Mary Lou, 56, passed from this life on Sunday, September 5 at home in Dallas after a long struggle with COPD. She leaves behind her husband, Gregory Ross, of Santa Fe, New Mexico; niece, Emily Eikenburg and partner April Miller of Dallas; sister Constance Harrington Coolik of Plano and aunt Mary Alice Phillips of Dallas. She was preceded in death by her mother, Kitty Mattison Harrington, father Conner Harrington, mayor of Plano at his death in 1970; and, cousin Laurel Sage Harrington Morris. She was the grand daughter of the late Gladys Bishop Haggard Harrington of Plano.
She also leaves first cousins Cynthia Harrington (Dan) and Laurel Hunter Harrington Morris of Blue Ridge, Fred Joseph Harrington of Plano, Dr. Jim Blalock (Debbie) of Oklahoma City, Dr. Bob Blalock (Claudia) of Dallas, and a host of dear and lifelong friends.
Mary Lou was a sixth generation resident of Plano, Texas and was witness to and a significant part of its history. She was an active in government and civic affairs, having been on the board of directors of the Crisis Center of Collin County, Live From Plano, Plano Junior League and various other groups and organizations. She was a member of the Ladies Polo Auxiliary of Texas.
Mary Lou was instrumental in recruiting J.C. Penney’s to move its headquarters from New York City to Plano. “Ya’ll come, and bring your momma and papa and cousins too” was the cry. Penney’s move was much talked about in the New York press and Mary Lou and a group of Plano supporters descended upon the city, making public appearances and sparring with radio disc jockeys, selling New Yorkers on Plano Texas.
That Boz Scaggs, of Plano, babysat her portended the rock and roll life that Mary Lou would have. She was married to Steve Miller’s personal assistant, traveled with the Steve Miller Band for years and personally knew many musicians of the 70’s and 80’s. Steve McCarty, who co-wrote Fly Like an Eagle and Wild Mountain Honey will perform at her Santa Fe Celebration of Life.
Mary Lou retired from real estate development to Santa Fe, New Mexico where she and her attorney husband Gregory were active in the artistic, equestrian and legal communities. She was equally at ease in the boardroom and the kitchen. She was renowned for her hospitality and was every inch the consummate Texas lady – strong yet graceful, loving and welcoming. Her annual Governor’s Cup polo party
and New Years Day black eyed pea brunches were not to be missed. She would prepare for weeks for hunt breakfasts in the field for the Juan Tomas Hounds. Mary Lou exuded love, caring and kindness.
A celebration of her life will be held in Santa Fe on September 19. A memorial will be held at the First Christian Church of Plano on October 2, 2010 at 10:30 a.m. Her ashes will be interred in Plano Mutual Cemetery.