Shirley Mae (Rowley) Latham, 82, Buffalo and formerly of Camp Crook SD, died on Friday, January 12, 2024 at Monument Health in Rapid City.
Shirley was born on July 14, 1941, at home in Belle Fourche, SD to Arlowe and Maggie (Werlinger) Rowley. Two years later she was joined by little brother Jim. She attended grade and high school in Belle Fourche before graduating with honors in May of 1959. After graduation, she attended a six-month business course at National College of Business in Rapid City. After completing her business course, she began working for the Butte County Register of Deeds. On May 29, 1970, she married Erwin Latham and they moved to the ranch northeast of Camp Crook. Here they made a home and raised their three children Darwin, Benjamin, and CoriAnn.
Darwin started school in the fall of 1972 resulting in Shirley becoming a Camp Crook resident. They rented a house in town, due to road conditions not always being passable. In the fall of 1979, they moved to Buffalo so Darwin could attend high school. After CoriAnn’s graduation in 1992 Shirley moved back to the ranch.
Shirley, a lifelong member of the Catholic Church, attended St. Anne’s in Camp Crook. After it’s closure, she attended St. Anthony’s in Buffalo until her health forced her closer to medical care. Throughout her life she was involved in many community groups and activities. Those most dear to her were the American Legion Auxiliary Unit #147, Harding County EMT’s, Community Action Team, Buffalo Lioness, and the Foster Grandparent Program in the school in Camp Crook. Many local kids still refer to her as Grandma Shirley. Shirley was very community minded and served as an officer in most if not all of the groups she participated in.
While in Buffalo she owned and managed the Buffalo Drive In, worked for Linda Paulson at H&L Supr Value, and in 1980 and 2000 was a census taker. After moving back to the ranch, she REALLY enjoyed her favorite hobby of getting the juicy details when she wrote the Camp Crook news for local papers. Perhaps her favorite job was being Grandma and Auntie to all of her littles.
Throughout her life Shirley did things that brought her joy. She enjoyed baking and decorating cakes. She enjoyed sewing and made teddy bears and Barbie doll clothes. She liked playing cards and especially enjoyed playing ND rummy and gin rummy with her dear Sister-in-Law Frankie. Reading books of all kinds was one of her favorite hobbies. Of course, a trip to Deadwood every now and then was a good time as well. In 2000, she was given a computer and instantly became an internet and email fan. She was known to family as the clicking QUEEN.
She enjoyed attending wrestling starting from Darwin’s first match. This continued with Ben and her grandkids. She would often be caught cheering for a random kid because he was just so cute. Another thing she enjoyed was traveling. Whether it was a trip to CA to see Ben, GA to see Cori, or even a drive to Faith to pick up Joy. She enjoyed them all.
Survivors include her three children, Darwin (Kay) of Camp Crook, SD; Benjamin (Kate) Pacifica, CA; CoriAnn (Rick Battista) Buford, GA; four grandchildren, John and Jason (Kaeloni) of Camp Crook; Robert and Cara Battista of Buford, Ga.; four great grandchildren, Joy, Jaydon, Jarrett, and James T.
Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Erwin Latham; parents, Arlowe and Maggie (Werlinger) Rowley; and brother, Jim Rowley.
A Vigil Service will be held Wednesday, Jan 17, 2024 at 7:00 PM at St. Anthony’s Catholic Churchin Buffalo SD. Funeral services will be Thursday January 18 at 11:00 AM with a visitation one hour prior at the Camp Crook Area Community Center with Reverend Brian Sorensen presiding.
Interment will follow at the Fairview Cemetery in Camp Crook. A time of food and fellowship will follow.
Friends and family may sign the online guest register and leave written condolences at WestRiverFuneral.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of West River Funeral Directors.