Homer Charles “Shorty” Lathrop
Homer Charles “Shorty” Lathrop was born Aug. 2, 1929, the fifth of 10 children to Homer R. and Marguerite (Mallory) Lathrop on the family farm, southeast of Sheldon, and passed away Oct. 13, at his home. He attended Rockdale Country School.
As a boy, Shorty worked alongside his father and brothers on the family farm and built bridges in Barton and Vernon County. In his late teens, he went to Colorado with his brothers to follow the wheat harvest. Shorty entered the Army during the Korean War and served as an amphibious tank driver, stationed in Ft. Eustice, Va., and Norfolk, Va. He was honorably discharged in 1953. He remained in contact with all the “Buddies” who left on the bus from Missouri and formed a forever bond with Virgil Gardner and Roy Simpson, cherishing their annual army buddy reunions in the fall.
On Nov. 14, 1951, in Bentonville, Ark., he married Betty Jo Wilson of Bolivar, Mo. They have resided in the Sheldon area since that time, living on the county line for 59 years and in the home he built, since 1976. They would be celebrating their 66th anniversary this November. To this union five children were born.
He continued farming throughout his life in the Sheldon area, first with his brothers, Nick and Gene, and later with his sons. He worked for Texaco City Service Pipeline, part time and construction with his brother Hank. In 1966, he went to work for the Hubert Thomas APCO Station and purchased the business in 1969, continuing to own and operate until selling to his nephew, Gary Leavell in 1971. In 1971, he began installing rural water lines with his brother Gene for several years. In 1977, he and his brother Gene purchased what became the Sheldon Vault Company. He has maintained the Sheldon Cemetery for over 40 years, all while continuing to raise Angus cattle, and grow wheat, soy beans, corn and baled hay.
He accepted Jesus as his Savior in 1961 and was a member of the Sheldon Baptist Church and later Lamar First Baptist Church, where he enjoyed the fellowship of the Fisherman’s Sunday School Class.
Shorty leaves behind his wife, Betty; three sons, Gene (Sandy) Lathrop, Lamar, J.D (Cindy) Lathrop, Nevada, Charles (Angie) Lathrop, Irwin; two daughters, Barbara (David) Thrasher, Lamar, and Kathy (Robert) Clampett, Statesboro, Ga.; grandchildren, Ronnie, Lana, Lance, Skyler, Travis, Kyle, Phil, Brent, Tai and Donovan; 22 great-grandchildren; and three great-great grandchildren. He is also survived by one sister, Marilyn Bond, Sheldon; and a host of nieces and nephews.
Preceding him in death were his parents; four brothers, Jack, Hank, Nick and Gene Lathrop; four sisters, Dorothy Leavell, Olene Kepler, Lois Swan and Shirley Windes; and a grandson, Donald Gene Lathrop.
Funeral service will be 10 a.m. today at Daniel Funeral Home with burial to follow in Sheldon Cemetery.
The family received friends from 6 to 7 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.
Contributions are suggested to Sheldon Cemetery Association in care of Daniel Funeral Home.
Condolences may be shared at www.danielfuneralhome.net.