Eugene Latimer, born Sept. 23, 1916, was raised in a small community south of Sallisaw called Brent, OK. He graduated from Sallisaw High School and attended and played baseball for Connors State College in Warner. He later signed up for NYA (National Youth Administration), a WPA project where he served as president of the student body.
His amazing uncle, Earl Latimer who lovingly helped raise him when he was younger, paid for him to attend Aircraft Mechanic School in Wichita, where he obtained employment with Beechcraft after graduating. He was drafted into the U.S. Army, but Beechcraft got him deferred twice. After receiving his third draft notice, he declined another deferment and excitedly wanted to go! The U.S. Army transferred him to the U.S. Army Air Corps when they found out he had experience working with aircraft. He served honorably during World War II as supervisor of aircraft mechanics at Lavenham, England from one month before D-Day until one month after VE-Day.
After the war, he returned to Oklahoma to use his G.I. Bill to obtain a degree. He enrolled at OSU (then Okla. A&M) in architecture. He graduated in four years—with two five year degrees (Architecture and Architectural Engineering). While attending college, he met and married Gaynelle Johnson, who was working at the Registrar’s office at that time. They were married 22 years prior to her untimely death in 1969.
He worked as an architect in Ada, Okla. City, Ponca City, and finally Muskogee in 1956, where he went into private practice a few years later. He was a lifetime member of A.I.A. (American Institute of Architects) and designed and supervised the building of numerous commercial and medical buildings, churches, banks, and residences in northeastern Oklahoma. He was proud of the fact that he designed churches for five different denominations.
He is survived by two daughters, Lee Ann Langston (Dan) of Muskogee and Janet Lefler (Rodger) of Tulsa, and two granddaughters, Casey Langston and her fiancé, Brandon Smalley, of Muskogee and Jordie Lefler of Tulsa. He has two surviving brothers, Carl Cook of Sallisaw, Floyd Neal of California, and one sister, Mary Alice Blackford of Sallisaw. He is also survived by numerous loving cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife, Gaynelle Johnson Latimer, his son, Richard, his mother, Georgia Latimer Neal and one brother, Jewel Harmon.
Funeral service will be Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 2 pm at Agent Mallory Martin Chapel in Sallisaw. Burial will be at Sallisaw City Cemetery under the direction of Agent Mallory Martin Funeral Home.
Viewing will be Wednesday from 8 am – 8 pm at Agent Mallory Martin Funeral Home in Sallisaw.