Kimberly Latshaw Ortiz (47) passed away on Saturday, January 30 following a courageous, 21-month battle with pancreatic cancer. Born in Philadelphia, Kim grew up in Miami, graduated Miami Palmetto Senior High School in 1991, loved all sports and earned full volleyball scholarships to and graduated from Miami Dade College and The University of South Alabama. After securing her teaching certifications she taught personal fitness, aerobics, dance and wellness as a PE teacher at both Barbara Goleman and Palmetto Senior High Schools for 23 years. At Palmetto, she served as Department Chair for Physical Education and was nominated for Teacher of the Year. She was head volleyball coach at both schools, taking teams to District and State championships, receiving Coach of the Year Awards several times. She received proclamations from the Village of Palmetto Bay for her determination to have her students achieve academic excellence, personal integrity, and respect for themselves and others. As a volunteer for Special Olympics, her student athletes, under her direction, mentored the participants. Kim was also the Florida Director of Beach Dig Volleyball using beach volleyball to improve the skill levels of her athletes and played a key role in the establishment of the beach volleyball courts at Coral Reef Park.
Her hallmark smile, positivity, faith, dedication, ability to find the best in everyone, and efforts to make a difference in the lives of her students has inspired anyone who has known her. She is survived by her husband Carlos Ortiz, children Carlos Jr. and Amaya, her parents Chuck and Donna Latshaw, brother, Chuck Latshaw, sister-in-law, Monica and niece, Coral Rae. You are invited to join her live stream memorial service on Sunday, February 28 at 2:00 p.m. Go to youtube.com and search “Celebration of Life for Kimberly Latshaw-Ortiz”. A zoom meeting will be held following the live streaming. Anyone wishing to give a tribute to Kim either in writing or in the zoom, should contact the family. At Kim’s request, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCan.org) or checks to “Dig Like Kim”, Inc., an annual volleyball scholarship fund set up to support deserving young athletes here in Miami Dade County (8825 SW 154 Terrace, Palmetto Bay, FL 33157)
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