John A. Granlund, 57, of Westminster, MD, died at home on November 6, 2019, five months after being diagnosed with cancer.
Born on August 26, 1962 in Smyrna, Tennessee, John was the son of Lidia (nee Vanzetto) and Donald Granlund. He completed his elementary education near Verona, Italy. After the death of his mother, he graduated from high school while in the care of relatives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
John enlisted in the United States Navy in 1982. After training as a foreign language analyst, he advanced to Chief Petty Officer and eventually was commissioned as a Chief Warrant Officer. During his 21 years of enlisted and commissioned service, he served at duty stations in Maryland, Texas, Georgia, the United Kingdom, Greece, Italy and Spain. He deployed frequently throughout the US Sixth Fleet area of operations as a crewmember on carrier-based EA-3B Skywarrior and shore-based EP-3 Aries aircraft.
John also completed a bachelor’s degree through after hours education with the State University of New York. In the years since leaving active duty, he continued to support the worldwide expeditionary operations of the U.S. armed forces as a project manager for multiple Department of Defense contractors. In all of these efforts, he was patient trainer, a mentor and a valued shipmate. Known for his compassion, kindness, and honor, he was a beloved friend to many.
John was a gifted guitarist. His play was influenced by a wide variety of styles, from Piedmont blues to Spanish and Italian classical masters. He was an enthusiastic bicyclist, skier, snowboarder and skateboarder. John was a true polyglot, equally comfortable with English, Italian, Spanish, Greek and Hebrew.
John is survived by his beloved wife of 23 years, Barbara, their son, Edward and other relatives in Italy, Spain and the United States.
A non-denominational celebration of John’s life will be held at the Baker Memorial Chapel (“Big Baker”) at McDaniel College, Westminster on Monday, December 16, 2019 from 1 to 3 p.m. John will be cremated and later inurned at Arlington National Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hero Dogs (www.hero-dogs.org) or to Hungry for Music (www.hungryformusic.org).
To send flowers to John's family, please visit our floral section.