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Allen Latham

Allen Latham, age 87, of Spicer, died Friday afternoon, April 12, at Bethesda Club Suites in Willmar.

A Celebration of Life Social will be held on Friday, June 21, from 5-7 p.m. at the Peterson Brothers Green Lake Funeral Home in Spicer.  Private interment will be at the Spicer Family Mausoleum. www.petersonbrothers.com

Allen was born April 20, 1931 in Minneapolis, MN, to Paul Walker and Eunice (Spicer) Latham.  He resided in Edina, MN and spent his boyhood summers at the Medayto Cottage on Green Lake. He graduated from Southwest High School and attended the University of Minnesota as a member of the ROTC program.  He graduated with a degree in Mining Engineering, and married Martha Scharmann on May 8, 1955.  He served two years as a lieutenant in the Air Force at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska.  After enlistment he began a career as an administrator of mines. His greatest achievement was developing the Ertsburg copper mine and later the Grasberg gold mine for Freeport Minerals in Papua, Indonesia, which is still in operation today. Following his mining career, he moved to Spicer with his family and began developing residential housing projects, establishing Spicer Homes Construction and Real Estate, and the Spicer Castle Bed and Breakfast.

Allen was known for his knowledge of history of the area, he enjoyed telling and re-telling stories from his youth: sailing, swimming, and exploring the woods and lakes.  He was inventive and gifted.  He was an elegant host, a true gentleman and a beloved friend.

Allen is survived by his daughter, Mary Latham of Spicer; daughter-in-law, Colleen Latham of New Hampshire; four grandchildren, Curry (Tiffany) Swanson, Chris (Esther) Swanson, Allen Latham, Jr., and Emily Latham and seven great-grandchildren: Austin Swanson, Jeremiah Swanson, Noah Swanson, Isabelle Swanson, Curry William Swanson, Ezra Swanson, and Michael Son Swanson.  Survivors also include his sister-in-law’s, Ann Latham, and Betty Rodengen, plus several nieces and nephews.

He is predeceased by his wife, Martha (Marti) Latham, his son, Paul Walker Latham III, three brothers, Paul, John and William (Bill) Latham.

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I wish I could sit at Allens table one more time to hear about the Sioux and the railroads and the spice traders and the mining and the property taxes and Edina and fish flies and ice harvesting and gravel pits and water quality and glaciers as we ate our fancy French toast. Oh, he was so good as the host of his big castle making us feel at ease when a bat was flying around in our room or when he assured us that we could go to the basement if the storm lifted the castle off its foundation. Allens passing closes a chapter in the story of Spicer. Allen held us tightly in his chapter of the book and it is hard for the imagination to move on to the next. But Im certain he is now walking the halls and rooms of the Castle as it was when he was little boy hearing the screen door bang shut and running to see and welcome with his smile who has come to visit.

John W Latham Jun 10 2019 12:00 AM

I always enjoyed time spent with Allen, whether it was city council business or socially. He was a walking Spicer history book, and he would always take time to share. I remember the time I saw a wild man on an ice boat flying across Green Lake; I walked to my beach to watch as he was literally flying across the ice. The ice boater apparently saw me and swung over to my beach, stopped, took off his face mask, and it was Allen! "Hop on!", he said. He was a kind, thought full man. My sympathy to his family.

Mike Fischer Apr 24 2019 12:00 AM

Mary and family, saddened to hear about Allen's passing. I have fond memories of Allen when working at the Spicer Castle. He was a fine man and great employer. May God be with all of you during this difficult time. Diane (Meyer) Schiefert

Diane (Meyer) Schiefert Apr 16 2019 12:00 AM