On Sunday, Senator John McCain will be laid to rest in a private memorial service in Annapolis, Maryland. He will rest alongside one of his best friends and classmates, Adm. Chuck Larson.
McCain and Larson graduated together from the Naval Academy in 1958. Larson graduated towards the top of his class, while McCain graduated fifth from the bottom. After graduating, they earned their wings together at the Naval Air Station Pensacola, CNN reports. According to Larson’s obituary, the pair was roommates for two years while attending flight school. They were even dubbed the “odd couple” by classmates at school, according to USA Today.
Charles Larson was born on November 20, 1936, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. He was raised mostly in Nebraska. He moved to Annapolis after making the decision to become a part of the US Naval Academy graduating class of 1958. Larson worked his way up in the ranks, and eventually became a four-star admiral of the US Navy. He died on July 26, 2014, after suffering from leukemia for two years. Upon his death, Senator McCain’s office notified the public that he would be buried next to his friend one day.
In an interview with CNN last week, Sarah Larson, Chuck’s wife, discussed the day twenty years ago when she learned her husband would rest next to McCain. “Chuck came home one day and he said, ‘I picked out my grave,’ and I went ‘Oh, OK.’ And when you do that kind of thing 20 some years ago, you don’t think that’s ever going to happen, so I just said, ‘That’s fine, good,’ and he said, ‘By the way, John is going to be next to me,'” Sarah Larson recalled. She continued, “That was 20 some years ago, and then all of a sudden, it hit that oh my goodness, they will be next to each other.”
Larson was married to Chuck for 52 years before his death.
Speaking about the similarities between the two men, Erica Larson, one of Sarah and Chuck’s three daughters, tells CNN, “They really were thoughtful and principled leaders. At the same time, they also both knew how to have a lot of fun and had a great sense of humor. It is no surprise to me that they would end up best friends.”
Kristen Larson-Datko, another of their daughters, said that both her father and John McCain possessed “integrity, dedication to service, love their country, honor, every good quality you can think of.”
Sunday’s private funeral services will take place at the Naval Academy in Annapolis. McCain’s mother, Roberta McCain, 106, is expected to attend.