Mr. William L. "Bill" Lathem, 80, of Gainesville died Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013.
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A lifelong resident of Hall County, Mr. Lathem was the son of the late Doy and Lillian Eddleman Lathem. Mr. Lathem enlisted in the U.S. Navy in May of 1951.
He retired in February 1974, as a Master Chief in avionics.
He was a man of perfect tact, military bearing and exceptional ability. He was universally liked and respected by all.
Mr. Lathem was a man of high integrity with professional knowledge, which made him a successful leader and counselor.
He received numerous achievement awards for his leadership abilities. He was proud to show his devotion to his country through his military service.
After his retirement, back to his hometown of Gainesville, he was employed as a correctional counselor and vocational training director at the Department of Corrections for the state of Georgia from 1974-1980. He was also employed at Sheller-Globe/Prestolite Electric Corp. as a quality assurance engineer from 1980-1990.
Mr. Lathem was a devoted husband, father and grandfather who treasured time spent with family and friends. He was well-liked by all who met and knew him.
He was always quick to lend a helping hand to those in need. He was a faithful servant of God who loved his church family.
Mr. Lathem was a member of the First Baptist Church, where he was a longtime member of the Berean Sunday School class, and one of his greatest joys was serving as their song leader.
Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Wynell Lathem, Gainesville; sons and daughters-in-law, Jerry and Beth Lathem; Allen and Robin Lathem; daughter and son-in-law, Nancy and Wes Phillips, all of Gainesville; grandchildren, Brad Lathem, Gainesville; Kristen Butler, Virginia Beach, Va.; Katie Anna Phillips and Leslie Phillips, Gainesville.
Mr. Lathem is preceded in death by two brothers, Milton Lathem and Malcolm Lathem.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, in the chapel of the First Baptist Church on Green Street.
Dr. Bill Coates will officiate. Interment will be in the Alta Vista Cemetery with full military honors.
The family will receive friends at the Little & Davenport Funeral Home Thursday, Jan. 24, 2013, from 6-8 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Baptist Church Ministry of Caring or the Building Fund, 751 Green St., Gainesville, GA 30501.
Those wishing to send online condolences may do so at littledavenport.com.
Little & Davenport Funeral Home, Gainesville, Ga., is in charge of arrangements.
Published in gainesvilletimes.com on January 24, 2013