Fred C. Latcham Jr.
Feb 11, 2009 | 2208 views | 8 8 comments | 18 18 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Fred C. Latcham, Jr.
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Fred C. Latcham Jr., 91, of Beeville, died on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2009, following a long illness.

He was born on Aug. 17, 1917, in Denver, Colo., to Louise Newman and Frederick Charles Latcham. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and served in the U.S. Army during World War II in the Army of Occupation in Italy.

He married Joyce Atkins in Beeville on Oct. 3, 1953. He was retired as publisher of the Beeville Publishing Company.

He was long active in civic organizations, and was a steadfast proponent of Bee County. An editorial he wrote calling for the need for a community college here initiated a Chamber of Commerce drive that he chaired, ultimately to create Bee County College. He served as the first chairman of the board from 1965-78 for the school now known as Coastal Bend College.

He was a past president of the Beeville Rotary Club, the Bee County Chamber of Commerce, the South Texas Press Association, a director of the South Texas Chamber of Commerce, a director of Commercial National Bank of Beeville and a member of the First United Methodist Church of Beeville.

He was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, two sisters, and his wife, Joyce, in 2000.

He is survived by two sons, Frederick Charles Latcham III and wife Lisa and George G. Latcham and wife Gina, both of Beeville; and five grandchildren, Jake, Eric, Julie, Lesley and Georgia Latcham.

Visitation was to be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday at Galloway & Sons Funeral Home chapel. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. today (Saturday) at First United Methodist Church with Rev. Bill Duke officiating. Lucille Kinkler will provide organ music. Interment will follow at Glenwood Cemetery.

Pallbearers will be Beeville Publishing Company office personnel: Eddie Gomez, Alex Treviño, Gary Kent, Clyde Semar, Ruben Montez and Bruce Harper. Honorary pallbearers will be Clyde Lacy, Bill Moser, R.W. Dirks, Robert Hollingsworth, Lakin Miller and all employees and former employees of the Beeville Publishing Company.

Memorial contributions may be made to the First United Methodist Church Capital Campaign Fund or the American Cancer Society.

Galloway & Sons Inc. Funeral Directors

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February 17, 2009
Working at the Bee Pic has certainly been a family affair. My father, John Hogan, was hired as advertising manager by Mr. Adkins back in the early 1950's. Then I worked there as a receptionist my senior year as a VOE student in 1976. My mother also worked there as a receptionist. It was such a pleasure working for Joyce and Fred. They were always so patient and kind. Never a dull moment! My parents were very close to Joyce and Fred. In fact, they stood up for them at their wedding. Fred was also responsible for my father's job at the college. We were living in Saint Louis and Fred told my father that there was an opening for Dean of Admininstration at Bee County College. So that is how we ended up in Beeville!!!! I also remember as a child visiting Beeville and getting to see the Latcham's. I was about 8 at the time and they took us out to eat at some place in Tynan. I went back to Virginia and told all my friends that I got to eat in a barn!!! My family loved your parents and we offer our most sincere sympathy for your loss.
February 17, 2009
Dear Chip and Jeff and families,

Our warmest condolences. God Bless. Beeville won't be the same.

