Spokes on a Wheel: John’s Mission


John Tarlton's family
John and his family at his parent's home
in downtown Palo Alto

John Tarlton is dedicated to RAAM – and not for one reason. While John is committed to the physical challenge and raising the awareness of RAAM, his goal is to also celebrate the courage of both his sister’s and mother’s fight with cancer, while supporting continued research into its cure at resources such as the Stanford Cancer Institute (SCI) and through his own development firm, Tarlton Properties, which together with its partner, Principal Real Estate Investors, owns and is expanding Menlo Business Park, a dense center of research and discovery with emphasis in biotechnology.


John moved to Los Altos from Southern California just after he was born in 1969. His mother, Marilyn Lortscher Tarlton, and father, Lorrin “Tig” Tarlton had met in the choir at Stanford where they graduated in 1958. Marilyn was in the first graduating class of the Stanford Teacher Education program with a Masters in Education and Tig earned a Masters in Petroleum Engineering.  Much later, he was also the president of Stanford Associates, the university’s fundraising arm.


Although he enjoyed a successful education through the University of California system (UCLA BS in Mechanical Engineering 1991; UC Berkeley MBA in 2001), John's personal and professional life has revolved around Stanford.


He grew up going to Stanford football games and selling popcorn to raise money for his Boy Scout troop, etc.  Cycling has been his passion since childhood, with his first job as a mechanic and salesperson in a bike shop in Los Altos.  Later early adult jobs were in construction: laborer, carpenter and apprentice electrician and plumber.


John Tarlton's family
Bottom row – son Jack, son Devon, John; middle row – daughter Cloe, wife Jenny; son Cooke on top

At this same time he was growing up, cancer touched the life of John and his family in a profound way.  Since then, he has been committed not only to its cure, but to its care. And Stanford excels in pursuing both.


John’s sister, Lorrie Tarlton DeLoach fought two enemies in a “mixed” brain cancer of the right frontal lobe called oligodendroglioma. All told, while under the care of her primary physician and oncologist at Stanford, Lorrie underwent three craniotomies, one emergency procedure in Denver and two more surgeries at UCLA, before she passed away in January of 2000, nine and one half years later and exceeding the “expected” maximum of three years’ survival.


In 2012, John’s mother Marilyn Lortscher Tarlton also succumbed to uterine cancer. She too had been treated at Stanford and Palo Alto Medical Foundation through which she experienced a five-year remission and left this world very pleased with the care she received at Stanford, feeling the hospital had prolonged her life significantly. 


John believes Stanford is on the leading edge of primary research in cancer and by supporting SCI, he hopes to spur more fundamental research and accelerate the race to stop cancer.


Most fortunately, in this pursuit to raise money through RAAM, John feels blessed to interpolate his life philosophy into his occupation through a thriving “center of excellence” in Menlo Business Park that allows him the opportunity to apply physical strength and endurance with the experience and skill in construction, engineering and business to make a tangible difference in the world – helping to bend the path of technological progress.


RAAM , for John, is at the cross-roads of his personal and professional lives – and offers to the opportunity to focus on solving intractable problem of eradicating cancer.  Through TARLTON PROPERTIES INC. and Menlo Business Park, he brings together the leading life science companies whose intellectual property often comes from Stanford, helping them commercialize their ideas and change the world. As a vegetarian ultra-athlete, he inspires people to live healthier, more active lives and to commit philanthropically to better our world through non-profits such as Stanford Cancer Institute.


Track John's progress by downloading TRACTALIS APP on iTunes or Google Play.