Albert M. Latza

Albert M. Latza, aged 88 years, died of pneumonia on April 12, 2014. He resided in Pawnee City, Nebraska for sixty years, where he was the owner and operator of Pawnee Iron Works until 2005. Born to Tony and Anna Latza on March 31, 1926, he was reared on the family farm outside Letcher, South Dakota. He came to Pawnee City to work in the implement dealership owned by his uncle, met Mildred Daniel and married her on April 16, 1950. After the couple resided briefly in Letcher, Albert was drafted into the Army and the couple moved to Ft. Knox, Kentucky, where Albert served as a welding instructor. Upon Albert’s honorable discharge in 1954, the couple settled in Pawnee City. Pawnee Iron Works was established shortly thereafter, and their son Bill was born in 1955. The business remained in operation for more than fifty years. Albert established a reputation as a meticulous and skilled craftsman, as well as an inventive problem-solver. He had the good fortune to make his living by what he loved to do, and his great pleasures were to repair the seemingly irreparable and to design and build the previously unimagined. In addition to maintaining a local business, Albert served the community in many ways, and was elected to the City Council. He was a member of the American Legion. He was also a proud member of the local, state and national shopmen’s associations, and twice served as president of the Nebraska Blacksmiths, Welders and Machinists Association, which honored him in 1978 with its Hall of Fame award. Albert’s awards include lifetime memberships from both the state and national associations. Albert was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Gene. He is survived by his wife, Mildred, his son, Bill, his sister, Betty and numerous other relatives, including nieces, Sheri, Barbie, Lori and Amy and nephew Greg. Funeral services were at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 at Wherry Mortuary, 919 G Street, Pawnee City, Nebraska. Officiating was Reverend Duane Westing. Visitation was on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. with family greeting friends from 5-7 p.m. at Wherry Mortuary, Pawnee City, Nebraska. Interment was at the DuBois Cemetery, DuBois, Nebraska. Memorials go to the Pawnee County Medical Foundation. On line condolence may be left at www.wherrymortuary.com
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