Elwyn Wesley “Ike” Harrington, 72, of Crookston, MN, passed away peacefully at his home Monday afternoon, September 16, 2019, with his loving wife, Phylis, at his side, just as she had been throughout his years of illness. Though also known as E.W. Harrington, Ike was always “Ike” to his family and friends.
Ike was born at Grand Rapids, MN on June 9, 1947, one of four sons of the union of Patrick H. and Avonne (Hill) Harrington. He grew up at nearby Effie, MN, where he was baptized, confirmed, and began his education. Ike graduated from Big Fork High School in 1965. He then attended Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids before enlisting in the U.S. Marine Corps on October 11, 1966. Ike served as a radio operator in Vietnam and for his service to his country was awarded the National Defense Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Navy Unit Citation, and the Sharp-Shooter Badge. He returned safely home from combat duty and was honorably discharged on August 27, 1970. He would later earn a Bachelor’s Degree from Moorhead State College and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks. In 1976 Ike was united in marriage to Phylis Anne Culbertson at Detroit Lakes, MN. Together they raised their daughter, Angela, in a very loving home. Ike’s career path took him throughout North Dakota and Minnesota, where he served as Administrator and Director of Social Services with several county agencies. In 1997 he and Phylis came to Crookston to make their home.
Ike and Phylis have been devoted members of the First Presbyterian Church since coming to Crookston and were actively involved in the music programs of the church. They shared their love of music throughout the area and made appearances at many festivals and concerts, and wherever else friends, old and new, gathered to hear them. Ike was a pilot for most of his life and he and Phylis enjoyed countless hours together in the air as he expertly flew their plane. They always enjoyed the sights from on high whether they were taking a long trip or a short hop. Ike loved to be with people who liked to have fun, and he knew everyone from near or far, no matter what their walk of life might be. He loved the great outdoors and was an avid hunter, fisherman, and conservationist. Ike held longtime memberships in Crookston’s American Legion Post 20, VFW Post 1902, the DAV, Crookston Gun Club, and Noon Day Lions Club.
Ike is survived by Phylis, his beloved wife of 43 years; their daughter, Angela Harrington Hill and her husband, Timothy Hill, of Kindred, ND; 2 grandchildren, Spencer Hill and Ava Hill; 3 brothers: Dan, Kelly, and Kim Harrington; 5 siblings-in-law: Patricia Fillmore, and Herbert, Peggy, Thomas, and Terry Culbertson; many nieces, nephews, and extended family; and a host of friends. He was preceded in death by his parents, Patrick and Avonne Harrington; and parents-in-law, Melvin and Beverly Culbertson. May God richly bless the memory of Ike Harrington.
The funeral service and celebration of Ike’s life will be held at 2:00 pm, Tuesday, September 24, 2019, at the First Presbyterian Church in Crookston with The Rev. Greg Isaacson and Pastor Kevin Hackney, co-officiating. Visitation will be from 5-7:00 pm, Monday, September 23rd, at the Stenshoel-Houske Funeral Home in Crookston with a 7:00 pm prayer service, and will continue for the hour prior to the funeral at church. Military Honors will be provided by the U.S. Marine Corps Honor Guard, Wahpeton, ND, and the Crookston Veterans Council.