Captain RICHARD LARSON, USN (Ret.)  

Passed away in his sleep of natural causes on November 25, 2012 in Great Falls, Virginia. He was 91 years old.
Born in Waltham MA and graduating from Waltham HS, he entered the Navy as a Naval Aviation Cadet. Earning his wings, he flew in the Pacific theater as a fighter pilot and as a Patrol Plane Commander in VPB-149, earning a Distinguished Flying Cross and numerous Air Medals. From 1946-1948, he studied at Harvard University. This was followed by tours in VP-8, as a flight instructor at NAS Corpus Christi, and subsequent duties at NAS Kodiak AK, Navy Line School and as Navigator aboard USS Jupiter, (AVS-8) in Japan. Following a tour at Bureau of Aeronautical Maintenance and Repair in Norfolk, he served as Executive Officer, Attack Mining Squadron 10, then as Commanding Officer where he led the squadron through a mission and designation change as Patrol Squadron 17. This was followed by tours as Aide and Flag Secretary for Commander, ASW Forces, Pacific, and Associate Director (Plans and Programming) at Office of the Navy Comptroller. From 1966-1969, Captain Larson served as Naval Attaché, Defense Attaché's Office, Stockholm, Sweden. He then served as Director of Administration, NavAirSysCom, until his disability retirement in 1973. During this time, he also earned an MBA from the University of Maryland. Following retirement from the Navy, he worked with the Joint Cruise Missile and the Joint Hand-Launched UAV Systems projects until full retirement in 1993.
The love of his life, the former Elizabeth E. Stevens of Waltham, MA, predeceased him in 1995, shortly before their 50th wedding anniversary. He leaves his beloved family, sons Robin and Roy, daughters Dee Dee and Betsy along with 11 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Predeceased by brothers Dwight and Robert and survived by a sister Astrid LaForest and brothers Albert and Cameron. Memorial services will be held on March 1, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the Memorial Chapel at Fort Myer, Arlington, VA, followed by interment at Arlington National Cemetery alongside his wife. In lieu of flowers donations are suggested to the ALS Association or to Capital Caring Hospice of West Fairfax, VA.

Published in The Washington Post on Feb. 26, 2013