John was born on Aug. 24, 1940 in Baltimore to Evelyn and Lt Col John S Garrett. As a military family, they moved often and the family finally settled in Tampa, Florida, in 1955. He graduated from Henry B Plant High School and attended the University of Florida and the University of Tampa before enlisting in the US Navy as a NAVCAD. He received his Commission as an Ensign and his Navy Wings of Gold in May of 1963.
John reported in June 1963 to Helicopter Squadron 10 at NAS Ream Field Imperial Beach, CA. He proceeded on to HS 8 and began flying the SH3A helicopter. After completing two combat tours in Vietnam he left the Navy in 1966 to start his airline career. He flew for Continental Airlines for 17 yrs, but left in October of 1983 during labor strife and bankruptcy. He joined USAirways in 1984 and retired as a Captain in 2000. He began retirement with plans to play golf, tend his prize winning roses and travel with Bonnie, his wife and best friend.
He was an active member of Coronado Rotary, planning the Pancake Breakfast for many years and could also be found every Wednesday in the alley for Beer Club. He was a Docent on the USS Midway for 14 years and was a devoted and loving PopPop to Drew and Abby. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2003 and fought the disease valiantly until his passing.
He is survived by his wife Bonnie, of Hilldale, New York; a daughter, Ashley (Brian) Fitting of Petaluma, California; two grandchildren Andrew and Abigail Fitting; a sister Pamela (Jack) Forshey of Raleigh, North Carolina; and nieces Samantha (Len) and Heather. In lieu of flowers please consider donations to the Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, or the USS Midway.