Capt. John “Jack” Larison, Jr USN (Ret.), was called to Heaven on Sunday, Jan. 10, 2021, while in his home in Coronado surrounded by his wife Joan of 63 years, and their two daughters Jill and Jadon.
Jack was born on May 7,1933 in Oakhurst, New Jersey. His family moved to Miami, Florida when Jack was a teen. In High School, Jack was a member of the theater club where he most likely developed his passion for humor and ability to command a room. Jack was awarded a scholarship to the University of Miami and spent the next four years developing life long friendships.
Jack “jiggdogg” was commissioned an Ensign and designated a Naval Aviator after completing the NAVCAD program, receiving his Wings of Gold in March 1956. While stationed in Long Beach, California, Jack met the love of his life, Joan Cadwell. After a short courtship, Jack invited Jo to visit him in Oahu, Hawaii, during one of his many deployments. Deciding that there was no better place on earth to wed, Jack and Jo eloped on March 12, 1957. From 1958 to 1967 Jack completed General Line School and served in many Officer positions.
After completing E2A transition training at NAS North Island, Jack helped bring the HAWKEYE east to VAW-12 at NAS Norfolk. He became a plank owner (an original squadron member) of VAW-123 when the squadron was commissioned in April 1967 as a member of Detachment 59. Jack went on to lead four commands: VAW-123 Screwtops from ‘70-‘72 (an E-2 Hawkeye operational squadron), RVAW-120 Greyhawks from ‘74-‘75 (a fleet Pilot and Naval Flight Officer training squadron composed of E-2 & C-2 aircraft), Commodore Carrier AEW Wing from ‘80-‘82 (Commander Carrier Airborne Early Warning Wing Twelve consisting of multiple east coast E-2 squadrons & the east coast C-2 squadron) and finally CO Naval Air Station, Norfolk. Jack’s leadership and mentorship shaped a generation of Naval Officers, where the E-2/C-2 communities were particularly fortunate to have been led by such a wonderful man.
Returning to Coronado after retirement, Jack continued to bring out the best of society by reading to preschoolers, delivering Meals on Wheels, remaining an active lifetime member and Past President of the Coronado Optimist Club and a member of St Paul’s United Methodist Church.
Jack is survived by his wife Joan, and daughters, Jill Larison of Clear Lake Shores, Texas, and Jadon (Mitch) Calayo of Virginia Beach, Virginia. Jack “Poppy” had a great love for all of his grandchildren: James, Justin, Matthew and Michael and great grandchildren: Caleb and Arianna. He was predeceased by his son Jeffery Dean Larison, his father John Larison and step-mother Margarite Larison, his mother, Ruth Wooley and step-father Parker Wooley, his biological mother Leta Anderson and sister Geraldine Anderson.
Jack will be missed by everyone who had the pleasure of knowing him, as he possessed an innate ability to elevate any community or organization he dedicated his time towards. From his Naval brothers and sisters: Fair Winds and Following Seas. From his family and friends: we love and miss you, and will always carry you in our hearts.