Harold West “Shorty” Lathrop died at his home on Feb. 27, 2005. He was born in Wallowa on Feb. 11, 1920, the sixth of Louis and Hazel Lathrop’s 13 children.
Through the eight grade he rode his horse to the one-room schoolhouse in the Leap area, and later moved to town and boarded with his uncle “Letty” Lathrop while attending Enterprise High School. After graduation he worked at Willard Duncan’s saw mill.
From 1942 to 1945 he served as a corporal in the Army Air Forces in the Pacific Theater of World War II.
After the war he went into a partnership with his brother-in-law Max Walker on Day Ridge, where he met Nellie E. Bird. They married on June 30, 1949 at the Joseph Methodist Church and honeymooned along the Columbia Gorge.
Mr. Lathrop then formed a partnership with his brother Emra “Duke” Lathrop and the Lathrops moved to a remote spot on the Snake River where they started a family. In 1954 they bought a small ranch on Prairie Creek where they lived for the next 50 years.
He was baptized in 1959 and helped organize the Joseph Baptist Church, where, as a charter member, he taught Sunday School and led as a deacon for many years.
The Wallowa County Cattleman’s Association honored him as Grassman of the Year in 1981, and Cattleman of the Year in 1993.
Mr. Lathrop was preceded in death by his brothers Ollis “Jiggs” and Leo “Tuff” Lathrop and his sisters Gladys Yost and Muriel Lathrop.
He is survived by his wife Nellie; sons Harold “Mike” and wife Annette, and Robert “Bob”; daughters Jeanne Lathrop and Linda Botts and husband Rodney; brothers Quentin, Emra “Duke,” Melvin of Lostine and Wayne of Enterprise; sisters Marcel Walker of Union, Mary Lou Huffman of Hermiston and Alice “Sally” Akin of Lostine; brother-in-law Henry J. Bird of Joseph; sister-in-law uzanne “Susie” Dryden of Auburn, Wash.; grandsons Wayne Lathrop, Will Lathrop and Seth Botts; granddaughters Kristil Bish, Melinda Lathrop, Josie Boyk and LeAnn Vlietstra; and great-granddaughter Azalea Belle Vlietstra.
A celebration of life will be held March 5 at the First Baptist Church in Enterprise at 11:00 a.m., with internment to follow at the Prairie Creek Cemetery in Joseph. There will be a reception afterwards at Joseph Baptist Church. Memorials may be made to Joseph Baptist Church.
Wallowa County Chieftain, Enterprise, Oregon, Thursday, March 03, 2005
Contributed by: Dixie Ricker