Colonel William “Bill” Harrington, USAF (Ret)

Colonel William “Bill” Harrington, USAF (Ret)

February 2, 1920 – July 12, 2021

Bill Harrington, career Air Force officer and long-time Omaha real estate agent, went from life to everlasting life Monday morning July 12, 2021, aged 101 years.  VISITATION: Friday, July 16th from 5pm to 7pm, with a MEMORIAL SERVICE: 7:00 pm at the West Center Chapel.  GRAVESIDE INTERMENT SERVICES: Saturday, July 17th at 10:45am at Evergreen Memorial Park Cemetery, 2300 S 78th St, Omaha.  Memorials are suggested to donor choice or to Converge Worldwide, Mable Carolyn Harrington Honorary Fund, 2002 South Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights, IL 60005 NBRP (Please mark with account number 682001).

The family is looking forward to celebrating with Bill’s many friends, a life genuinely well lived.

To view a live broadcast of Funeral Service, please go to and click the “View Live Cast” button on our home page.


William Maurice Harrington was born to Glenn Terrell and Mary Priscilla (Williams) Harrington in Baldwin County, Georgia.  He passed from life to everlasting life at 101 years of age.  Bill was the second child, with one older brother, three younger brothers, and a sister.  He grew up in Milledgeville, Georgia, attending local schools and helping in the family business enterprises, primarily farming, cotton ginning, a feed and seed company, and cattle raising. 

Upon graduation from Georgia Military Academy in 1939, Bill entered the Army National Guard.  His unit was activated in November 1940, to guard the coasts of the United States.  When opportunity arose, Bill elected flight training and became a bombardier in the Army Air Corps.  His principal service in World War II was with the Fifteenth Air Force in northern Italy, flying over fifty missions, mainly over the oil fields of Romania.  Bill’s crew dubbed their B-24 aircraft “Hitler’s Egg Men.”  When the war ended, he elected to stay in his country’s service, becoming a navigator in the newly formed US Air Force.  Bill was assigned to duty in Ft. Worth, TX and Altus, OK and retired in October of 1963 as Chief of Navigator Training for Strategic Air Command at Offutt Air Force Base, Nebraska, with 24 years of total service at the rank of Colonel.

He met and married Mabel “Carolyn” Nelson in 1947.  They were married for 67 years at the time of her death in 2014.  The family included four children: Evelyn, William, Mark, and Mary Elizabeth (Beth). 

After retiring, Bill graduated from the University of Omaha with a specialty in Real Estate in 1964 and enjoyed a long career in real estate sales in Omaha, retiring in 1979.

When the family moved to Omaha, they rented a house near Bethany Baptist Church where they began attending.  That’s where he received Christ as his savior and was baptized on Palm Sunday, 1965.  Bill and Carolyn worshipped at Bethany for 34 years, serving in various positions during that time.  He was also Treasurer for Great Plains Heartland District for 21 years.

Bill is preceded in death by parents; all his siblings; beloved wife, Mabel Carolyn (Nelson) Harrington; daughters, Evelyn Dean Villegas Blau and Mary Elizabeth Ethofer; grandsons, Glenn and Scott Villegas.  He is survived by sons, William (Lois) and Mark (Sheridan); son-in-law, Robert Ethofer; 13 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; and 2 great-great-grandchildren. 



  • Bin and Ken with family Posted July 13, 2021 8:07 pm

    Sorry for the family’s loss but relieved that he now joins his loved ones see Jesus face to face. Thankful for his faithful service to the country and in God’s kingdom! A life well lived !

  • Deb Wacker Posted July 14, 2021 6:49 am

    Your father, grandfather, great grandfather and great great grandfather was such a wonderful man and devoted his life to Christ, his family and his country. I had the pleasure of meeting him while he lived at Walnut Grove.- you many many memories to cherish – RIP Colonel William Harrington

  • Jerry Schommer Posted July 14, 2021 1:57 pm

    Col. Bill Harrington is one of the most remarkable people that I have met in my life. He was in his 62nd year when I met him, I was 26 years of age. Serving with him for over 10 years at Bethany Baptist, 1982-1992, was a wonderful experience.

    Bill taught me so much about leadership and servanthood. The respect that he offered a 26-year-old, who was a recent Bethel Seminary graduate, and newly hired associate pastor will always be humbly remembered. Bill’s love for God and people was demonstrated by his words and deeds of encouragement and compassion.

  • Barbara Nicholas Posted July 14, 2021 3:41 pm

    What wonderful memories we have of both Bill and Carolyn whom we met at Bethany Baptist! I send my love and sympathy to all of you, I know Bill is rejoicing now to be with his Savior Whom he faithfully served.

  • Beverly Braun Posted July 17, 2021 11:14 am

    I’m sorry to hear of your loss. The Omaha World Herald article was such a nice tribute. I was a housemate with Beth in the 80’s just before she was married. My condolences on her loss as well. I did not realize. Wonderful family. May Christ’s everlasting love comfort you all at this time.

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