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Patsy Sue Harrington


On August 12, 2018, encircled by her immediate family, Patsy Sue Harrington died peacefully due to complications from congestive heart failure. The eldest of 12 children, Patsy was born to Blythe and Thelma Campbell on August 10, 1929, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. On her fourth birthday, Patsy suffered a fall which resulted in her being hospitalized for over two years in Little Rock, far from her family. Determined and resilient, when she was finally allowed to go home, Patsy threw her crutches out the back door — crutches that her doctors told her parents she would need to walk with for the rest of her life - and walked on her own from that moment until she was well into her 80s.

In the aftermath of the Great Depression, Patsy traveled the dustbowl route to California with her siblings, parents and grandparents to make a new life, settling in Newhall. Patsy attended San Fernando High School until the 11th grade when she had to quit school to take care of her younger siblings while her mother recovered from a terrible car accident.

Patsy met her husband Wayne in 1947 when she worked at the concession counter at the American Movie Theater — now the American Legion Hall — in downtown Newhall. Wayne was an oilman, and his work took them and their growing family to places Patsy had read about since childhood. She lived in and visited countries across the world, from Iraq to Holland and Greece, gazing at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and driving the entirety of the Alaskan Highway. A lifelong lover of literature, art and music, Patsy took her children to the world's great cultural centers, from the Louvre to the Parthenon to the museum of her favorite artist, Vincent van Gogh, where she even got to meet the founder of the museum, Van Gogh's nephew.

But Newhall was always home, and Patsy's three daughters and son all graduated from Hart High School. So, too, had her four brothers, five sisters and two half-brothers. Patsy spent a lifetime recalling the great stories and the great people of the town she loved so well. Growing up alongside Newhall and the Santa Clarita Valley, in the 1940s she babysat Gary Lockwood when he was a Yurosek and in the 1970s spent many afternoons with Jan Heidt at her bookstore, One for the Books, talking Democratic politics.

A lifelong caregiver, Patsy spent months nurturing and protecting one daughter who was born prematurely, weighing less than 2 pounds, and then another daughter who contracted polio. Both daughters grew up with no significant health issues, giving Patsy three grandchildren and six great grandchildren. In her 70s, Patsy provided home health care to both her beloved mother, Thelma Chaldu, and her only son, Timothy Harrington, until their deaths.

Patsy's three daughters, Linda Harrington, Pamela Kershaw and Deborah Harrington, and daughter-in-law, Tracy Bachman, survive her. Additionally, Patsy leaves behind her grandchildren, Keith Kershaw, Indra Harrington and Kathy Draper, and their children, as well as eight brothers and sisters, four brothers- and sisters-in-law, and nieces and nephews too numerous to count. Patsy's husband of nearly 70 years, Wayne, predeceases her.

Services for Patsy will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, August 23, 2018, at Chapel of the Oaks, Eternal Valley, and she will be interred in the Garden of Pioneers.

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