James Michael Larkin, 73, passed away peacefully on April 18, 2020 while residing at Ledgewood nursing home in Beverly.
Known to those closest to him as Mike, he was a beloved father, husband, and friend. Born and raised in Junction City, Kansas, Mike was a pioneer in the restaurant industry and managed and owned several successful restaurants including the Border Café of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Mike was most recognized by his cowboy can-do attitude, endless generosity, and larger than life personality.
Raised in Kansas by his parents Ola Carmen Carlile and James “Syl” alongside his sister Jayme Tomlin, Mike spent his youth working on the farm, playing basketball and collecting a variety of cars.
Beginning his restaurant career in Ohio as a young adult, his work took him to several states before bringing him to Massachusetts where he operated Chi-Chi’s Mexican Restaurants and made a permanent home.
His pride and love for his Kansas Jayhawks basketball, Red Sox baseball and patriotism were of intrinsic value to him. He was active as a Director of both the Massachusetts and National Restaurant Association.
A life altering stroke in 2011 left him physically compromised, yet his mental strength and kindness towards all prevailed. His love for country music, cigars, deep visits with family, and flair for life never wavered. An avid golfer, party planner, and creator, Mike always celebrated the best of life. His faith in God and in the goodness of others shined in his brilliant and beaming smile.
He is survived by his wife Teresa Ruka Larkin of 37 years from Dorchester Massachusetts and his three children: Amanda, her husband Daniel Face, Bonnie and Connor Larkin. He was the loving brother of Jayme Tomlin and her husband Mike and the proud uncle of Shari-Jo, T.J., Brad, Brian, Sarah, Rachel, Valerie, Susan, Mary, Paul, Margaret, Jeremy, Christopher and Michael as well as several great nieces and nephews. Mike’s presence extended into the lives of many others including his church community of Trinity Evangelical Church, his network of restaurant employees and his family and friends across the country.
ARRANGEMENTS: All services are private. Assisting the family with the arrangements is the Peterson-O’Donnell Funeral Home, 167 Maple St., (rte. 62) Danvers. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his honor to https://www.restaurantstrong.org/donations/massachusetts/ or to the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (rerf.us). To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit www.odonnellfuneralservice.com.