Wanda Louise Latina (nee Richart), of Belleville, Ill., passed away Feb. 27, 2016, after a courageous battle with Alzheimer's.
Wanda was born Oct. 24, 1926, in Martinsville, Ill., where she was an excellent student and drum majorette for the marching band. Mrs. Latina attended Indiana State Teacher's College (now Indiana State University) in Terre Haute, Ind., where she was crowned Homecoming Queen. She graduated with a degree in theatre and was hired by Rawlings Sporting Goods in St. Louis, Mo., working for the gentleman who was soon to be her father-in-law, Harry B. Latina, a.k.a. "The Glove Doctor."
Wanda married Roland "Rolly" Norman Latina in Martinsville on Sept. 1, 1951. They honeymooned in Havana, Cuba. Rolly worked with his father at Rawlings, designing baseball gloves and sporting equipment. The newly married Latinas built a home on a hill in West Belleville on one of Rolly's former hunting sites. Music often filled the house, as Wanda played piano beautifully. She worked at KSDK in St. Louis for a number of years, then in 1955 she and Rolly began a family, which swelled to three daughters in five years.
Wanda was an active church member, working tirelessly with the United Methodist Women's group. She was also a member of PEO and the Thursday Literary Club. She suffered as a "Boat Widow" for many years while Rolly built a 40-foot sailboat, but once completed, they spent a number of years enjoying the "Harry B. Latina," sailing and motoring along the Gulf Coast. Once Rolly retired, they spent many happy years traveling the world and enjoying their children and grandchildren. Rolly and Wanda celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in September 2001.
Wanda was preceded in death by her husband, Rolly; her parents, John Kannamacher Richart and Grace Matkin Richart; her sister, Nina Richart Case; and her brother, John Matkin Richart.
She is survived by her sister, Virginia Richart Spittler of Greenfield, Ind.; her daughters, Ronda (Donald Dahlmann) Latina of Millstadt, Ill., Cynthia (Jay) Schuessler of Belleville, Ill., and Linda Latina of St. Peters, Mo. She is also survived by six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, Emily (Keith) Schielein Lilley and Melissa Schielein of Brimfield, Ill.; Sarah and Cynthia Schuessler of Los Angeles, Calif.; Derek and Courtney Heidorn of Maryland Heights and St. Charles, Mo., and Max and Samira Lilley of Brimfield, Ill.
Wanda loved people and had many dear friends, among them, Quentin Thompson, her great friend and companion of her later years. We will all greatly miss Wanda - her high spirits, her hearty laughter, her generosity, and unquestioning love.
Memorials may be made to Hospice of Southern Illinois, or Signal Hill United Methodist Church.
Services: Visitation will be held at noon on Wednesday, March 9, 2016, at Lake View, followed by a funeral service at 1 p.m.
Wanda will be cremated and put to rest next to Rolly in Lake View Memorial Gardens in Fairview Heights, Ill.
LAKE VIEW FUNERAL HOME, Fairview Heights, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat from Mar. 4 to Mar. 6, 2016