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Lloyd Latch

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Lloyd Latch Obituary
Dr. Lloyd E. Latch

April 16 1929 - April 11 2014

Nationally known San Francisco chiropractor Dr. Lloyd E. Latch passed away peacefully at home on April 11, 2014 holding the hands of his beloved wife of fifty years, Connie.  He was 84. 

Lloyd was born in his family home in the rough-and-tumble South Side of Chicago and grew up in that neighborhood during the Depression.  His father was a railroad engineer and drove the famous Wabash Cannonball.  His mother worked in a grocery store.

He said his parents' work ethic rubbed off on him, and he worked many different jobs in order to help his family and survive from grade school through high school.  Some of his more interesting jobs were picking beans for ten cents an hour, making marshmallows in a marshmallow factory the original way in molds in huge trays, working one summer as a genuine horse-riding cowboy on a ranch in Colorado, working as a photographic model for various magazine ads, and working as a physical trainer at the YMCA.

While in high school, Lloyd discovered he had a talent for gymnastics.  After years of training and intense competition, he won the Chicago All-City Gymnastics Championship over one hundred other contestants.

After graduating from high school, he served two years in the Army during the Korean War as a medic and was stationed in Japan treating the wounded airlifted from Korea.  His interest in weight lifting and body building started while he was in the Army.  After returning home, he trained competitively and went on to win Mr. Chicago, Mr. Illinois and Mr. San Francisco.

Lloyd often marveled at how he found chiropractic within his many early life experiences.  He injured his back during high school gymnastics.  He was in tremendous pain, all bent over to one side, and nothing gave any relief.  In desperation, his mother took him to a chiropractor who gave him a chiropractic adjustment.  He got up from the table standing tall with the pain gone.  That really impressed him, and while in the Army, he decided he wanted to help others the same way he had been helped, in a natural way without drugs or surgery.  After coming out of the Army and doing preparatory courses at University of Illinois, he enrolled in National College of Chiropractic in Chicago.

After graduating from chiropractic school, Lloyd remembered a promise he made to himself when he was shipped out of San Francisco to Japan.  He was standing on the ship's deck looking at the sun dance on the skyline of the city and told himself he was going to come back and live right up on the side of the hill looking out over the Golden Gate Bridge.  He moved to San Francisco and set up his practice on April 3, 1959.

His practice grew to be one of the largest in the United States.  Dr. Kenneth So later joined the practice adding to further growth. They moved to their current state of the art chiropractic offices at 1237 Van Ness Avenue in 1982. Two of his sons Dr. David Latch and Dr. Daniel Latch followed in Lloyd's footsteps and joined the practice in 1997.      

Among his many patients was SF Chronicle columnist Herb Caen who mentioned him many times in his columns and dubbed him "chiropractor to the stars". His patients included Bing Crosby, Allen Arkin, James Caan, Juan Marichal, Willie McCovey, Chris Spier, Ken Venturi, Melvin Belli and others. However, Lloyd said he considered all his patients were stars and equally important.

Lloyd was considered a pioneer in the field of chiropractic education and lectured nationally at chiropractic colleges and seminars.  He was named Chiropractor of the Year by the Parker Chiropractic Research Foundation and the Professional Chiropractic Society of America.  The California Chiropractic Association awarded him its prestigious Life Achievement Award in 2014.

After retiring in 2003, Lloyd devoted his time to his beloved family and volunteer work with the Church of Scientology.

Lloyd is survived by his wife Connie Latch, sons Stephen Latch (Jennifer), Dr. David Latch (Rachel), Jonathan Latch, Dr. Daniel Latch (Jessie), grandson Erin, and six granddaughters Christie, Chloe, Brooke, Ella, Sofia and Phoebe.  A Celebration of Life will be held May 31.  Those whose lives Lloyd touched may request more information by calling 415.775.4204.

Published in San Francisco Chronicle on May 18, 2014
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