John Larock

John Larock

John Larock is an acclaimed musician whose work has had a lasting impact on the music industry. He’s produced many popular songs that have achieved global recognition.

His career had spanned many years. He amassed an impressive list of accomplishments and honors during this time, as well as a personal life filled with passion and joy.

Early Life and Education

On October 23, 1931, John Larock was born in Sugarloaf, Pennsylvania to John and Mary (Gieske) Larock. He married Shirley Hough from Sugarloaf as well, and is survived by his wife, three sons, and four grandchildren.

Over his career, he has championed FIRST Robotics to the community through hundreds of demos, presentations, events and more. As executive team leader and President of First State Robotics Inc. – a regional volunteer organization – he was recognized with numerous awards such as the Jefferson Award, Governor’s Volunteerism Award and FIRST Volunteer of the Year.

Hall ruled that LaRock’s letter sent to Hall in January violated the settlement reached during a court hearing. At that point, LaRock was set for classification as a Level 1 offender – keeping his criminal record private for two decades.

Professional Career

John is an exceptional educator with the patience to explain complex ideas clearly and captivatingly. He teaches all levels of engineering, with a specialization in controls and programming. John has served as both mentor to students and teachers involved with FIRST Lego League competitions, serving as leader for Bomb Squad team – students who designed and constructed their robot to compete at this year’s FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC).

LaRock still faces a sexual abuse trial in Warren County this spring, despite his professional successes. Judge John Hall last year issued him with a Level 2 sex offender designation which means his records will be open to the public instead of only law enforcement personnel.

Achievements and Honors

John Larock was an esteemed leader in his field and enjoyed a long career with the Air Force. Throughout his tenure with the service, he earned numerous awards and honors, including receiving the Defense Meritorious Service Medal with two oak leaf clusters.

He was a pioneer in using palladium catalysts in organic synthesis, especially carbocycle and heterocycle synthesis. Additionally, he discovered numerous novel rubber, adhesive, coating and elastomeric materials. Larock had an extensive teaching and research career at Iowa State University before being appointed a distinguished professor in 2007. Over his distinguished career Larock earned numerous prestigious awards such as the Arthur C. Cope Senior Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society and Paul Rylander Award of Organic Reactions Catalysis Society for his contributions to science.

Personal Life

John was a beloved family man, survived by his beloved wife Deborah Dowling; daughter Kaitlyn and John Latino of Derry, NH; and grandson Charles Harold Latino from Emerald City, MA. Aside from being an expert at many things, John had many interests and hobbies – his favorite pastime being fishing which he perfected through years of practice. He took great joy in watching his sons and their spouses catch fish too, while playing games and remembering by heart the good old days with many friends and colleagues alike. John will be fondly remembered by those close to him – both living or deceased – regardless of occupation!

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