Graveside services for Samuel Barry Latham, 85, of Brandon will be at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, December 12, 2020 at the Hollandale City Cemetery. He passed away peacefully surrounded in comfort by his family on December 10, 2020. Arrangements are under the direction of Boone Funeral Home, Leland.
Sam was born March 18, 1935, to Finner Barry and Winnie Lott Latham in Beulah, MS. He graduated from Rosedale High School with a football scholarship to Sunflower Junior College (later MS Delta Community College). He was later inducted into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame (football and track) as well as the Mississippi Community & Junior College Sports Hall of Fame (football). He attended Mississippi State on another football scholarship where he was selected to the All-SEC team as a tackle during his senior year. He graduated and signed a contract to play football with the Cleveland Browns NFL team.
After football he earned an MBA degree at Memphis State University and began a long and distinguished career in agriculture, serving in management operations at multiple seed companies.
It was at MSU that he met the love of his life, a cheerleader named Rita Kitsock. He accepted Jesus as his Savior as a young adult in West Memphis, Arkansas. Together with Rita, he was always actively involved in Christian service and volunteer work, no matter where they lived.
Sam spent many years as a deacon in several Baptist Churches. He served as President of MS Seedsmen, President of Deer Creek Booster Club, volunteer HS football coach, Board of Directors of Delta Regional Medical Center, and the hospital assistance and morning worship welcome teams at First Baptist Church Brandon (MS). He was a beloved member of the MSU Football M-Club where he spent countless hours in fellowship with friends watching the Bulldogs play.
Sam was a man of hard work and integrity who loved God deeply. He and Rita shared a 63 year covenant in Christ marriage.
He is survived by his wife, Rita; one son, David (Susan) Latham; two daughters, Dawn (Tom) Ewing and Lisa Latham; four grandchildren, Rebecca Ewing, Thomas (Maggie) Ewing, Samuel (Rebecca) Latham and Clare (Jake) Swatley; three great grandchildren, Ellis and George Ewing and Avery Latham; two brothers, Bobby (Julia Helen) Latham and Billy (Linda) Latham; one sister, Betty Britt; one brother-in-law, Glen Knight; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his son, Joseph Samuel Latham; his parents; his sister, Joy Knight; and his brother-in-law, Haywood Britt.
In lieu of flowers, the family wishes that memorials be donated to the MSU Foundation for the Joseph Latham Memorial Scholarship for disabled students (P.O. Box 6149, MS State, MS, 39762), to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, to First Baptist Church Brandon, or to another charity of choice.