Lila Lata

  • "My sincerest condolences to Kathy and the Lata family. I..."
    - Anne Carmen

Former Anchorage resident Lila Marie Bergman Lata, 82, died March 8, 2010, in Tallahassee, Fla. Her funeral Mass was held March 11 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Tallahassee.

Lila was born April 14, 1927, in Chicago to Elmer and Hilda (Vieth) Bergman. She graduated from Proviso High School in Maywood, Ill. She then attended Rosary College, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1949. Subsequently, Lila earned a master's degree in biochemistry at the University of Illinois.

In 1951, she married Gene F. Lata, a fellow biochemistry graduate student, and moved to Iowa City, Iowa. Lila became a full-time mom, developing an intense interest in early childhood education. She became a certified Montessori teacher, co-founding the first Montessori school in Iowa City in the family home.

With the birth of her first grandchild in the mid-1980s, Lila moved to Anchorage to be an active "Grandma" and lived there for more than 20 years. She was a member of St. Benedict's Parish, assisting with the children's religious education program.

In 2007, she moved to Tallahassee, where she was able to spend time with her youngest grandchild.

In addition to a deep religious conviction, Lila pursued many interests throughout her life. Her passion for early childhood education was enhanced by her love of books, music, flowers, gardening, geology, and hiking. She learned to play violin and piano as a girl and continued to play piano for most of her life. She enjoyed listening to classical music and spending time outdoors.

Lila is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Joseph and Anita Bergman of Balgonie, Saskatchewan; children and spouses, Paul and Laurie of Madison, Wis., Matthew Lata and Phyllis Pancella of Tallahassee, Thomas Lata and Julie Donnelly of Columbia, Mo., Catherine and Roger Manka of Anchorage, Mary Lata and Jerome Vogel of Chadron, Neb.; and grandchildren, Louis of Honolulu, Hawaii, Dov of Chicago, Tony of Missoula, Mont., Andy of Anchorage and Nathaniel of Tallahassee.

Contributions in lieu of flowers may be sent to Covenant House, 609 F St., Anchorage 99501 or to a children's charity of your choice.

Published in Anchorage Daily News from Mar. 21 to Mar. 22, 2010
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