Erwin Latham: 1927-2013 |

Erwin Latham: 1927-2013

Erwin Latham, 85, passed away Thursday evening, Jan. 10, 2013, at Dahl Memorial Hospital in Ekalaka, MT, after a long, ongoing battle with cancer.

An era has come to an end with the passing of Erwin. He was one of the last of the old time cowboys, a faithful husband, a good father, a doting grandfather, and a friend to more people than he could count. He was often found on the phone catching up with old friends or new ones he had dialed by accident. He was a great teacher without a classroom, especially to his nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. He was a patient man with children and livestock. He always made time to visit with anyone especially over a cup of coffee or a glass of beer. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of his hometown and county and could be counted on to give you the whole story. He was a giver of nicknames and had one of his own from his nieces and nephews “Big Uncle.” He was stubborn at times. He was known for his “Erwin-isms” like “You aren’t wearing enough clothes to flag a hand car.” He was a fixer of all things. No matter the need, he was always ready to give a helping hand. He was a good man and a true friend. He will be missed.

Erwin was born Oct. 25, 1927, to Frank and Esther (Bickerdyke) Latham at the home of Aunt Lilly Turbiville in Camp Crook, SD. He grew up on the family ranch and he and his sister, Marilyn, rode their pony, Amos, to the Bullock School every day. Little brother Neil joined the family in 1938. Erwin started high school in Camp Crook and attended until the school burned down. He returned to the ranch where he lived and worked the rest of his life.

Erwin was very active in the community. He was a charter member of the Camp Crook Roping Club and the Bullock Community Club. He was on the Harding County Fair Board for many years and started the Sheep Shearing Contest, serving as that division’s Superintendent. He was also the Secretary/Treasurer of Camp Crook Fire Department for a number of years.

Erwin married Shirley (Rowley) May 29, 1970, at St. Paul’s Catholic Church in Belle Fourche. The couple moved to the ranch north of Camp Crook where they raised their three children.

Erwin is survived by his wife, Shirley, Camp Crook; sons, Darwin (Kay), Camp Crook and Ben (Kate), Kadoka, SD; daughter, CoriAnn (Richard) Battista, Snelville, GA; grandchildren, John (Jenna) Latham, Fort Pierre, SD; Jason Latham, Camp Crook; Anthony, Robert, and Cara Battista, Snellville, SD; sister, Marilyn Olson, Bowman, ND; and sister-in-law, Frankie Latham, Spearfish, SD.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Esther Latham; his brother, Neil Latham; and brother-in-law John R Olson.

Memorial services will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, at the Camp Crook Area Community Center with the Reverend Tom Martin officiating. Inurement following at Fairview Cemetery, Camp Crook.

Friends and family may sign the online guest register and leave written condolences at

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