Obituary Listings

Irvin T. Lathrop

September 23, 1927 April 26, 2019
Irvin T.  Lathrop
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Obituary for Irvin T. Lathrop

Irvin T. Lathrop, 91, of Ames, passed away April 26, 2019 at Mary Greeley Medical Center. Burial was in the Linwood Cemetery in Cedar Rapids. Irvin Tunis Lathrop was born September 23, 1927 to Irvin Joseph and Marian Frances (Johnson) Lathrop in Platteville, Wisconsin.
Irvin began a bachelor’s degree in 1945, but left school to serve in World War II. He was corporal in the United States Army Air Corps during the occupation of Japan, stationed at the Misawa Air Base as part of the 613th Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron. During his service, the Air Corps separated to form a new entity, the United States Air Force.
After serving in the Army/Air Force, he returned home to Wisconsin to continue his education. He received his Bachelor of Science in Industrial Education in 1950 at Stout State University. After graduation, he took a teaching position in Ottumwa, Iowa and pursued a Master of Science degree in Vocational Education at Iowa State University. While in Ottumwa, he met Eleanor Kolar. Irvin and Eleanor Lathrop were married August 18, 1951 at The Little Brown Church in Nashua, Iowa. Their marriage lasted 64 years until Eleanor’s death November 1, 2015. After completion of his master’s degree, Irvin continued to complete a PhD in Vocational Education in 1958, also at Iowa State University.
Irvin and Eleanor moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan where Irvin had a position as an assistant professor at Western Michigan University. Irvin was invited to join the faculty at California State University in Long Beach, CA in 1959. Irv and Eleanor’s son James was born on their 10th anniversary.
While at Cal. State Long Beach, Irv was department chair from 1968 to 1977. He then served in higher university administration until his retirement in 1988 as professor emeritus. During these years, he was active in many organizations promoting education in youth in America. He served on the review team for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges for the U.S. Department of Education. Over the course of his career in academia and retirement, he published several books and numerous manuscripts. One of his textbooks was adopted by the states of Georgia, Texas, New York, and Tennessee for use at the high school level. He helped produce a manual for NASA to distribute to industrial education teachers to help incorporate creation of model spacecraft into their curriculum in 1964.
After retirement, he continued to be active in the community, championing education in young people and juvenile justice. He served on the Orange County Grand Jury, where he was chair of the Juvenile Justice Services Education Committee from 1989 to 1990. He served on the Orange County Juvenile Justice Commission from 1991 to 2001, serving as chair of the Commission in for four of those years.
Irvin is survived by his sister Jean (Richard) Vandewalker, his son, James Lathrop and daughter-in-law, Jennifer Donnelly of Ames. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Eleanor, and his sister Beryl (Lathrop) Ganzer. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be designated to The NEA Foundation, supporting public education (

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