Charles Russell Latch (Russ) of Woodstock departed this life Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at The Oaks at Towne Lake. Russ, 87, was born Wednesday, January 11, 1933 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to parents William Walter and Grace Johnson Latch. He was one of six children and grew up on Latches Lane in Gladwyne, PA.
As a boy, Russ played baseball and loved his cocker spaniel "Curly". His first job was a Soda Jerk in a one-man store. He earned his Bachelor of Science Cum Laude degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Miami in 1959 and his Master of Science Degree from Georgia Tech in 1960.
Russ proudly served his country in the United States Air Force, stationed in Puerto Rico where he maintained countermeasures, systems that counter the threat of radar-guided and infrared missiles, on planes.
While attending college, Russ worked at The Muzak company, installing background music systems for commercial buildings in Miami. It was here that he met his wife Mary Ann. Russ and Mary Ann married on Valentine's Day, February 14, 1959 at the First Baptist Church of Miami, Florida. Their marriage of love lasted 61 years until his death.
After their wedding, Russ and Mary Ann moved to Atlanta, where Russ began work on his Master of Science degree at Georgia Tech. In addition to his studies, he worked as a graduate assistant where he taught engineering.
Upon graduation, Russ went to work for Harris Corporation in Melbourne, Florida, where he spent his entire career. Of note, during the early days of mass computing, he headed a team that invented a Word Processing software package, one of the very first. He also led efforts to bring digital photo archive and management to market for newspaper and media companies. Russ and Mary Ann raised their family in Melbourne, playing a continually active role in the First Baptist Church of Melbourne. It was there that he started the first ever Christian radio station in Melbourne: WCIF, "Where Christ Is First." In addition to engineering the station, he also served as one of the first WCIF DJs!
After retirement, Russ and Mary Ann built their dream house in Waynesville, North Carolina. They enjoyed cool mountain evenings and owned a China Painting Supplier, Paints & Porcelain that leveraged Mary Ann's creative skills and Russ' business skills. They enjoyed working together and travelling to china shows. Russ especially enjoyed making his wife happy in this endeavor, supporting and watching others recognize her considerable skills
Russ and Mary Ann returned to Atlanta three years ago, to spend their final years in the city that was so instrumental in their lives right after marriage.
Russ touched many lives and will be missed by all who knew him. He is preceded in death by his parents, William Walter Jr and Grace Johnson Latch. Survivors include his wife Mary Ann; children: Lori Apon and Charlie Latch and his wife Cindy. Grandchildren and their spouses and children are Chas and Rachel Latch, Preston Latch, Abi and Nick Fasciano (and their children Adrian Samuel, Owen Judah, Micah Roman, Paxton Joel), Ben and Kayla Whittinghill (and their children Levi Daniel, Elijah David, Isaac Andrew, Asher Benjamin, Ethan Noah, Selah Joy), Brandon and Brittany Apon (and their son Brantley Judah), Christieanna Apon, Evan and Shelbi Apon, Amy and Joey Carroll and Micah Apon.
Services to celebrate the life of Russ Latch will be Saturday June 27 at 4 pm in the chapel of Poole Funeral Home. This will be a private service for family members. Internment services will be Monday June 29, 2020 from the Georgia National Cemetery.
Celebration of Life
JUN 27. 4:00 PM (EDT)
Poole Funeral Home & Cremation Services
1970 Eagle Drive
Woodstock, GA 30189
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