Remember John

John Latin 2

In Memory of John S. Latin, DTM, PIP

Distinguished Toastmaster John S. Latin, born on September 9, 1939, passed away Saturday January 23, 2016 at his home in Cranbury, New Jersey. John was the 1975-1976 Founder’s District Governor and the 1984-1985 International President. As an aerospace engineer, he worked in the department of defense and was proud to have worked on the space shuttle that went to space. He believed in the importance of good communication skills and dedicated his time and service to Toastmasters.

At the 1984 International Convention in Orlando, Florida, Founder’s District proudly witnessed John S. Latin elected as International President. Three years later, John was instrumental in the creation of District 12. This would be the first time Founder’s District would split since it’s formation in 1944. District Governor Colette Gardner joined John Latin at the Toastmasters International world headquarters to present the study on the district split proposal and convince Executive Director, Terry McCann, to support the split. John spoke to International Director Lydia Boyd who helped to gain the support from the members of the Board. On July 1, 1989 the new District 12 was created out of Founder’s District’s divisions C and F.

During his life as a Toastmaster, John was always willing to reach out and mentor other members, fulfilling the mission of Toastmasters International and the District. His motto was, “Serve the Members” and he practiced it always, touching members’ lives and never expecting anything in return. He made a difference in people’s lives everywhere he went and his footsteps are recognized in many of our paths.

Six years ago his health began to fail and his sister, Dolores Klaussmann, took the initiative of having him move to Cranbury, New Jersey. There he spent the rest of his life under her care.

Past District Governor Colette Gardner remembers, “He was my mentor for several years and my life would have been very different without his support and advice. I often say that my year as District Governor was the best year of my life because I was allowed to reach accomplishments that were close to impossible for me. Even though I did not win, he helped me run for International Director. What a powerful lesson! Working with John was an experience that changed my life. He taught me that with the right people and leaders, any goal is possible when it is to serve better.”