Petaluma sports lost one of its true gentlemen as the new year began with the passing of Roy Lattimore. The former Petaluma High School baseball coach died at home on Jan. 1. He was 84.
Lattimore was a teacher at Petaluma High School for 33 years and a legendary Trojan baseball coach. Not only did his baseball teams win, they won with class, reflecting the high moral standards of their coach.
“He loved baseball,” recalled Frank Wright, who succeeded Lattimore when he retired from coaching.
“He was demanding, but he never yelled. He was always a true gentleman,” agreed his daughter, Karen Ervin.
She recalled charting pitches while she was in junior high school and later after entering high school, keeping the scorebook for her father’s teams. “The players liked him,” she noted. “He had a lot of friends.”
Before turning to coaching and teaching, Lattimore was an excellent baseball player in his own right. Raised in Bakersfield, he played at Fresno State and for a time in semi-pro ball in Canada.
He was also a popular teacher who taught countless students about history and life.
He was responsible for getting hundreds of students a safe start to their driving life while teaching driver’s education.
Before beginning his career in education, he was in the Army serving as a sergeant in Korea.
As important as baseball was to him, there was nothing more important than his family.
He was devoted to his wife, Louise, who shared his teaching and coaching career. They were together for 62 years. His daughter recalls that her mother was a big part of her husband’s coaching life, and attended almost all of his games.
Together they raised a son, John Lattimore, and two daughters, Karen Ervin and Katherine Lattimore-Stern.
They also had 11 grandchildren, and their grandfather took great delight in attending their athletic games and events. He also had eight great-grandchildren.
“My boys played baseball,” Ervin said. “They loved it when he came to watch them play. It was a real highlight for them. He took an interest in all of his grandchildren.”
Lattimore was a deeply religious man who was a member of the Petaluma United Methodist Church for 57 years, where he loved singing in the choir.
A private family graveside ceremony was held. A celebration of his life for family and friends will be held this spring.