American Veteran 04

Joseph Marion Latimer

February 3, 2021


Joseph “Joe” Marion Latimer, Jr. passed away on February 3, 2021, at the age of 76. Beloved father of four and grandfather of seven, he will forever be missed by his family and friends. Joe was born in Tampa, Florida to Joseph Marion Latimer, Sr., Ph.D., and Martha Hall Latimer, and was raised in Norman, Oklahoma and Dallas, Texas. Growing up in Norman, while his father was a professor at the University of Oklahoma, Joe was the youngest at the time to receive the rank of Eagle Scout at the age of 12 years old. He graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, Texas, and drove a cherry red, 1957 Chevrolet Belair convertible. He was an alumnus of the University of Oklahoma, an active member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity, and played intramural football and baseball. Joe served as the Sigma Chi Social Chairman, and booked popular acts including Ike and Tina Turner, and Jerry Lee Lewis. In 1964, he worked at the famous World’s Fair in New York.

Upon earning his bachelor’s degree at the University of Oklahoma, he enrolled in Officer Training school with the U.S. Air Force, graduating at the top of his class as a fighter pilot. In the U.S. Air Force Reserves, he flew the F-100, F-104, F-105, F-106, and the C-141. Joe earned the rank of Captain, served three long tours in Vietnam, and was stationed throughout Thailand. While serving in Vietnam, he flew the F-105, KC-135 Stratotanker, and the EC-121 Super Constellation reconnaissance plane. Joe was awarded three Air Medals (Oak Leaf Cluster) for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. While in combat duty as the Flight Commander of the EC-121 Super Constellation reconnaissance plane, he was awarded a Presidential Commendation and the Distinguished Flying Cross.  

Joe spent the majority of his adult life in Miami, Florida where he flew for many years as a commercial pilot. After retiring his flying wings, he led a successful career as a yacht broker, and won several industry sales awards. Joe enjoyed watching college football, especially cheering for his favorite OU Sooners, and riding his black Suzuki 650 motorcycle. He loved quality time with his family, being out on the water boating, was a history enthusiast, enjoyed live music, and traveled around the world. In the past few years, he fulfilled many dream trips such as an African safari, a tour of Italy, plus World War II trips to the Netherlands, France, Germany, and the Philippines.

Joe had a huge heart and always lent a helping hand to those in need. He had an unfailing work ethic, an enormous laugh, and made friends everywhere he went. Joe was a prankster who often told jokes and had a wild sense of humor. He enjoyed long talks, and cherished fun playtime with his grandchildren. Joe’s presence will forever be missed; however, the wonderful memories of him will continue to provide peace and comfort to his proud family and friends. Joe is survived by his four children, daughters Tara Baumgartner, Morgan Kremer, and Lindsay Arries; son Joseph Latimer, III; their spouses; grandsons Nolan, Landon, and Colin; granddaughters Emerson, Heidi, Ella, and Anna; sister Martha Latimer Florance; brother Henry W. Latimer, Sr.; and the mother of his four children, Katharine Latimer. A celebration of his life will occur in Norman, Oklahoma this summer with extended family and friends to honor his legacy.

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