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The Greatest Showman


“All the world’s a stage, 

And all men and women merely players;

They have their exits and their entrances,

And one man in his time plays many parts…”


How does one encapsulate the life of a true legend; a man who was a father figure and inspiration to all who were fortunate to cross his path, a man more comfortable in a classroom or stage full of angsty and hormonal teens than a room full of adults, a man so unapologetically authentic and original, a man so immersed in his faith he made it his life’s work to share his Higher calling by raising up young performers’ confidence on a magical, elevated platform called the stage?


Steven Ben Harrington was many things.  He played many parts; adoring son, loving brother, state little league champion, the shy romantic, dedicated husband, otherworldly dad, passionate thespian, charismatic educator, inspirational director, patriotic patriarch, and faithful lover of Jesus.


Steven’s journey began in a middle class family, where they moved frequently.  A great upbringing and loving family produced a caring and shy boy.  That shy boy was convinced by his sisters to take an acting class as his high school career was wrapping up.  He pleaded for them not to sign him up but perhaps they saw something in him that he didn’t.  Coincidentally this trait was one of his greatest assets in his teaching career, to be able to see greatness in students who otherwise didn’t believe in themselves.  This acting class changed his world, and he would never be the same.


The theatre opened up his imagination and allowed him to find his true self.  Through the fantastical realm of theatre he was able to explore his unmatched creativity, tap into a new passion, and ultimately through a series of coincidences, direct him to his destiny to find his soulmate of 46 years, Marily Ruth Bell.


After meeting Marily in a theatrical production, it was clear immediately that they had a special connection.  After just 9 months of dating they were married and started an epic love story.  They weathered all storms together and created three beautiful children.  These children were raised in the home, but also raised on the stage.  The language of theatre and lessons it taught were passed down.  Find your light, ham it up, let your light shine, find your voice, and stay in character were words to live by on and off the stage.


Like his equally talented wife, he chose to share his love for theatre with thousands of students across 33 glorious years in California.  He used his theatrical side to appeal to his Language Arts students by reading to them with his endless variety of voices and characters.  He directed countless shows and found his Higher calling playing the puppet master in the sound booth, lifting performers to new heights.  He gained ultimate satisfaction watching them thrive through their charismatic performances, and received the highest validation when he could watch his own three children flourish on the very same stage of Newark Memorial High School.


After retirement, he along with his family, moved to the artistic and welcoming community of Loveland, Colorado.  They started the family owned business the Harrington Arts Academy, now known as the non-profit Harrington Arts Alliance.  Over the past 9 years he designed and controlled the lights, made programs, picture collages, and even ran music for his son’s anti-bullying assemblies.  After a long uphill battle he even got to witness the fruits of all their labor, as the Harrington family purchased the building, securing Harrington Arts for years to come, and continuing the family tradition.


It is almost impossible not to mourn the years not spent with Steven (aka “H”, “Papi”, “Pops”), thinking he only got 67 years on this earth, but quality outweighs quantity.  He got to meet all 10 of his grandkids and have a profound impact on them, spent 46 years of marital bliss with his best friend and love of his life, and was filled with immense pride that his 3 selfless children would choose to spend their lives giving back as he and his wife did.  He got to stand by his son Brandon and be his Best Man at his wedding, and officiate the weddings of both his daughters, Marissa and Brittany.  He beat the odds of surviving a severe brain aneurysm and gave his family 8 more unforgettable years.


Steven was a gem, someone to be cherished and never undervalued.  He let his light shine and inspired everyone who crossed his enlightened path.  When he gave you a nickname your heart grew three sizes.  When he complimented you you felt like you could do anything and be anything.  When he looked at you he saw the real you and it made you want to be a better version of yourself.  When he loved you it was all you needed.       


Steven Ben Harrington is survived by his sister Sandra Dumas, his wife Marily Harrington, his eldest daughter Marissa Dominguez, his son Brandon Harrington, his youngest daughter Brittany Grim, his in-laws Lauren Harrington, Edgar Dominguez, Evan Grim, and their many grandchildren; Elliot, Camryn, Iris, Maggie, Adele, Luna, Sol, Rosemary, Wes, and Mabel.


Noted for his quotes and theatrical set designs, the quote he referenced the most was from Les Miserables.  “To love another person is to see the face of God.”  His quest for theatre, love, a family, performing, directing, and the pursuit of happiness was always a spiritual journey.  Steven achieved everything he wanted to in his life, and leaves behind a legacy of compassion, discovery, and love.  Steven “H” was bigger than life itself, and now he gets to be with the “Spirit in the Sky.”

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