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December 13, 1943 - April 23, 2015

Burial Date May 1, 2015

Funeral Home Miles Funeral Home

Place of Service First Congregational Church, Rutland MA

Section Garden of Cross Lot Number: 356Grave Number: C#1

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Subscription Update Obituary

     Joann C. (Smith) Blum Harrington, 71, passed away at home surrounded by her loving family on Thursday, April 23, 2015. She was born in Worcester, the daughter of John and Karin (Johnson) Smith and had lived in Rutland the past 50 years.

She leaves her husband, Richard “Rich” J. Harrington; two sons, Dana H. Smith and his wife, Jill of Holden and Darren E. Blum and his companion, Kris George and her children, Josh and Jess of West Boylston; a sister, Karin L. Brewer of Holden; five grandchildren, Ashley, Hayley, Jonah, Hayden, Connor; and nephews and nieces. She was predeceased by two husbands, Howard E. Blum and Lawrence K. Ahlstrom and two brothers, Roy and Roger Smith.

Joann graduated from Wachusett Regional High School, earned a Bachelor’s degree of Arts at Clark University and her Master’s degree in Health Education at Worcester State College. She taught in the Wachusett School District for thirty-five years most notably at Thomas Prince Middle School. Throughout her career, Joann was recognized for many awards and grants including, Massachusetts Audubon Environment Teacher Award in 1995, MAST Teacher of the Year for Worcester County in 1997, the Christa McAuliffe Fellowship Award in 1998, the MAST State Award for Science Teacher of the Year in 2003 and she was inducted into the Massachusetts Science Hall of Fame in 2004. She was a member of Mass Association of Science Teachers, National Science Teachers Association, and the Massachusetts Audubon Society.

Her passion was teaching and engaging her students to develop an appreciation for science and nature. Joann fostered a hands-on approach to understanding nature and science, and was instrumental in the development of the nature trail at Thomas Prince Middle School. Her appreciation for nature didn’t end at the classroom. Joann spent many summers enjoying the beauty and solitude at her family’s vacation home in Peaks Island, Maine with family and close friends. She also found comfort and peace in her difficult moments, at Unionville Pond in Holden where she was raised as a child.

She was a loving wife, mother, sister, and grandmother; but also a wonderful friend and mentor to everyone who knew her. She will be missed by many but forgotten by none.

Relatives and friends are invited to attend calling hours from 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday, April 27, in the Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main Street, Holden. A funeral service for Joann will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 28 at the First Congregational Church of Rutland, 264 Main Street. Burial will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Massachusetts Audubon Society, 113 Goodnow Road, Princeton, MA 01541.

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