Mr. Vann Latham

Published 12:55 pm Saturday, April 4, 2009

By Staff
Mr. Harry “Vann” Latham, Jr., age 88, died on Thursday, April 2, 2009, having lived a long, well and productive life. He was a poet, author and a philosopher.
Vann was born in Haslin (3.8 miles east of Belhaven) on February 6, 1921, oldest of four children of Harry Vann Latham and Sarah Matilda Respess Latham and grandson of Fred P. and Eva Latham and John B. and Alice Latham Respess. Vann graduated from John A. Wilkinson High School in 1938, N.C. State College with a B.S. degree in Mechanical engineering in 1942, and from East Carolina University with a Master’s degree in Psychology in 1968.
Vann and Hester Mae Rose were married on December 7, 1946 (Pearl Harbor Day). Hester preceded him in death, February 2004. They had two children, Val (Harry Vann Latham III) who preceded him in death in December 1995 and Cynthia and her husband, Steve Wilson, who survives and lives in Greenville.
Vann entered military service in the summer of 1942 and was assigned to the U.S. Army Air Corps, with initial duty at Sioux City, Iowa. After a few months in the states, he was shipped to Hawaii with the 372 Bomb Squadron, assigned duty as an engineer officer, responsible for ground support for B24 aircraft. After a short stay in Hawaii, the squadron, now a part of the 307th Bomb Group, shipped to the South Pacific at New Hebrides in the Vanuatu Islands. After serving with the group at the Vanuatu Island bases in the theater, Vann was discharged in the spring of 1946 with rank of Major.
He returned to Belhaven after the service and joined with father Harry and brother Charles in a family farm supply and equipment business. He later established and operated a ready mixed concrete business that supplied materials in Belhaven and in other eastern N.C. locations. When this operation was terminated, he returned to manage the family enterprise after Harry passed away in 1961.
Vann attended ECU and then stayed to teach math at John A. Wilkinson High School from 1963 to 1967. Then, the family moved to Greenville where Van attended graduate school and joined the faculty at ECU, teaching math and psychology. In 1974, he joined the math faculty at E.B. Aycock Junior High School and retired from there in 1986. Since then, he was involved in various activities such as writing a book, writing poetry and mentoring others.
He passed on appreciating the opportunity given to associate with Hester Mae, Val and Cyndy and all who provided a profound element to his life.
Vann is survived by his daughter, Cynthia “Cyndy” Wilson and her husband, Steve of Greenville; a brother, Charles F. Latham and his wife, Ann, of Belhaven and a sister, Ann Latham of Washington Park.
In addition to his parents, his wife and his son, Vann is preceded in death by a sister, Jane Latham Dilday.
A memorial service will be held 1:30 p.m. Sunday, April 5, 2009 at the Chapel of Paul Funeral Home in Belhaven. Entombment will follow in Belhaven Community Cemetery Mausoleum. Following the entombment, the family will receive friends at the First Christian Church in Belhaven.
A celebration of Vann Latham’s life will be held at the home of Dr. and Mrs. William Cox, 102 Long Meadow Road, Brookgreen, Greenville at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, April 5, 2009.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may made to the “Val Latham Memorial Fund” for perpetual flowers for the chapel at Pungo District Hospital, c/o Paul Funeral Home, P.O. Box 6, Belhaven, N.C. 27810.
You may sign Mr. Latham’s guestbook by visiting
Paul Funeral Home of Belhaven is serving the Latham family.