John T. Larimer
John T. Larimer
John T. Larimer was the youngest of five children. He was smart, funny and sarcastically witty. He was a whiz at trivia games and was often handicapped to give the rest of us a chance. John did well academically in school and college graduating with honors and a dual major of history and political science.
Maybe it was because of having four older siblings, but John always got along well with older kids in elementary school. His second-grade teacher said that he would crack a joke in class and the other students wouldn't get it but she would have trouble maintaining her composure. He seemed to become more comfortable with his peers in high school and was on the academic team and in drama.
When John was in his mid-twenties, he started talking about joining the Navy. With John you were never quite sure when he was joking so we didn't take him too seriously at first. The Navy wouldn't take him as an officer because they didn't need officers with his college degrees. At 26, John enlisted. He followed his brother, father, grandfather and great-grandfather into service and became the fourth generation in the Navy. John did well and was put into the cyber fleet at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colorado. He couldn't tell us what he was doing because it was military intelligence and classified. During his short time at Buckley he became a mentor both on and off the job to the other military members. He was doing so well that his command was pushing him to go to Officer Candidate School to become an officer. After his death a mentoring award was named in his honor.
As a parent, one of the joys of having adult children is when they are not only siblings, but friends. John was good friends with his brother and sisters and their spouses. He was also a good friend to many others.
There were many acts of heroism in the theater that night. John is credited with protecting the girl he brought with to the movie and with pulling a Navy friend down behind the seats when the shooting started. John died as he lived, by helping his friends and putting others first.