Carter and Mari Arnold

Jönköping, Sweden
February 13, 2009
I met Mr. Latcham (he will always be Mr. Latcham to me) a few years ago when I was hired as a reporter for the Bee-Pic. The man had a warm and friendly nature. I always felt like he was backing me up. I'll never, ever forget when he looked me in the eye and told me, "I love your writing." Hearing it from his lips was a true blessing. In time I noticed he always had words of encouragement for those around him. I work as a teacher now, but Mr. Latcham's lessons were not lost on me. Encouraging students is something I do a lot these days and I owe a debt of gratitude to a master of kindness. Charles Steward
February 13, 2009
As a military spouse living all around the country the only place I really enjoyed working everyday was at the Bee-Pic!! Mr.Latcham hired me without any experience in the print industry.He was always smiling. I will always cherish the time I spent in his employ. Chip and Jeff,you know we all loved your parents. You have my sympathy for your loss.Lee Lewis
February 12, 2009
I don't have any personal stories to share about Mr. Latcham, only a lifetime of memories from my hometown where Mr. and Mrs. Latcham dedicated themselves to hometown journalism. Although I live in Dallas now, I don't know what I would do without the Bee Picayune. It keeps me grounded. It has kept me entertained, surprised, shocked and informed through the years. I take comfort in the Latcham family's love of community. I'm proud that my parent's were friends of both Joyce and Fred and I grieve in the loss to your family. What a wonderful legacy. My sincere condolences, Linda Eissler Unger
February 12, 2009
Fred and Joyce Latcham and the Bee-Picayune are an interwoven component of the fabric of my life. I am sure this is true for many in this community. Before starting Universal Fabricators in 1971 my father had worked for the Latchams as a reporter. Many of my earliest “dinner table moments,” were peppered with conversations surrounding local politics and current events that left no doubt in my mind that Fred and Joyce were valued and highly esteemed by my parents. Something that was simple to do, but not so simple to accomplish. This left an indelible impression on me. It was underscored while in high school as I worked with Miss Jean Dugat on the high school’s newspaper. She and Joyce were close friends. I was often treated to sidebar conversations that only served to buff the sheen on my childhood memories of both Fred and Joyce.

I can honestly say that Fred Latcham was one of the most gentle, gentlemen I have ever encountered. Anyone making the mistake of thinking Mr. Latcham’s hallmark gentleness and soft-spoken demeanor was an invitation to run him over would have soon been introduced to a formidable capacity for tenacious resolve. He is one of the primary reasons Coastal Bend College stands in Bee County today. He was an honorable man to his core. He was a staunch and unwavering friend to this community. His passing is truly cause to mourn. My deepest sympathy to his sons and their families.

Susan Nelson Smedley

February 11, 2009
I showed up at the Bee-Pic in 1978 shortly after moving to Beeville. Having been at home with my two small boys for seven years, I needed a JOB, and I knew one was available at the paper. I put on my only going-out-in-public outfit, deposited the boys with my husband and headed downtown, armed with my University of Texas journalism degree and the only article I'd ever had published. I asked to speak to whomever did the "hiring and firing," and was directed to Fred Latcham's office. Ten minutes later, I'd had a tour of the plant and, more importantly, I had that job. I learned pretty quickly that Fred and Joyce Latcham considered their employees "family." Most had been there nearly 25 years or longer. It was the kind of place where you were fiercely loyal to your employer and fellow employees. That was the work atmosphere Fred embraced. He was a mellow man, always with a ready smile and chuckle. I saw him get mad only once -- he turned red and exploded on the shop superintendent during an editorial meeting. Crisis over and forgotten.

When my youngest started kindergarten, he let me adjust my hours so that Jason wasn't on a schoolbus four hours a day. He trusted me to do my job and allowed me to be a mother too because I was family.

I am proud to have been a part of that family. It was awesome, and I realize now that on April Fool's Day in 1978, I didn't gain a job, I gained a second family.

On March 29, 2002, I retired from that job because I was diagnosed with a serious back condition that would leave me in pain for the rest of my life. I realized that I could no longer do the assistant editor's job to my satisfaction, and it wasn't fair to my co-workers for me to be off my game. The Latchams had put a great deal of trust in me and my skills over the years, and I don't like to disappoint people, especially family.

Jeff asked me to write a column on my years at the Bee-Pic, but, at the time, I declined. I really didn't want to have to leave a job I loved, and dwelling on it just added to that pain. So, Jeff and Chip, here's that article -- seven years late.

I join you in your mourning the loss of Fred. I do love that man and will be forever grateful for the confidence he instilled in me by hiring me more than 30 years ago. I was kind of quiet back then; boy, did that change over the 24 years I was in that family. Our old Bee-Pic family was really something back then, wasn't it? So few of us are still working there, but in those who are, that love of Fred and Joyce endures. I'm fairly certain that Fred is looking down on his family today, smiling and thinking, "look what I've done in my 91 earthly fine sons, my beautiful, intelligent grandchildren, my newspaper business..."

Fred, go with God. I bet He diverted your trip to heaven by way of your beloved Colorado Rockies. My enduring love, Tish
February 11, 2009
I was Blessed to know Mr Latcham, for a short time while

he was a resident at Hacienda Oaks , I'll miss his smile . My prayers

are with you and your families.

John 14:1-3

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.”