Runner. (This was a fore shadowing of using the same software that Doug D. used at the Nepal 2012 conference with our Education Stream participants. ) Back at Greenrise, I was wearing dirty white gloves from handling the file folders and sorting materials, keying in the number of the files, and returning them to the drawers. I was nonplussed that Steve did not join in, but instead talked about digitizing the files. (I am sure the dust effected his breathing, but it irritated me until I realized why he wanted to have access to our life changing methods, models, and theories for the future of civilization accessible to everyone.) So his persistence was refreshing, he was putting his last days to good use and did not consider what other demands might be in place for others. Next time I showed up in Chicago for Archives Sojourn, I was scanning files and noting the numbers which we had used previously by hand. The following years we changed to another system and had abandoned the old number system. So if you wanted to look up the physical files, you could not locate them with all the other online scanned file number system.

So Steve and I exchanged our difference of opinions and finally called a truce during the Laudato' Si study recently. I noticed Wendell was hosting instead of Steve this last round and was sorry I missed working with Steve again. His passion, his vision, and hope will be missed. Journey on...journey on

Evelyn Kurihara Philbrook ICA Taiwan

Steve and his then partner (Ruth?) were leaders along with Wayne and me and 35 6th graders on the 6th grade trip in 1974. This was the 6th grade trip that went through Minneapolis and then into the Boundary Waters of Minnesota. It was also the first one to do an overnight solitary vigil, which became a pillar of future Rite of Passage Journeys. We had a lot of adventures that year, and brought back some very strong youth!

Take care, Jo Nelson

Thank you, Joyce for helping some of us who knew Steve only peripherally to appreciate the man and his contributions to “the journey along the crimson line.”

Marilyn and Joe Crocker

Journey on dear Steve...... You were a caring colleague and forever a fire at our feet to keep going on the long journey of caring for ALL in all we do. Your presence will be missed and forever part of our beingness and community. Thank you for your dedication and service.

Grace and Peace Wanda Holcombe

I’m saddened to hear of Steve Harrington’s death. What a fine example of creative caring from a very large global perspective until literally one’s very last breath-- Like a jazz musician, he played the Internet Each thought making a thousand connections He gave what he had deliberately and generously I doubt he knew his big soul challenged us so unrelentingly Thank you, Steve

Leah Early

I did not know Steve until his image loomed huge in the Order's archival horizon. I thought he was in his mid-thirties, full of energy and enthusiasm, a bright-eyed new recruit to the alluring promise of disciplined corporate existence.

It was his vision and mission that strongly came through. He had a picture of the Order's wisdom created in its brief flash into history to be preserved and available to be mined by anyone interested in doing so, for whatever purpose. His mission appeared to be cajoling people into the task so that they can willingly and merrily participate in the effort.

Not overly concerned about the particulars of people's lives save their contribution to the "mission", as was the Order's style, Steve was but an eager beaver in my tableau of characters. I had not clue, halfway around the world, of his breathing challenge.

He turned out to be two years older than I. And he had evidently moved many lives, if only in their minds. I would be one of those, otherwise, I would not bother with this reflection.

In the completion of a life, it is those of us left behind to hum, Journey On, journey on . . . Jaime R Vergara

Steve was a contributor to our Journey Reflection blog. A few days ago, the Extra reflection was centered around a quote he had shared with us, so I had written to thank him for his contribution and also to the work of the Archive Project. We used the search tool to go back through the Journey Reflection archives to re-read some of his sharings through the years.

We remember Steve for his amazing energy and commitment to the work of the ICA/EI/OE around the world and his dedication to making sure the work was accesible for future generations. I was grateful for the time working with him on the Global Archives project, and for his technological training he did with so many of us. Wasn’t he also the creator of the Machokos Game about Human Development?

Thank you to Beret and Paul and Joyce and Lewie and others for sharing the sacred time spent with Steve during his last days.

With deep gratitude,

Lynda (and John Cock)

Steve was so generous with his time and expertise. I deeply appreciate his generous spirit to me personally in showing gratitude for my small contributions to the Imaginal Education Archives. He hunted for gems to place there, and what he uncovered from the past and made available to the future is a treasure. He stayed current and was an expert on best practices in education today. What a wonderful example to all of us on how to live passionately until our time runs out.

Journey on,

Jann McGuire

Steve surely embraced being 'on death's ground' and created a wonder-filled legacy with the energy thereof. One of my favorite memories are the stories he would share with me of having breakfast, via SKYPE, with his granddaughter across the city. Grace and Peace for one and all,

Ellen Howie

Topic revision: r8 - 04 Feb 2016, TimWegner
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