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Obits: Jean Lathan

Jean Lathan 

May 8, 1926-Sept. 1, 2014 

Jean Lathan (Margaret Eugenia Carnes), 88 of Pfafftown, NC passed away September 1, 2014. Jean was born in Lancaster, SC on May 8, 1926, the 6th of 8 children born to the late William Aaron “W.A.” Carnes and Kate Belle Tyson Carnes. She grew up on their 300+ acre family farm located on the South Carolina/North Carolina border between Lancaster, SC and Monroe, NC. After graduating from Prospect High School in 1943, Jean moved with her sister to Louisiana to work for a war munitions factory, supporting US military efforts until the conclusion of WWII. She subsequently attended and graduated from Wingate College, where she also served as the Administrative Assistant to the Dean during and following her matriculation. In 1946 Jean married Fred Lathan, who grew up only 7 miles away in Monroe, NC. Jean and Fred moved to Rockingham, NC in the early 1950s, where she worked for the Seaboard Coast Line Railroad until the mid-1960s. In 1968, her family moved to Mooresville, NC, where she worked for the Mooresville City School System, as the Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent of Public Schools. Jean and Fred moved to Columbus, Georgia in 1972. Her husband, Fred Lathan, died in 1982 and Jean remained in Columbus, GA until 1994, where she managed a local tax franchise office as a tax accountant. Jean finally moved to Pfafftown, NC in 1994, where she resided near her beloved sister and brother-in-law, Wanda and Edwin Needham, until her death. While living in Pfafftown, she became actively involved in the Union United Methodist Church, where she was active in and served as treasurer of The United Methodist Women for 15 years. Despite multiple moves during her life within the South, she made friends easily and maintained lifelong friendships with many of those in each place she resided. Jean was a lifelong avid Democrat and proponent of equal/ civil rights, with a progressive stance on social issues her entire life. She always stayed true to her southern roots, enjoyed gardening and especially loved her azaleas, camellias and freshly grown flowers. She adored and spoiled her 3 generations of English Setter bird dogs. She was an excellent bridge player and enjoyed an ice-cold, strong glass of iced tea and copious amounts of freshly brewed coffee. She was proud of her son, Greg and was especially fond of her beloved German daughter-in-law, Anja (born in Aachen, Germany). Her twin granddaughters Ava and Lia were the pride and joy of her life for the past 13 years. She is survived by the immediate family members previously mentioned, as well as many nieces and nephews. She was preceeded in death by her husband, Fred, daughter Peggy and siblings Jack, Jim, Gray, Warren, Earnest and Burgoone. The family would like to express special thanks to the home care team for the last four years, Pat Leslie, Mattie Gibert, Robin Megela, Jessie Ballard, Karice McLean, Tammy Lomison and Joann McBride. Their support has been phenomenal and their friendship and support meant so much to Jean that she considered them “family”. A funeral service to celebrate Jean’s life took place on Saturday, September 6, 2014 at Union United Methodist Church in Lewisville conducted by her brother in law, Rev. Edwin G. Needham and Rev. Michael E. Flack and a graveside service/ burial took place at Lakeland Memorial Park in Monroe. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the “Building Fund”, Union United Methodist Church “Building Fund”, 8935 Shallowford Rd, Lewisville, NC 27023 or donations may be made to Arthritis National Research Foundation at curearthritis.org