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This page was created to honor and remember the life of our dear past President, Nancy Harrington, who passed away on March 26th.  Please share your memories of Nancy and help us celebrate her, whose life touched so many of us in our community.

Nancy Allison Harrington | November 18, 1953 - March 26, 2018

Nancy Allison Harrington, Clinical Psychiatric Social Worker, Group Psychotherapist, Loving Wife, Mother, Sister and Grandmother

On Monday, March 26, 2018, Nancy Allison Harrington (nee Robertson), wife, mother, grandmother and sister, passed away peacefully and surrounded by family at age 64 after a tough fight against brain cancer.

Nancy Harrington, a clinical psychotherapist, had been in private practice since 1996 in the Fairfax area, specializing in individual and group therapy. Prior to that, she had been practicing psychotherapy at the Women’s Center in Vienna since 1991. Nancy was a member of several professional organizations, including The Greater Washington Society for Clinical Social Work, in which she served as President from 2014-2016 and the Mid-Atlantic Group Psychotherapy Society, of which she served as Secretary on the Board of Directors.

An Air Force fledgling, she lived both overseas in France, Germany and Japan, and here at home in New Mexico, Langley Air Force Base(where she was born) and ultimately in Belle Haven in Alexandria, Virginia where her parents made roots.

She graduated from Trinity College in Washington DC, also her paternal grandmother’s alma mater. She later obtained her Master of Social Work Degree from The Virginia Commonwealth University. She received an additional credential for group psychotherapy from The Washington School of Psychiatry.

One of many notable achievements was taking first place in a heated match of horseshoes in 2016 at her family’s Irish Games held annually in Duck, North Carolina.

Nancy is survived by her husband David of 42 years, their daughter Tracey Harrington McCoy and her husband Nick McCoy and son Michael Harrington of Fairfax, Virginia. She is also survived by her sisters, Pidge and Dick Amann of Florida and niece Kristen and Jason York of Alexandria, Missy and Denny Stephens of Lorton, and niece Jennifer and Todd Webb of Aldie and Cmdr. Jonathan Stephens and Kelly Knepper USN of San Diego, Ellen Satyshur of Baltimore and niece Nicole and Blair Muneses of Baltimore and nephew Michael and Lauren Satyshur of Baltimore and brother, Rob and Sandi Robertson of Florida.

Funeral services will be held on Thursday April 5, 2018 at 10:30am at St. Ambrose Church: 3901 Woodburn Rd, Annandale, VA 22003. Inurnment at Arlington Cemetery will occur at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Brain Tumor Association (www.abta.org).

Please add your own thoughts, prayers, memories, appreciations, and stories about how Nancy touched your own lives.

Remembering Nancy

  • Thursday, April 19, 2018 10:25 AM
    Reply # 6110662 on 6016154
    Rob Williams

    Nancy inspired me. I came to know her as a dedicated, empathic, and very giving colleague who could be counted on to listen thoughtfully, be authentically present, freely share her experiences, and offer genuine support. Sharing the space with her for 9 years in a weekly supervision group, I participated in her journey as a group therapist, learning much about her and about myself in the process.

    Nancy invested at least 3+ hours of her precious time every week commuting to/from and grouping with us. As we all shared our many challenges and confusions in our work with our groups and clients, I heard a lifetimes’s worth of experiences from Nancy, freely and generously shared with us. As we wove our experiences together through sharing in the group, we often found some clarity to see our way through difficult challenges together.

    Nancy had been participating in and leading therapy groups for decades. She had an incredible memory for details and tracked the changes and growth in her groups fastidiously over the years. Her deep emotional connection and knowledge of her clients and her own experiences impressed upon me the immense responsibility that we as therapists have in working with our clients over long periods of time.

    I wasn’t ready to say goodbye when Nancy had to go. In the wake of her loss, though, she is teaching me still, that loving someone not only means cherishing your time with them but also means helping them say goodbye when they need to.

    Losing Nancy reminded me of an old Irish prayer - 

    What moves through us is a silence, a quiet sadness, a longing for one more day, one more word, one more touch, we may not understand why you left this earth so soon, or why you left before we were ready to say good-bye, but little by little, we begin to remember not just that you died, but that you lived. And that your life gave us memories too beautiful to forget.



  • Friday, April 06, 2018 11:13 PM
    Reply # 6051477 on 6016154

    I am surprised and saddened on hearing of Nancy Harrington's death.  I didn't know her well personally, didn't know of her battle with cancer, and couldn't believe it...she was so positive and energetic.  What a powerhouse she was...and what a bright light for GWSCSW!  She will be greatly missed.


  • Thursday, April 05, 2018 3:37 PM
    Reply # 6030916 on 6016154

    What a terrible loss to family, friends and colleagues. Nancy was not only the president of the clinical society, she was foremost a person interested in everything and everyone, and her energy and sense of humor were contagious and made working with her so personal and such fun. She would bring gifts and flowers and pretty folders to meetings, always indicating her appreciation for everyone else. And she made our society so much better with her sense of vision and real focus on the individual as well as the group. Nancy will be missed a great deal by all of us.

  • Thursday, April 05, 2018 8:06 AM
    Reply # 6017630 on 6016154
    Chris Paranicas

    In addition to her many gifts, Nancy had a great sense of humor.  I was very sorry and sad to hear this news.  I will miss her.

  • Wednesday, April 04, 2018 4:15 PM
    Reply # 6016589 on 6016154
    Steve Szopa

    I had the privilege of being Vice President when Nancy was President.  We worked together closely and became friends.  She was an optimistic high-energy person who embraced Society work and and life with zest. She had a big spirit and was generous and nurturing.  I am heartbroken that she is gone but happy to have so many good memories of her to treasure.

  • Wednesday, April 04, 2018 3:43 PM
    Reply # 6016553 on 6016154
    Phyllis Kaye

    Nancy and I started our careers together at the Women’s Center. She was a wonderful clinician and colleague. Although we saw it each only a few times over the years at clinical courses, she always remembered me, which truly amazed me. I know her family misses her dearly. 

  • Wednesday, April 04, 2018 3:43 PM
    Reply # 6016551 on 6016154

    Nancy always seemed interested in what people had to say. I appreciated her enthusiasm, interest, encouragement, which came through so clearly in the short time I knew her. What a loss for all.

  • Wednesday, April 04, 2018 1:31 PM
    Reply # 6016227 on 6016154
    Michael Giordano

    I knew Nancy while serving on the society board. I remember her as someone with a big heart and an amazing sense of humor. She seemed to enjoy life and being human, with all of the challenges and joys. I’ll miss her. 

  • Wednesday, April 04, 2018 12:49 PM
    Reply # 6016173 on 6016154
    Kate Rossier

    I got to know Nancy through our shared membership in the Greater Washington Society of Clinical Social Workers. She became president immediately after me and totally wowed us all with her wonderfully positive energy, boundless enthusiasm, terrific sense of fun, infectious laugh, and powerful skills at organization - from which we all benefited. As we worked together, she also became a friend and I will miss her so much! My heart goes out to all of her beloved family.

  • Wednesday, April 04, 2018 12:44 PM
    Message # 6016154
    GWSCSW Office (Administrator)
    With sadness and gratitude for all that Nancy contributed to each of our lives and the life of this clinical society,
    Last modified: Wednesday, April 04, 2018 12:47 PM | GWSCSW Office (Administrator)
PO Box 711, Garrisonville, VA 22463 | (202) 770-5693 | admin@gwscsw.org
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