Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 6, 2013, at First Baptist Church in Mound Bayou with Dr. Andrew L. Hawkins officating. Burial will follow in Pleasant Green Cemetery in Mound Bayou.
Visitation will be from 2-6 p.m. Friday, April 5, 2013, at Byas Funeral Home in Cleveland.
Robert Earl Latham, affectionately known by his loved ones as “Lil Bro” was born on April 27,1942, to A.G. and Lucille Latham. He was the second of eight children and the oldest brother.
His mother and father as well as one brother, Jesse Lee Harris, preceded Robert in death.
At an early age, he confessed his belief and love for Christ and became a member of Pleasant Green Baptist Church in Mound Bayou. In his later adult years, he became a member of Mount Olive Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Dr. Andrew L. Hawkins. Over the years, he developed a love for his church and in recent years, he started attending the New Member Orientation sessions and yearned for a closer walk with the Lord.
Robert received his early education from the teachings of Mrs. Felder in Mound Bayou. He continued his education at Mound Bayou Training School and graduated with the class of 1960. Robert’s love for sports was exemplified through his superb athletic abilities and he became a renowned football and baseball star during his high school years earning him recognition that would forever live within the history of Mound Bayou.
Robert furthered his education at Tennessee A & I University in Nashville, Tenn., where he received a B.S in Aeronautics with a minor in Industrial Education. He then received a Master’s of Science in Guidance and Counseling with a Minor in Administration from Delta State University and his Educational Specialist in Administration from Delta State University.
In 1987, Robert was united in holy matrimony to the love of his life, Wendy Latham. To this union, one daughter was born, Alicia Tyneal Latham. Robert also had the privilege of loving two other daughters, Valeria Mitchell and Rosalind Hodges, and one son, Carlin Latham.
Robert’s passion was always education and the empowerment of others. Over his 42-year educational tenure, Robert touched and changed the lives of many. He believed that education was the key to unlock success. Robert left a blazing trail all over the Mississippi Delta, empowering students in schools such as: Mound Bayou Public School, Benoit School District, Sunflower County School District, Ruleville School District, Drew School District and Cleveland School District.
Robert was also employed by Mississippi Valley State University as a instructor/grant administrator and program writer; Delta State University as a psychology instructor; Mississippi Employment Services as a supervisor; Community Action Program of Bolivar County as a supervisor and Chicago Public Schools as a teacher.
Robert lived by a wise philosophy, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”-Nelson Mandela.
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of 25 years, Wendy Latham of Mound Bayou; daughters, Alicia Latham of Hattiesburg, Valeria Mitchell of Houston, Texas, and Rosalind Latham Hodges of Cleveland; son; Carlin Latham of Cleveland; three sisters; Geraldine Bouie and Barbara Collins, both of Chicago, Ill., and Betty Kelley of Mound Bayou; four brothers, Avon Latham and Larry Latham, both of Mound Bayou, Milton Latham of Memphis, Tenn., and Wendell Latham of Chicago, Ill.; three grandchildren, Lamario Latham of Jackson, Shandalyn Hodges of Cleveland and Bria Mitchell Gillespie of Houston, Texas; a great-granddaughter, Jorden Latham; special lifelong friends, Isaiah Edwards of Olympia Fields, Ill., and Lawrence Gant of Chicago, Ill.; and host of nephews, nieces, cousins, friends and community citizens that he held dear to his heart.