The community is mourning the loss of local doctor, John K. Larkin, 57, who passed away unexpectedly before Christmas in his Covington home.
Larkin worked as a primary care physician in the medical offices adjacent to Baptist Tipton since 2005. He had a large and thriving practice that treated thousands of patients in the Tipton County area. His unfortunate death has left a hole in the local medical community and his patients are now searching for a new physician.
“There was no one like John, said his brother, Joseph Larkin, on a phone call from his home in California. “My family is still in shock and we are working with lawyers and hospital administrators to sort out my brother’s practice and to transfer his patients’ medical records to their new physicians.”
Dr. Larkin was known to the community for his ability to speak to his patients like a friend.
“We had brief service for John in Millington and I was amazed at the outpouring of condolences and stories of how my bother touched the lives of his patients. Many of them had been patients of my brother for many years.”
He born in 1962, and grew up in Oakland, Calif. The oldest of three, he and Joseph also have a sister.
The family moved to Little Rock, Ark. when he was a teen and John attended the famed Little Rock Central High School. During his time in high school he developed a love of music, language, and foreign travel.
“My brother was wonderful at playing the piano. He studied and played all of the classic composers. His talent led him to study in Germany as a teen and he contemplated a career in music. He loved playing for large crowds of people and his talent was recognized in Little Rock. He would go to the governor’s mansion and play the piano at parties for the Clintons,” recalled Joseph.
John continued to travel and learn throughout his life. After graduating high school in 1980, he traveled Europe and settled into college on the east coast. Larkin attended Brandeis University and studied medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx before setting up a successful practice in Manhattan and teaching at New York University.
In 2005, Dr. Larkin was looking for a change of pace and decided to sell his New York practice and move on to his next adventure. He had his sights set on New Orleans but his plans were unfortunately derailed by the arrival of Hurricane Katrina.
He ended up settling in Covington and opened his primary care office in late 2005.
“He loved working in a small town, and his practice won several local and national awards.”
Dr. Larkin became a fixture in the local community. He would often lend his talents to visiting schools and would meet with small children during career fairs to tell them what it was like to be a doctor.
“He was beloved by people in Covington. They came to his service and told me about him driving them to appointments, making house calls, and meeting with people outside of office hours. Hearing about his impact on the community was very meaningful especially to our mother,” stated Joseph.
During the last days of his life Dr. Larkin had traveled to the island of Saint Croix to treat under-served communities and do medical outreach.
“He loved his life and he loved helping people. One of the last images I have of my brother is a video clip of him dancing at a Christmas party with his friends and other doctors. He didn’t know he was being filmed and looked so happy. He was doing his thing, living his life on his own terms and loving it. I want to think that’s how he went into the afterlife, joyfully dancing on his own.”
Patients of Dr. Larkin can call his office and make arrangement to pick up or transfer their medical records to their new primary care physician.
Dr. Joseph Freeman is accepting many of Larkin’s patients and is located in the same office building.
John is survived by his brother Joseph, his younger sister, and mother.