John Putt Interview with Marcia Walsh August 29, 2018
Q: Where did you grow up?

I was born in Littleton but mostly grew up in Evergreen. I am the oldest of seven siblings. We grew up Catholic and were more wild than disciplined. My father was a mechanical engineer from   Chicago who ran his own business selling industrial pumps and fans. My mother was a social worker in Denver before we moved up the hill but switched gears and opened an arts and craft store in Evergreen followed by a retail clothing store called the B Bar K. Eventually, she sold both of those stores and opened up a thriving store in Keystone selling ski gloves and goggles. That store was so small that the inventory was kept in a nearby townhome.
Only 2 of my siblings finished college; the rest of us inherited our parents’ entrepreneurial spirit. My mother died last year. My father now lives in Golden. I find Evergreen to be the perfect location to live. One of my sisters also remained in Evergreen.
Q: Did you play sports?
I wrestled for one year in high school and grew up skiing. I was active in Boy Scouts until I was 11, at which time I discovered my true passion which was working with the Alpine Rescue Team. They taught us all about mountaineering and winter survival skills. The training was rather rigorous and we met twice a week. That consumed me throughout school and even the year after graduation.
Q: Tell us about your education.
I attended college for one year in Duluth, Minnesota but found it much too cold! I returned to Denver and did my paramedic training with St. Anthony’s and Lutheran Medical Center. I’ve been a paramedic for 35 years and was a firefighter for about half of my career.
Q: Tell me about your work experiences.
I worked for 20 years at Denver General Paramedic Division as street paramedic.. In 1997 I took a job with the San Francisco Fire Department as a Paramedic Firefighter and, a Rescue Captain but my wife did not want to move so I commuted for 7 years! I returned to Colorado in 2003. Additionally, we realized that we needed more funds while our boys were in high school and college, so I started working with my wife in the real estate business. We now own our own real estate office in Bergen which we opened last year and are both brokers. In 2010, I headed up a project funded by the Colorado Department of Public Health to teach the fundamentals of  emergency incident management around mass casualties such as school shootings. My focus was on designing planning and training compartments to bring control and manage the chaos which occurs in such situations.
Q: Tell us about your family
My wife, Yvette, is a smart, beautiful woman. Her grandfather was a World War I fighter pilot in Paris. Her uncle barely escaped a school massacre conducted by German soldiers in Paris and her father fought at the Battle of the Bulge. Yvette’s mother was able to leave Paris and live with a family friends in Atlanta. Yvette’s mother and father met at the medical school of Emory University, where her father was attending Dentistry School and her mother was enrolled in a medical technician course.  Her dad became a dentist in North Carolina. After Yvette attended college back east, she and a girlfriend decided to attend the University of Denver for their senior year. She did her student teaching in Bailey and fell in love with the area. We were married in 1986 at the Lutheran Church of the Cross. Our older son, JT, is the baseball coach at Colorado Academy and also runs a baseball training center. Our younger son, Davis, is married and lives in Wheatridge and has a son himself.
Q: Define yourself as a pair of shoes
Hiking boots
Q: What led you to Rotary?
Now that I am in Evergreen fulltime, I wanted to be more involved with many of the great volunteer organizations located here. My primary interest is in projects focused in the community and I hope my skills in building teams and working collaboratively will be helpful in expanding our club’s community service.
Q: What words of wisdom do you have?
Find ways to connect with each other (such as through Rotary) because we can accomplish more as a community. Many in the Evergreen community do not know each other and their neighbors anymore.