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.