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William Peters Latham


1948 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
William Peters Latham Obituary
Latham, William Peters Dr.



Dr. William Peters ("Pete") Latham, Jr., born August 21, 1948, lost his battle with internal carcinoma melanoma, June 11, 2016, in his Dallas, TX home. Dr. Pete was the middle child of composer Dr. William P. Latham, Sr. (now deceased) and Joan Seyler Latham.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Teresa; two sisters Leslie and Carol Latham; sister-in-law Georgina Edgington; brother-in-law Dr. Louis Pol; father-in-law Dr. Barney Coda; mother-in-law Jean Coda; and a niece and nephew.

When living in Cedar Falls Iowa, Pete found that he excelled in and loved physics. He developed this interest by earning a Bachelor of Science in Physics and Mathematics, a Master of Science in Physics, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Physics at the University of North Texas. In addition Pete also received a Masters of Optical Sciences from the University of Arizona.

Pete was grateful to have a fruitful and productive 32 year long career as an Air Force civilian research scientist at Kirkland Air Force Base where he worked on the project titled Strategic Defense Initiative (nicknamed "Star Wars"). He served as a project lead and supervisor as well as conducting laser optics research. As the government transitioned research programs to technology transfer, Pete lead initiatives that would utilize discoveries made with lasers in other fields. He was most proud of applying laser research to medical applications. He also accomplished becoming a Fellow of the Directed Energy Professional Society (DEPS) where he founded the DEPS Education Program, Fellow of the International Society for Optical Engineering, and Fellow of the Laser Institute of America.

Pete was very active in sports throughout his life. He coached the Denton swim team for several years. At UNT he played on the soccer team and continued playing in Albuquerque. This led to refereeing soccer games in Albuquerque. He became an Emeritus Referee for the National Soccer League. After retirement he and Terry moved to Dallas where he refereed soccer in the DFW area. He also tutored chemistry, physics and math at North Lake College, because he enjoyed giving back.

Services for Pete will be held at St. David of Wales Episcopal church, Saturday, June 18, 2016, at 2:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to the North Texas Soccer Association or the Denton Animal Support Foundation.
Published in Albuquerque Journal on June 16, 2016
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