James Harris Latham

James Harris Latham, 87, passed on from this life on Saturday, June 25, 2022 at his home in Durant, Okla. Born to Harris Austin (Buster) Latham and Pauline Latham, his life began on August 2, 1934 in Gainesville, Texas.

James graduated from Gainesville High School in 1952 and shortly after attended Abilene Christian University and North Texas State College. It was here that he met his loving wife, Martha Ann Myers, who he married on December 22, 1957. Following his graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and was deployed to the Armored Infantry division in Germany, where he eventually gained the rank of acting Sergeant. James and Ann lived in and traversed across Europe for a year, where they made some of their most cherished memories. Following their return in 1959, the two established roots in the small town of Durant, Oklahoma so that James could begin his teaching career in industrial arts at Southeastern State College.

In the years to follow, James spent much time raising his three children (born in 1959, 1963, and 1966), serving in his church, continuing his own education, and teaching the next generation through a variety of courses. Some of his many roles at the Durant (7th and Beech) Church of Christ included Deacon of Facilities, and advisor to many community outreach, development, and construction projects. He continually exemplified a steadfast work ethic, strict attention to detail, and an unwavering commitment to his faith, all qualities that ensured the thorough execution of his responsibilities over many decades, with total time as a member reaching nearly 65 years.

Following retirement, James occupied his time working to continually achieve his goal of a perfectly manicured yard in many properties, as an advisor to many projects relating to his vast expertise in industrial technology, and spending time with his family, where he continued to enjoy telling jokes, stories, and serving as a patriarch.

He is preceded in death by his parents; wife of 63 years, Martha Ann Latham and son, James Jeffrey “Jeff” Latham.

James is survived two daughters: Lori Lynn Latham and Dana Kay Latham Phillips and husband Perry Phillips, both of Durant; granddaughters: Loryn Wesley Pierce of Dallas, Texas, and Lindsay Christian of Ada, Okla.; three grandsons: Nathan Paul Pierce and wife Cici of Plano, Texas, Justin Garrett Latham and longtime girlfriend Tristan Sanders of Ada, Okla., Aaron Reis Salazar Latham and longtime girlfriend Alexandria Cubley of Norman, Oklaa; great-granddaughter, Aria Lynn Yates, and great grandsons, George Ashton Pierce and Adrian Darryl Wesley Pierce both of Plano, Texas; sister, Nonnie Lee and husband Jack D. Young of Lakewood, Colo.; and brothers-in-law, Thomas V. Gillen of Grand Prairie, Texas and Col. Gene Oliver Myers of Shreveport, La.; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, neighbors, and friends.

James leaves behind a legacy that demonstrates the countless hours he dedicated to advancing the missions and relationships close to his heart. He will be remembered as a servant to his community, a teacher of many, and an often silent leader that lived a virtuous and generous life.

The family would like to thank their neighbors, friends, and church family for the loving respect and care they dedicated to James over the years. A special thanks is also extended to Guardian Hospice of Oklahoma for their assistance in closing the curtain on a remarkable life with dignity and comfort.

Memorial services were held on Saturday, July 2, 2022 at 2pm at Brown’s Funeral Home in Durant, Oklahoma with Minister Layne Heitz officiating and Bro. Skip Robinson assisting.

Arrangements under the direction of Brown’s Funeral Home.

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