Wilmer E. Latta peacefully passed away at home Thursday, June 27, 2013, at the age of 90 surrounded by family. He put up a brave fight against bladder cancer for close to a year. Wil was born Dec. 26, 1922 in Burket, Ind., to Edwin R. and Rosa Anna (Clabaugh) Latta. He was a loving son, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and brother, and was very much loved.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister Betty L. Robison.
Wil attended high school in Warsaw, Ind. where he was very active in sports and graduated in 1941. After graduating, he proudly served his country in the United States Air Force on the Pacific Front during World War II from 1942- 1946, the Korean Conflict 1951-1953, and remained in the Air Force Reserves until 1972 attaining the rank of Major. He was also a member of the American Legion. He worked as a Kroger Manager in Muncie, Ind. and set up various stores for the company in different cities. It was at this time that he met the love of his life, June, and they married Jan. 10, 1951 in Muncie, Ind. They were blessed with 62 wonderfully happy years together.
Wil attended Ball State Teacher's College receiving his teacher's degree as well as attaining a Master's degree. He was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He taught math and coached various sports at McKinley Jr. High in Muncie, Ind. While there, he was honored for developing an Independent Study Program for math students. In 1973, he moved to Kerens with his family. His teaching career continued at Collins Middle School in Corsicana where he was the first to develop and integrate computers he purchased to teach math students. He remained at Collins for 10 years. Later Wil taught geography at Navarro College. He ran a leather and tack manufacturing business from 1953 to 2007. He also worked on his horse and cattle operations in Indiana and Texas with the help of his wife and children. Wil was hard-working, industrious, and artistic while loving to work with his hands. Many people loved to drop by his Western Store in Kerens not only to purchase merchandise, much of which he designed and made himself, but to hear him tell of his many lifelong experiences. He recently wrote an autobiography for his family to read and enjoy.
Surviving in addition to his wife are two sons, Brett and wife Barbara, Bart and wife Sharon, a daughter, Kim all of Kerens, three grandchildren, Megan (and spouse Chris) Posey of Kerens, Corporal Dylan Latta U.S. Army stationed in Alaska, and Julie (and spouse Brian) Werner of Bentonville, Ark., and four great-grandchildren: Alexis Latta, Colton Posey, Mason Werner, and Blake Werner. He has two sisters, Dolores M. Smith of Garden City, Mich., Phyllis J. Kirkendall of Warsaw, Ind., brother-in-law, Harley G. Robison of Oswego, Ind. and one sister-in-law, Joan Haggard of Losantville, Ind., a niece and several nephews, and special friend Bennie Emmons of Grand Prairie.
Pallbearers will be the Air Force Honor Guard. Honorary Pallbearers are Jim Bob Ivey of Kerens and Bennie Emmons.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to Cedar Lake Home Health and Hospice for their dedication and compassion while caring for our loved one, as well as all the prayers from friends, family, and community.
Visitation will be Monday, July 1, 2013 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Paschal Funeral Home in Kerens.
Military Graveside Services will be 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at the Kerens City Cemetery with Rev. Charles A. Reese officiating.
Arrangements by Paschal Funeral Home.
Memorials may be made to the following: Kerens Veterans Memorial Fund, c/o KESA, P.O. Box 5, Kerens, TX 75144.
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