Winifred Latham

Published 1:36 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Winifred “Winnie” Latham, age 85 died on April 2, 2022, at the SECU Hospice House in Smithfield, N. C. She was born on July 30, 1936, in Beaufort County, daughter of the late Jesse Holiday Latham and Bessie Braddy Latham. She served 21 years as a nurse in the USAF, retiring as a Lt. Colonel in 1985. During her career, Colonel Latham was stationed throughout the US and overseas in the Philippines and Taiwan. While in the Air Force, she earned her Master’s Degree in Nursing from UCLA. In addition to this achievement, the USAF recognized her outstanding performance with the Meritorious Service Award three times.
After her retirement, the Washington Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy awarded her the Cross of Military Service. This award is presented to descendants of Confederate Veterans for their patriotic devotion. She was also instrumental in obtaining the approval of the NC Board of Nursing to reinstitute the Practical Nursing Program at Beaufort County Community College in 1991. She developed and taught the curriculum for the first year.
She also worked at Beaufort County Social Services, followed by employment with a local psychiatrist, specializing in assisting those with mental illness. She was beloved by her patients and was successful in keeping many of them from being hospitalized repeatedly.
Winifred was a lifelong member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and was the Diocesan President of the Episcopal Young Churchmen as a teenager. She sang in both the youth and adult choirs, served on the Vestry, and was an active member of the Episcopal Churchwomen.
Winifred moved to Garner in 2002 to be closer to her daughter and made lots of new friends through her involvement in the Red Hat Society, Bunco group, and several Bridge clubs. And thanks to the genealogical work of her brother, she was inducted into the General Society of Mayflower Descendants.
In 2013 she wrote and published her autobiography, “Webbed Toes,” which documented her childhood growing up in Washington, NC, her decision to place her daughter for adoption, her successful military career, and her reunion with her daughter as an adult. She and Barbara both felt very blessed to share a large part of their lives together, and they are grateful to their extended families for their acceptance and support.
Winifred had a great love of playing bridge and was a lifelong pet lover, especially cats. She was a kind and generous person to all that she encountered and will be greatly missed by her many friends and family.
Surviving Ms. Latham is her daughter, Barbara D. Batchelor of the home; her brother, Edward Latham (Carolyn) of New Bern, NC; nephews Brad Latham and partner Emanuel Martins of Baltimore, MD; James Latham (Shima) and son Miles of Greenville, NC; and Dr. John Latham (Lina) of Modesto, CA.
A visitation will be held at Bryan-Lee Funeral Home, 1200 Benson Road, Garner, NC 27529 on Thursday, April 7, 2022, at 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM. A graveside service will be held on Friday, April 8, 2022, at 2:00 PM, at Oakdale Cemetery in Washington, NC. The family will receive friends at the graveside.
The family appreciates the care and support of friends during this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, friends are asked to consider a gift to Thompson Child & Family Focus, Charlotte, NC; St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Washington, NC; USO; Veterans Association of one’s choice; Animal Shelter of one’s choice; and the Alzheimer’s Association.