Jim Bob Latham
10/3/1946 - 9/26/2021

Jim Bob Latham, 74, of Commerce passed away unexpectedly in the early morning of September 26, 2021.

Born in Greenville, TX, he was the son of the late Jimmie and Ibera (Redman) Latham. Jim lived in Commerce until the fifth grade when his family moved to Colorado City, TX.  He graduated from Colorado City High School in 1965 and went on to attend East Texas State University where he earned a BA in English with a Spanish minor in 1970. While in college, Jim met the love of his life, Janet Sandifer.  Jim and Janet were happily married for 52 years.

Jim was a natural born teacher and mentor.  Over his career, he gave selflessly of his time and wisdom to his students and those who worked for him on his farm and paint and body shop. He taught at Sam Houston High School in Arlington, South Grand Prairie High School, and Mesquite High School. Jim retired from Eastfield College where he taught auto body repair and welding for 30 years.  He earned numerous awards and honors including being named an Alumni Ambassador for the Texas A&M University-Commerce Department of Literature and Languages.  Many of his students and former employees have gone on to become successful tradesmen, doctors, ranchers, politicians, coaches, and business owners.

Once he retired from teaching Jim continued to be a positive force in his community.  He served as Hunt County Commissioner for Precinct 4 for 16 years.  Jim led and participated in numerous local community activities such as the Commerce Big Event and Bois díArc Bash. He was a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church of Commerce where he taught Sunday school for many years and was also a member and Past Master of the Commerce Lodge, No. 439, AF&AM.

Jim loved his family, friends, church, and community.  He was generous with his time and guiding hand to everyone he met through his natural acts of service.  He had the gift of storytelling and made everyone he met feel accepted and cared for.  He never met a stray dog or cat that he didnít want to take in and provide a home for.  Jim enjoyed travelling with his family, taking their airstream on camping adventures, playing golf, and smoking a mean brisket.

In addition to his wife Janet, Jim is survived by his two children whom he loved deeply and was proud of: Son Benjamin Jim, husband of Janine Latham of Plano; daughter Sarah Claire, wife of Bradly Staton, of Commerce; four Grandchildren (about whom he constantly bragged): Holly, Anastasia, Sam, and Henry; his beloved Front Porch Gang; and many other friends.  They will all miss him greatly. 

A visitation will be held at 10:00 am Thursday, September 30, 2021, at First United Methodist Church Commerce followed by the funeral service at 11:00 am. A private interment with Masonic ceremony will be afterward at Rosemound Cemetery in Commerce. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Jimís memory to First United Methodist Church Commerce or the Northeast Texas Childrenís Museum.




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