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Mary Latham

Mary Irene Latham

March 11th, 1942 - April 24th, 2022

Mary's Obituary

Mary Irene Latham, 80, Decatur, passed away peacefully on Sunday, April 24, 2022 at Rose Arbor Hospice in Kalamazoo. She was born March 11, 1942 in McCutchenville, OH to George and Oleta (Dible) Burks. Mary married Leslie Owen Latham of Decatur on August 6, 1960.

The family will receive guests from 5-7pm, Thursday, April 28, 2022 at Newell Chapel, 83313 M-51, Decatur. Visitation will resume from 10am until time of celebration of life service at 11am, Friday, April 29, 2022 at the funeral home. Burial to follow at Harrison Cemetery, Decatur. Memorial contributions may be given to the Decatur Band’s Uniform Fund. Those wishing to leave an online condolence for the family may do so at www.newellchapel.com.

Mary drove bus for Decatur Public Schools for 27 years before her retirement, in that time
Les and Mary raised their six children in Decatur and were heavily involved in many school activities. Who could forget her enthusiastic cheers at Raider athletic events including her famous rocks in a milk jug and loud chant of, “Here we go Raiders, here we go!” She was big supporter of the Decatur Advanced Biology trips to North Carolina driving the bus for them. She even accompanied the first out of country trip to Costa Rica, overcoming her fear of flying. Raising their family led Mary and Les to the joy of becoming the biggest fans of whatever their grandchildren wanted to do, be it sports, art, band, or theater, it made no difference.

Mary was a crafty creative conveyor of her feelings making many handmade gifts that often times came with a fitting poem, or stories. She was a master seamstress who made many dresses, outfits, and costumes for her family and friends. She altered the Decatur Band uniforms for many years even making some mini uniforms for her grandchildren so they could feel like part of the band. Ultimately, that was Mary’s greatest talent, using her gifts to make those around her feel special, like they belonged and they were part of the family. Her cheers, smiles, noise makers, and presence will be greatly missed.

Mary is survived by her children, Susan (Gerald) Perry, Cindy (Bruce) Krall, Leslie (Jill) Latham, Jr., Sarah (Roy) Havner, Floy (Kim Ford) Latham, and Gary (Janelle) Latham; her grandchildren, Synthia, Philip, Denisa, Bruce, Jr., Ashley, Dustin, Brook, Allen, Ben, Hannah, Joshua, Kaitlyn, Jeremy, Aryn, Jacob, Sallie, Tariel, LaNia, Isaac, Meghan, Mollie, Makala, and Gary, Jr.; her great grandchildren, Elly, Chaseten, Michael, Nicholas, and Leona; eight siblings; and many nieces, nephews and extended family.

She is preceded in death by her loving husband of 45 years Leslie Latham. Her grandchildren, Zachary and Elissa; three siblings; and her parents.

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