J. Latta Jr.
Services for J.E. Latta, Jr. will be Wednesday, October 11, 2017 at 10:00 A.M. in the Wheeler Mortuary Chapel with Rev. Brad Morgan officiating. Burial will follow in the Portales Cemetery with grandsons Jeff Cole, Derrick Caudill, Luke Caudill, Cole Rowland, Weldon Smith and Cade Smith serving as pallbearers.
J.E. Latta, Jr. was born October 30, 1922 in Mobeetie, TX to the home of James & Helen Latta. He moved to Elida at the age of two where he lived until May of 1943 when he entered the military service during World War II. He passed peacefully in sleep Saturday, October 7, 2017.
J.E. is a decorated World War II veteran in the U. S. Army serving a tour in Italy with the 351st regiment as part of the 83rd infantry division for which he was awarded a purple heart as he was wounded twice on October 1, 1944. In addition to being the division’s first regiment to enter combat, the 351st was the first regiment to arrive overseas, first to arrive in Italy, first to earn a Distinguished Service Cross and first to receive a battlefield promotion. Mr. Latta was a lifetime member of the V.F.W. Post 9515.
Upon an honorable discharge from the U.S. Army due to his wounds, he returned home and married Pearl (Rogers) Latta on May 23, 1945. They were married for 61 years before her passing in 2006. Throughout his life he worked as a farmer and a truck driver. He loved the outdoors, animals and children. He always had a garden and numerous animals including dogs, cats, chickens, turkeys and horses to care for.
J.E. is survived by his daughters, Glenda (Dusty) Dudley of Clovis and Evelyn Shiplett of Portales; seven grandchildren April Smith, Sherri Caudill, Tonya Osborn, Tammy Williams, Kim LeClear, Jeff Cole & Stacey Rowland; 21 great-grandchildren and 5 great-great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his wife, Pearl; his daughter, Nelda Cole; an infant grandson, R.W. Shiplett; and two sons-in-laws, Jerry Bryant and Bobby Shiplett; his parents; his brothers Earl and Raymond Latta and his sisters, Bonnie Morton, Connie Pipkin & Alice Slack. The family would like to offer special thanks to the staff at the Retirement Ranch who took such loving care of him.